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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. Read about everything from using the Centerless Table, to 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.

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

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.

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.

4 - What angles to show on shopping product pages

Depending on the type of product imagery, decide on how to position glasses and sunglasses for product photography. Certainly, if creating 360 spins, this isn’t a problem. If capturing only still images, however, the product photos need to convey as much information to shoppers as possible. Every tiny detail matters, from design features to the clarity and sharpness of the product in its images.  

Be sure to include at the very least the 3 most important angles: a front view, side view, and 3/4 view. Aim to find the best distance from the glasses, accounting for the tripod or camera arm supporting the camera. 

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

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.

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 will 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.

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. 

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. 

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.