|Left: more reflective lenses, no good in this position. Right: less glare-prone glasses.|
I have been a glasses wearer for years and, as such, feel I don’t really look like myself in a photo unless I am wearing glasses.
I am also seeing more and more people who wear glasses at photo shoots, and just as I want to wear my glasses in my profile pics I expect to photograph other wearers authentically bespectacled as well. However, as I’m sure you know, glasses can cause problems with reflections in the lenses, some more than others.
Recently I lucked out and got a great deal on two new pairs. Time for a new profile pic!
Right away I noticed that the lenses in one of them seemed to catch the light all around me way more than the other ones. Every time I saw myself in a mirror with pair #1 I could see lights reflecting in them. The other ones didn’t seem to do that.
Sure enough as soon as I went to photograph myself (I get to do this; I’m a pro 😊 ) I confirmed that if I held my head a certain way the lenses reflected the light, partially obscuring my eyes, and creating a distracting retouching nightmare (if I were to actually shoot that way). This is something we ALWAYS want to try to avoid. When this happens, we are, right away, limited in terms of head position and to some extent full self-expression because we have to angle away from the light. Photographers can also angle lights so they are less prone to hit lenses, but that is limiting is other ways. (Note that I lit these shots in my high-ceilinged studio to mitigate glare; I could never have fit this set-up in an office downtown, and it didn’t fully solve the problem anyway.)
Of course, wouldn’t you know, of my two new pairs of specs my favourite ones are the ones that are the bad reflectors. Another suboptimal-for-photos thing about them is that they tend to sit low on the bridge of my nose, meaning it’s hard to achieve a flattering head-relative-to- camera angle that doesn’t result in the upper part of the frame bisecting my eyes.
So I did try pair #2 (photo right), and they were much less reflective, but I just don’t love them.
What is the upshot here? For me, with the luxury of having two pairs of glasses to choose from, I can consider the pros and cons of each and pick the lesser of two evils. (Some non-glare lenses don’t reflect light at all which makes them a delight to shoot…if you never notice lights reflecting in them you may have these and if so, yay you!). Of my two new pairs I really prefer the ones that are harder to shoot, so those are my choice for my new profile pics…too bad for the photographer and for the subject (ha-ha)…I understand the draw backs, and I am willing to work with it.
My advice to you, my fellow glasses wearers, is to remember that eye wear can impact photography, and to bring more than one pair to your shoot if you have them, and see what happens. It may really help to have an option or two. But don’t wear ones you hate, because then you’ll probably hate the photos.
If you follow me you may have seen a version of this tip before. Here's the link:
Hope this helps!