A Few Ideas on Photographing People Who Wear Eyeglasses
When photographing people, oftentimes we end up having to photograph people who wear eyeglasses. A few issues we can encounter when photographing subjects who’re wearing glasses could include glare, the reflections in the glasses and/or the shadows of the frames.
So, what can we do about it?
We can either (try) to eliminate the glare (and/or frame shadow) or, if that’s not possible, we can also try to work with it and get creative while using it.
So, here are a few ideas of how to photographing people who’re wearing eyeglasses:
Tell the subject to take off their glasses and hold them in their hand(s), give the subject’s hands something to do (which, btw, is a good idea)
Pop out the lenses…something that might work only if allowed to do so and without damaging the eye wear.
Ask the subject to push the glasses down their nose…or to tilt their head (the pose could work, depending on the photo shoot…think “teacher” looking over the glasses, etc)
And also, have fun with it:
Or, for a different pose, have the subject adjust their own eyeglasses and photograph while they’re doing so–this gives their hands something to do and oftentimes eliminates glare and frame shadows. (you have to watch for it, for the glare to vanish away)
One problem with photographing eyeglasses is glare, which, in turn, can be quite distracting. Try to avoid glare by choosing a large(r) light source and to adjust the height and move that light source (diffused, soft light would help even more) to the side of the subject until the glare disappears.
Oftentimes, another problem with photographing eyeglasses (or people wearing eyeglasses) is capturing shadows of the eyeglasses (the frames) on the subject’s face. Try to avoid that by changing the pose and/or using a reflector to soften the shadows.
While shooting outdoors, photographing people who’re wearing eyeglasses, it might be helpful to choose an overcast day. The cloud cover usually offers a more evenly spread, diffused light.
When shooting indoors, on location, try bouncing your flash (if flash is allowed). If not, use the light available to you–oftentimes the natural daylight coming through a window and/or the ceiling light(s)…
…or stage lights in a dark room.
If there’s no way to eliminate shadows of the frames, use them to emphasize the subject’s personality instead. For example, when capturing the image posted below, I was pretty far away from the subject–award-winning playwright Tony Kushner, receiving the Workmen’s Circle Activism Award–and the only lights available were the stage lights. The only thing that I could do to try to minimize the shadow was to wait for the right pose (and the subject to look at the camera), at how the light fell on the subject in that particular moment, and try to minimize the possible distraction caused by the shadow.
When photographing indoors, on location, using studio lights, try moving the light(s) and/or get the subject to turn/tilt their head. Consider incremental changes. Try adjusting the height of the light source(s) so that it’s above the eyeglass/eye level and move it/them slightly to the side (of the subject). Work with the subject and, throughout the photo shoot, try to use the subject’s eyeglasses to emphasize the their personality.
And, same goes for shooting your subject in studio:
When photographing in studio, allow light source reflections to show in the eyeglasses and give a behind-the-scenes look at how the photograph was created. This works best when photographing people wearing sunglasses.
When photographing people wearing sunglasses outdoors, reflections can also offer a behind-the-scenes look of the scene the subject is actually looking at while being photographed.
These are only a few ideas of how to photograph people who’re wearing eyeglasses. After all, there are plenty of us out there 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by!