How to Take Photos of People Wearing Glasses

Daniel • updated February 18, 2023 • 3 min read

How to Take Photos of People Wearing Glasses

When taking photos of people wearing glasses, it can happen very quickly that reflections from the flash are visible on the glass. And although most glasses are already anti-reflective, it is not possible to completely avoid having to intervene a little. Reflections in the lens is really something very disturbing.

However, the visual aid may be a characteristic feature of the face of a spectacle wearer. We will show you in a few steps how to put spectacle wearers in the best possible light.


1. Glasses and law of reflection

Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. This law of physics is all that needs to be observed when it comes to lighting. In the studio, artificial light is also easy to control and predict.

Your first option against the annoying light reflections: Moving the light source and aiming it sideways at your model’s face. This applies to studio lighting as well as natural light.

2. Reflection are predictable

Light that reflects off lenses and into cameras causes glare in glasses. The fact that reflections are so predictable makes taking photos of glasses simple. A source of light projects light onto the glasses at a specific angle, which the glasses then reflect back at in the reverse direction.

There won’t be any glare in the picture if you simply don’t place your camera where the reflection is shining.

Explain your model that taking photos of people wearing glasses is challenging because you need to find the ideal lighting for them to look their best.

3. The height of the light

Reflections occur when the angle of the light source to the lens is too small. So your goal when photographing must be to increase the angle of light to the lens.

Place the flash as high as possible to increase the lens to flash angle. The important thing is to find a middle ground. If you set the light too high, you won’t have a reflection, but you might have no light in the eyes or too much shadow under the chin.

If you find yourself in the situation that the available light is rapidly fading, read your guide on portraits with common light sources!

4. The position of the head

Daylight is perfect, but it should not come from the side or from behind. You should also leave out the camera flash, which causes unsightly reflections.

  • Super anti-reflective lenses produce even better results
  • Lower the model’s chin minimally, this reduces shadows from the glasses.
  • This can create a double chin, if this happens ask then to stretch the neck a little bit.
  • If there are still reflections on the lens, you can raise the earpieces a little bit, so that the lens is slightly slanted at the front and thus the angle to the light is increased again.
  • What can also help is that the model tilts the head a little to the side so that the angle of the light changes slightly.

Lift the temple of the glasses slightly so that the lenses tilt down slightly at the front. This will already help you prevent most reflections.

The position of the head goes along with the position of the face, learn how to photography faces and check also our article on how to start with portrait photography!

5. Look for shade

If you take outdoors portraits, it’s hard to change your light angle. Shoot in the shade if possible, because then you will have no or less reflections on the glass. 

If you don’t have the possibility to shoot in the shade, use a diffuser or a shading device. This will prevent the light from reflecting in the lens and interfering with it.

6. The Power of make-up

Optical lenses make the eyes of nearsighted people look smaller, while those of farsighted people look larger. With a few simple makeup tricks, you can beat this phenomenon (and not just in photos!):

  • For nearsighted people: light, shimmering eye shadows and a white or light gray kohl on the lower waterline make the eyes appear larger.
  • For farsighted people: use matte, dark eyeshadow colors and fill in the lower waterline with black or brown kohl. This makes the eyes appear smaller.

If you want to much more about the proper use of makeup, you can read our article on how to make perfect makeup for photos!

7. Fix the photo in post

When you take pictures of people wearing glasses, you often encounter problems with reflections, which makes it impossible to see their eyes. Of course, it is best to avoid reflections already when taking pictures.

However, sometimes this is not possible and you have to either put up with them or remove them on the PC.

If you like to add a cool quote to your Instagram post, check our list of portrait photography quotes for Instagram.

8. Take a photo without glasses

What to do if everything does not help and you still have reflections in the glasses? Then take a picture of the person with the reflection.

Then ask the person to take off the glasses. Now take a picture of the face without the glasses at the same angle you did the photo with the glasses.

