Devil’s eyes, Professor Frink (of Simpson’s fame), Napoleon Dynamite… we’ve all seen it, but perhaps not noticed it consciously: the dreaded reflected glare!
The key to avoiding light reflecting off glasses? Anti-reflective coating on glasses. It can reduce the glare reflected off glasses by a substantial percentage but, most importantly, it changes the colour of the reflection from a bright white to a subtle green-tint.
It’s not all about looks, it’s about looking too. Anti-reflective coatings helps wearers see clearer, reducing the amount of ‘un-noticable’ reflected light the brain must counteract when looking through glasses. Clever, eh?
So, a good quality coating is a good start. The following are some tips from a photography perspective, to minimise the glare and maximise the shine of our glasses-wearing friends!
Day photos: If you can, try to get the glasses-wearer to angle their head down a little. If that’s hella awks, maybe just take a few different ‘test shots’, pretending to adjust the camera settings while really adjusting their angle for each photo. If the glasses wearer is a cool cat (most are), get them to slightly prop up the temples of their glasses above their ears = instant tilt = no glare. #win!
Sunglasses: You know what’s worse than a staged group photo? A group photo where no one has decided whether its sunglasses-on or sunglasses-off, and there’s one guy with the worst pair of sunnies known to humankind ruining the entire photo with his circa-1995 white Oakleys. Uniformity works best. As the photographer, you yield the power. Flex it.
Night/party photos: Avoiding reflections from indoor lights, especially flouros, can be difficult. Add a flash and you’ve got a nightmare combination. Glasses-wearers are pretty used to photos of themselves that turn out far from ideally. Avoid standing directly under overhead lights, and try a ‘silly’ shot where not everyone is looking at the camera, making the glare less important.
Weddings: Bridezillas are organised people, right? Well, not when it comes to organising contact lenses to wear at their own weddings. It’s only the biggest day of their lives and all. If you are a wedding photographer meeting with a couple for pre-wedding shots, please please please, ask the bride if she plans on wearing contacts instead of her normal specs for her big day. You will re-live the guilt of optometrists everywhere who can’t always supply contacts at short notice.
Lone ranger: ‘Do you wear your glasses all the time?’ Maybe they don’t! Perhaps the subject will want a timeless photo of themselves which won’t date with their on-trend frames. Never hurts to ask!
Embrace it! These days everyone is a skilled photo editor. Instagram filters over glared lenses may actually make a photo look more awesome. Experiment and see!