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Should I wear Glasses in my Business Portrait?

If I had a quarter for every time a client asked me if they should leave their glasses on or take them off during their business portrait session I would have lots and lots of quarters. At least a jar full!

The short answer is Yes! Or No! It depends really. I actually always answer that question with another question of my own:

Do you normally wear your glasses?

Here are a few guidelines for when you should and should not wear your glasses during a portrait session:

  • If you normally wear your glasses when you meet your clients, prospects, leads, business associates, etc., then you should definitely wear them for your headshot.
  • If you only wear them in front of the computer and never when you talk to real live people then you probably don’t want to wear them for your portrait.
  • If you wear them sometimes but not other times then the reality is that it’s totally up to you whether you wear your glasses when you are being photographed. If you love your glasses, wear them. If you hate them, don’t.

Rules are Fun, but can I break them?

Rules really are great, but sometimes you need to break them! Here are a couple of situations where you might choose to wear your glasses for portraits even though you normally wouldn’t, and some times when you should take them off even if you normally wear them all the time:

  1. Ask yourself what kind of image do you want to present when people first see you on LinkedIn or on your company website? If you want to appear more professional or intellectual, then you should consider wearing glasses in your headshot even if you don’t always wear them in person. If you want to appear more friendly and approachable, then you might consider not wearing them for your portrait even if you normally wear them all the time.
  2. Do your glasses have very heavy frames? If so then the studio lighting could cause some very strong shadows around your eyes. Your photographer *might* be able to fix that in the retouching process, but sometimes it’s hard to make that look realistic and natural. In those cases I often recommend taking pictures both with and without the glasses just to be safe.
  3. Are your glasses very heavily curved? If so then the studio lighting could cause some very strong reflections on the glass and it may not be possible to reposition the lights to eliminate that glare. Just as in the case of shadows due to heave frames your photographer *might* be able to fix the glare in the retouching process, but sometimes it’s hard to make it look realistic and natural. In these cases I also recommend taking pictures both with and without the glasses just to be safe.

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Testimonial from Corporate Portrait Client Giulio Mettimano

"The experience with Sean at Riverwood photography was a very relaxed and comfortable feeling making posing very at ease, full of suggestions and Sean's professionalism made the experience a success."



Giulio Mettimano