Sunglasses Photography

As part of his commercial work, glasses are something Karl often photographs. As a result, he knows a number of essential techniques and useful tips to achieve a high-end result worthy of any advertising campaign, which he shares in this live photography workshop.

Photographing a pair of Oakley sunglasses, Karl shows how you can achieve a stunning result using just two lights. Follow as he shows his lighting setup, shares some of his top tips for product photography and discusses the settings and lenses most suitable for this type of work. He finishes the show by showing some useful post-production techniques to finish off the image.

In this class:

  • Product photography – How to shoot sunglasses
  • Product photography tips
  • How to photograph glossy, reflective surfaces
  • How to achieve gradient lighting
  • Lenses for product photography
  • What aperture to use for product photography
  • Post-production techniques for product photography

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    Just shot a similar pair. They are a little more wrap around than the one used here. To be honest, I spent a lot of time trying to remove my reflection from the glasses, plus the reflection on the left lens, which dives down more than your pair.. I had to do some post production as the reflection in the lense was not from above but rather somewhere beside and left of where I took the shot. Other than place an additional scrim from the side, what would you do during the shoot to solve that issue? It is probably not so ironic that my camera angle is pretty well the same as yours in order to remove my reflection in the lens.

    I posted here on facebook group:

  2. Greetings from Jordan, Amman

    From where can I source acrylic mirrors? Can be found in an art shop or else where easily?

    Thanks in advance.


  3. Hello Karl, what is the difference between the Lee filter 216 and the 400 lee lux? For sunglass photo product what is the best option?…

    Great Workshop really enjoyed it!

    1. They both diffuse quite similarly, some people say the 400 is better. The 400 is a thicker more plastic material and more durable. I use both in the studio but haven’t noticed a great deal between them other than the 400 is tougher/harder wearing.

  4. luizcfreire

    Hey Karl, greetings from Zürich
    Best investment I have made during these strange times.
    Looking forward to seeing you and Urs in action some time soon.
    Keep on rocking!

    1. Thank you, I hope you enjoy don’t forget to check out all the extra ‘lockdown’ live shots we’ve laid on in our schedule!

  5. Hi Karl!
    I want to make a frost frame. I have diffuse paper of size 100 by 120 cm. Two rolls. Is it possible to connect two sheets of paper on a frame, for example, in a joint, and will this connection be noticeable on products? Or is it better to make two frost frames with a size of 100 by 120 cm?

    1. Hi Alex, the join will be noticeable on highly reflective products and is difficult to retouch because of the gradient light. Can’t you just get a bigger roll of diffusion material? Lee Filters, Rosco or even architects paper on a roll.

  6. Hi Karl

    When suspending a highly glossy object like jewelry mid air, how would you negate any reflections coming off from the ground?


    1. Hi Amit, you would generally put a white board below the jewellery so that it picks up reflections of the plain white board.

  7. Hi Karl, thanks for your great classes. Can you tell me how we can shoot reflective subjects (sunglasses, kettles, etc) from the top? The camera would have to be in between the subject and the the barebulb light behind its diffusion a material, but then the camera would block the light.. If we cut a hole in the diffusion material, and place the camera between the diffusion and the light source, then the light wouldn’t be diffused where the hole is.. Thanks!

    1. Hi Thanh, everything you said is exactly correct and you can’t break the laws of physics! You can partially overcome the problem with tilt and shift technical cameras but it’s never perfect. I’m afraid you have to light it the best you can and plan to use post production to remove the reflection of the hole.

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