Portraits of People Wearing Glasses

In this LIVE photography workshop, now available to watch as a replay, Karl answers a question posed by many of our members over the years: how do I take effective portraits of people wearing glasses?

The primary challenge is, of course, how to achieve satisfactory illumination of the subject’s face while avoiding distracting reflections from the lenses. In this workshop, Karl shows you how.

He begins by introducing the key laws of physics that dictate how light works. He also addresses common solutions to the problem (including removing the lenses and using a polarising filter) and explains why they are not the best approaches.

You’ll see Karl demonstrate a simple three-light setup. He experiments with softboxes and a beauty dish, and shows you how to use a triflector to ease shadows under the chin.

Most importantly, he demonstrates the importance of understanding angles of incidence and reflection, and how the position and intensity of your key light source makes all the difference.

The result is a series of high-quality, business-style portraits of subjects wearing glasses, with no glaring reflections in the lenses.

In this class:

  • How to photograph people wearing glasses
  • Lighting techniques for business portraits
  • Beauty dish photography
  • Softbox photography
  • Angles of incidence and reflection
  • Applying the Inverse Square Law
  • The difference between diffused and gloss reflections

If you enjoyed this class, check out Angles of Incidence and Reflection and Instant Business Portrait.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Bonjour
    Quel est de diamètre de la lumiere principale: le bol beauté?
    Puis je avoir la liste du matériel utilisé svp?

    1. Hi, the beauty dish is 70cm diameter silver inside and is an independent brand. The softbox was a 150cm Octabox. Then the large softbox was the 120x180cm.

  2. “If you want a chicken, get a chicken.” Karl Taylor, 2022

    Put that on a T-shirt and I’ll be first in the queue.

  3. Brian R.

    Hi Karl, really great, it’s very helpful going into such detail! For business portraits do you prefer to angle the camera down a few degrees or do you prefer to have it straight on with no pitch at all? I think I detected a slight downward pitch in the lesson but wanted to ask.

    1. Hi Brian, thank you. Yes for most of my portraits I shoot slightly above subjects eye level and angle down.

  4. Chaz27

    Excellent Training as always with KTE…
    Watched this twice at different times to get the most out of it.

    I am wishing your team and you a very lovely and safe New Year.
    Blessings to all.

  5. Hi Karl, Been watching the class on photographing people with glasses, as always your classes are very informative. However I do have a question. A very long time ago I used to work for a portrait studio, pre digital and photoshop. What we did to get rid of reflections in glasses was to just tip the glasses down a bit . Could have you done that instead, when shooting with the beauty dish, so to keep it in the ideal place?

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