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How to Photograph Eyewear for Online Product Presentation

Get actionable insights into how to photograph sunglasses and glasses to showcase on online stores and website product pages.

Glasses and Sunglasses Product Photography Tips

Building on our tips for sunglasses product photography, this tutorial expands on how to photograph glasses and sunglasses. Sure, glasses look great from a low angle, but what about when some angles of rotation create unwanted reflections? Not only does this pose challenges when capturing product photos, it makes capturing 360s near impossible without the right equipment. Enter: the PhotoRobot studio. 

Devices like motorized turntables in combination with a Robotic Camera Arm offer the solution. Thanks to image capture & processing software, operators have complete control, automation & tools for any type of product photoshoot. When photographing eyewear, robots can even handle the reflective surfaces automatically, skipping bad angles for “safer” shots. And what about when capturing spins? All photographers have to do is increase the angle of elevation, and PhotoRobot does the rest.

Read on to see for yourself, and get our 10 tips for photographing glasses and sunglasses. Learn more about using the Centerless Table, camera choice, lighting, product positioning, automation, image post-processing, and publishing. We’ll even provide some sunglasses photography ideas and examples for product presentation, including: 360 spins, 3D models, and product configurators.

1 - Photographing glasses and sunglasses - Prep

Before any photoshoot, preparation is always key. Production teams should organize products and sort items into categories: by make, design, and type (sunglasses or normal eyeglasses). The main concern here is separating different types of glass and frames in the shot list. This is especially true when working with higher volumes of products to photograph. The more you prepare in this case, the more efficient your overall studio workflow will be.

Eyewear photoshoot on motorized turntable

Thus, organize eyewear by photographic elements: e.g. sunglasses with highly reflective surfaces, or eyewear with transparent parts like the frames. Reflections and transparency in general tend to be more difficult to photograph, so group these products together. Consider the techniques you’ll use for each pair of glasses, and plan accordingly. You might want to start with simple eyewear designs before moving on to photograph more unique products.

Then, in the studio, a motorized photography turntable like PhotoRobot’s Centerless Table makes a welcome addition. It provides all the functionality photo studios need for multi-angle still photos or 360-degree spin imagery. PhotoRobot systems support Canon DSLR and Mirrorless camera models, FOMEI or Broncolor strobe lights, and LED lights with DMX support.

2 - Lighting and camera settings

When photographing eyewear, we need a neutral, white background that is as luminescent as possible. However, it’s important the lighting does not wash away any of the product’s design, colors or textures. The quality of your final product images depends on this. 

Now, if using the Centerless Table, this concern is minimal. Its design features an optical glass plate and a built-in diffusion backdrop. Together, these allow the lights to evenly illuminate the product from all sides. This gives the photographer a pure white background, and allows them to naturally create high-quality product photos

3D photography optical glass plate

Photographers should experiment with camera parameters like aperture, speed, and ISO, as well as how the lights hit the product. Here, you also want several props like white cloth to photograph the glasses on, and white and black cards. 

The white of the cards is useful to reflect light into the glasses, while the black can minimize reflections. Use black to add negative fill when reflections are too strong or in unwanted areas. Play with the position of the cards, moving them closer or further away until they eliminate reflections. The end goal is to direct lighting to create clear edges and fine details.

3 - Automation and capture control with PhotoRobot

Keep in mind that PhotoRobot’s image capture control and automation software handles the majority of the heavy-lifting in the studio. Photographers can deploy advanced tools for camera capture and light control, as well automation, post-processing, sharing and publishing. Save photoshoot configurations as Presets in the software, and automate settings when photographing similar types of products.

Photo editing software user interface

The software together with a PhotoRobot workstation, like one of our motorized turntables, ensures smoother and more effective workflows. Photographers have complete control over all photography equipment: including one or multiple robots, cameras, and light configurations. Meanwhile, additional support features, like laser-guided object positioning, automatic calibration, and light holders make production even easier in the photo studio.

Combine a motorized turntable with PhotoRobot’s Robotic Camera Arm for maximum precision. Image capture as well as movement of the mounted camera with the product’s rotation of the turntable is all synchronized. Manually or automatically adjust height and distance of shots to be more precise in how you frame photos. The Robotic Arm is compatible with all PhotoRobot turntables, and can capture single or multiple rows, 360-degrees around a product.

4 - What angles to show on shopping product pages

If you browse product pages of leading eyewear brands like Rayban, one thing that really stands out is consistency. The hero shot, image gallery and 360° spin photos are all shown from consistent angles, elevation and distance. This practice keeps shopper attention firmly on products, and in general makes product pages look more professional overall. 

At the very least, the 3 most important angles for eyewear product photos include: a front view (hero image), side view, and 3/4 view. The hero image will be what makes a strong first impression. Side views and 3 / 4 shots showcase both the front and profile together, adding extra dimension to product galleries.