After that you can simply cut out the eye area from the picture without glasses in Photoshop and paste it into the picture with glasses to work it out with a mask afterwards.

9. Remove the color cast in Photoshop

If you can’t recreate the photo, you’ll have to use image-editing programs like Photoshop or the free tool Gimp to fix the problem.

This is usually very time-consuming:

  • First, remove much of the distracting reflection by taking out the color cast of the reflection.
  • Use the small button below the layers to create the new adjustment layer “Hue/Saturation”.
  • Then adjust the hue of the reflection and turn down the saturation value.
  • Be careful not to have any other parts with the same hue in the image. Otherwise you will have to make a selection of the crop beforehand.

Depending on the photo, you have already removed most of the annoying reflection.

10. Correcting the reflection of glasses with tools

If you want to completely remove the annoying reflection in the glasses, you can’t get around the elaborate use of correction tools.

However, this requires some experience and with the tools.

  • For this purpose, the copy stamp is suitable, with which you can stamp over certain areas of surrounding areas.
  • Alternatively, try the area repair or touch-up tool.
  • Depending on the size of the reflection, you have a the enormous time investment and probably makes little sense.

Frequently asked Questions

How to keep my model wearing with glasses comfortable?

To create a comfortable and relaxed environment during a glasses photography session, it is important to communicate clearly with the subject and give clear directions for posing and positioning. It can also be helpful to use a tripod to avoid unnecessary movement and to provide positive feedback and encouragement throughout the session.

A relaxed subject is more likely to have a natural and comfortable appearance in the final images.

Why shall I keep direct light away from the model with glasses?

Keep your lights away from the camera lens as much as possible. We all enjoy catch lights and bright retinas, but the likelihood that your camera will be in the angular position of reflectance increases as your light gets closer to the camera.

Where should the glasses be positioned?

Check that the glasses are positioned correctly and lifted up on their nose. Nothing is more embarrassing than seeing someone in a picture with their glasses on backwards or midway down their nose.

Shall I may ask the model to take glasses off?

Make sure to find out whether your subject prefers to wear glasses or not. It just got easier for you to do your job if they don't mind taking them off.

What are the most common challenges taking photos of people wearing glasses?

The most common challenges with taking photos of people wearing glasses include glare and reflections on the lenses, distortion of facial features, and frame shadow on the face. These challenges can be overcome by adjusting camera settings, using a polarizing filter, changing the lighting conditions, and adjusting the angle of the shot.

What are the best camera settings to use when photographing people wearing glasses?

To minimize glare and reflections when photographing people wearing glasses, it is best to use a polarizing filter, adjust the position of the light source, or use an off-camera flash. In terms of camera settings, it is recommended to adjust the aperture to reduce the depth of field and blur the background, and to adjust the shutter speed to increase the amount of light that enters the camera.

What are the best angles and compositions to use when photographing people wearing glasses?

The best angles and compositions to use when photographing people wearing glasses depend on the individual and the style of the photograph. Generally, it is best to shoot from a slightly higher angle to avoid reflections and to use an off-center composition to create a more interesting and dynamic image.

It is also important to pay attention to the overall framing and ensure that the glasses are not cut off or obscured in the shot.


Tools to bring your portrait photography to life:

More about glasses:

How to take Photos of kids in Glasses
Why My Glasses Have A Purple Glare
Spectacle, travel with intent
Smart Glasses, Science Fiction at your
Understand Lans flare and ghosting
Are blue cut lenses and anti-glare the same?
Health corner, your eyes in winter
Wearing glasses makes you more sexy to the opposite sex
5 Ways to Not Lose Your Sunglasses


Keep reading: How to Take Candlelight Portraits »

How do you take Photos of People wearing Glasses? Let us know in the comments

By Furoore team member Daniel
Daniel has been supporting the editorial team as a content creator since the end of 2021 and is mainly responsible for portrait photography and related practical topics around cameras, lenses as well as accessories.

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