Glasses reflect. That’s a frustrating fact that all crews have had to deal with when lighting a set. However, there are ways to light a subject wearing glasses so there won’t be any glare. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter demonstrates how you can get rid of the glare in glasses in his YouTube tutorial.
Pike begins by saying that you need to first think about the angle, height and distance of you light source. He recommends using your phone to create a clear glare on your glasses, then move it around until you find a good placement where the light isn’t glaring. This is a good test to do before setting up your lights.
Pike’s second tip is to more your light source up and angle it down to your subject. He says that he’s found from his experience that when you keep you light source above your subject and to the side, there isn’t as much glare. If you end up with a stark shadow across your subject’s face after moving the light, he says use a foam board to bound the light from your light source onto the shadowed part of your subject’s face.
His next tip is to use a big soft light. Now, if your subject looks towards the light source, there’s going to be some reflection, but by using a big and soft light it will be a lot less noticeable than if you are using a small, hard light source. “There’s not a lot of distraction there,” Pike says about using big soft lights, “It’s very soft. It’s very nice and easy on the eyes when it comes to transitioning.”
In summary, move your lights around until they aren’t immediately reflected in the subject’s glasses, try to angle your lights down onto your subject from the side and use softer sources that don’t create a very noticeable glare. These best practices will minimize that annoying glare so common when lighting people with glasses.