Best angles of glasses for ecommerce images

Now, capturing these angles with PhotoRobot often takes little time. In fact, usually after a single rotation of a motorized turntable, we have high-quality photos ready to publish online. Using a camera tripod or, better yet, the Robotic Arm, we ensure consistent elevation and distance from the product. 

We capture our most important shots (usually from 10-degree elevation), avoiding unwanted angles and reflections. If shooting 360 spins, we simply increase the angle of elevation and run the process back.

5 - Keeping consistent with your brand style guide

Typically, brands will have a style guide that dictates how to photograph different types of products. A style guide is simply a set of instructions on how to photograph and edit product photos. It specifies elements such as how to prep and style products, and the types of product images. In fashion photography, for example, it might state the type of images: whether flat lay, packshot, lifestyle, or 360s.

 

It can also state which color background to use, zoom shots, or how to present packaging. Descriptions might include how to showcase different eyewear designs, and how to show different options for each design. What’s important is that each product is displayed the same, making your online store appear more balanced and trustworthy overall.

Ultimately, the style guide will tell the photographer all of the visual elements the brand requires in their product photography. Style guides coincide with client branding practices, from product pages to online marketplaces, and anywhere their products appear online. In the end, the goal is consistency in visual content across any and all channels where the product is sold.

6 - Capturing fine details and showcasing design

To truly impress online shoppers, aim to showcase the fine details and design features of the glasses. A lesser part of this involves product and scene prep if you want eyewear to stand out in pictures. Beware of dust, fingerprints or blemishes that might show in photos. Clean glasses, lenses, frames, as well as the white cloth so that everything is in pristine condition.

Photography tent for sunglasses

Then, the real challenge becomes photographing glass and reflective surfaces. Eyewear designs range from somewhat to extremely reflective. Some glasses consist of metallic or silver parts, and elements like these often reflect their surroundings. That is, if you don’t use light reflectors to eliminate shine and unwanted reflections. 

Distractions like these can look to customers like product defects or part of the design. Neither are effective at increasing sales, nor preventing returns. This is why it’s crucial to examine how the light shines on the product, and eliminate any unsightly reflections. You want the glasses to appear in a completely neutral environment, leaving no confusion for potential buyers.

7 - How to photograph highly reflective lenses

If photographing highly reflective eyewear, it’s possible to use a simple paper tent with one of PhotoRobot’s turntables. While photographers could use a standard photography tent, with PhotoRobot this often isn’t necessary. The workspace provides a range of creative options using diffusion paper, allowing for quality results even with reflective products.

It might still be necessary to experiment with light reflectors for glasses with polarized or mirror lenses. However, for the most part, the workstation simplifies everything. The optical glass plate of the turntable enables shadow-free product photography, while the software makes editing easy. Photographers have tools for automatic cropping, object centering, background removal, image sharpening and much more.

Automated post-processing software

All the while, image processing can take place in the Cloud, drastically cutting production times compared to local processing. Users can simultaneously take pictures of glasses while at the same time applying post-processing parameters in the Cloud. The workspace is fully automated with this process to maximize workflow. In fact, the only way to speed up production further would be to prep additional products while simultaneously taking pictures.

8 - Taking pictures of transparent frames and glasses

In some cases, you’ll photograph glasses with transparent components like see-through frames. To beginners, this might seem a challenge, but it’s actually quite easy to get good results with minor lighting adjustments. The challenge is to make any clear material stand out from the white background. 

Capturing transparency - zoom into lenses

This sometimes calls for lowering light intensity, and then adjusting brightness in post-production. PhotoRobot’s level adjustment tool makes this part quick and simple, providing photographers complete control over brightness. Usually all that’s necessary is a little practice working with the lights. Then, later, thanks to PhotRobot editing software, post-processing becomes both routine and hassle-free.

9 - 360 spins, videos, 3D models, and product configurators

If you want to enhance the shopping experience even further, consider creating 360-degree spin imagery and product videos. Any interactive viewing features, such as rotation and zoom, help consumers better familiarize themselves with products. 

360 product spin sunglasses

Product spins and videos allow shoppers to view products from all sides and zoom into distinguishing features without losing definition. Take it to the next level with photogrammetry 3D models and product configurators. These can allow consumers to customize products on the fly, or even view your catalog in Augmented Reality.

10 - Smooth, easy and productive photoshoots

From product-in, to prep, shooting, editing, publishing and product-out, PhotoRobot streamlines all workflow processes. Whether it’s a photoshoot for a small webshop, or industrial-scale ecommerce operations, our product photography solutions aim to serve. Photograph anything from the size of a microchip, to eyewear, or even automobiles with our wide range of robots.