Reflective surfaces can be a nuisance in photographic images. Of course they can be used creatively; juxtaposing an object with its reflection has almost become a clique. But reflections can also occur accidentally, and the occasional happy fluke aside most accidents tend to be a problem.

Light reflecting in people’s glasses occasionally products a pleasing effect, but it mostly causes problems. There are some ways to illuminate it.


  • Simply have people remove their glasses. This will work, though sometime a person’s glasses are part of the way they look, and they will want to keep them.
  • Have subjects look away from the camera, or look away from the light source. There are simple principles of light reflection- the angle of incidence equals the angle. Or, more simply, light that comes in from a certain angle at the left will bounce off at the same angle to the right. Have the subject more their head till the reflections in their glasses are gone, or till the reflections work artistically. Alternately, change you own position relative to them.
  • Another method of avoiding unappealing reflections is to have the person tilt their head. Watch that their eyes never disappear behind the frames.
  • If the glasses are the smaller type, especially ones with flat tops, you can have the person pear over the glasses. Even if there are reflections we tend to not notice them as we are automatically drawn to the eyes.
  • Shade the subject’s eyes. There are far fewer reflections when the subject wears a hat.
  • Defuse the light source. This depends on how much control you have over the light. But a hazy reflection may hardly be noticeable where a sharp image of lamp might be distraction.
  • Some glasses will let you remove the lenses from the frames. This avoids reflections, and can look natural under most situations.
  • Occasionally the reflection can work to your advantage. If the glass reflects evenly over the whole lens you can achieve the same effect as reflective sunglasses- the person’s eye are hidden, but the image still works.
  • Photoshop can remove a lot of photo artefacts and errors, but avoid relying on this. Effective as Photoshop is, it can be time consuming; and there is always the chance that resulting photo still does not work out despite the best efforts. That being said, if you do have a great image compromised by a reflection, it’s better to use Photoshop than waste it.

Distracting reflections have no place in the best wedding photos. Any reflections should be either used deliberately and artistically (and this should be done sparingly) or eliminated entirely. We tend to automatically look at people’s eyes in photos. Make sure the eyes work well.

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