Selfies and glasses: a guide

With the summer holidays in full swing, what better time to master the selfie-sunglasses combo? Covering the perils of flash, selfie-sticks and working out your angles, here’s what we told you.


Is is true that everyone has a ‘best angle’? 

Obviously when you’re taking a selfie it’s helpful to know what angles look good. If you want to find out, then the easiest thing to do is to try taking them from several different directions. When you flick through them afterwards, it should be obvious which is best. Definitely don’t use a mirror as this gives you an inverse image and isn’t what other people see. People who have their photos taken a lot like celebrities and models, always know theirs. But beyond finding a good angle, eye contact is an essential element of a portrait. And this is still counts if your subject is wearing glasses! People rarely let themselves be photographed in glasses and even those who wear glasses all the time take them off when a camera comes near them.


© Apostolosv - Nicole de Khors - GaudiLab

What are the golden rules of portraits and selfies with glasses? 

Avoid flash, particularly for selfies because as the phone is so close to your face it creates reflections on the frame and lenses. Try to use natural light, even if it’s nighttime. Nowadays the cameras on our phones are so high quality that actually the majority of the time you can get away with not using flash, even in low-level lighting. Also use the sources around you: a street light or even party lights if you’re in a nightclub!

Always avoid taking a photo of someone in glasses head on. A 3/4 degree angle is the best way to avoid picking up reflections in their glasses. This is particularly true for shortsighted people who have really thick lenses. These type of lenses can magnify and so deform the face’s proportions, which the off-kilter angle helps to avoid.

Selfie sticks! We always discourage portraits taken from a low angle. The best angle is always slightly from above, and at 3/4 degrees – as we just explained. Selfie sticks are really useful to get this angle and avoid reflections in your glasses. They’re also helpful in allowing you to select the background of your selfie if it’s worth including.


© Julian Gentilezza

What about selfies with sunglasses? 

Sunglasses are the enemy of good photographs as they have a mirror effect that is even worse than reading glasses. Unless, of course that’s your desired effect, and you want to be able to see yourself taking a selfie in the photo. But you should still use the 3/4 degree angle and take it slightly from above, with a selfie stick if you have one.

Avoid the midday sun. This light is too direct and harsh, with minimal shadows. We advise sunrise and sunset as the best time to take a photo. The light will be much nicer and if you take it from the right angle you might even be able to catch a glimpse of your eyes through your lenses.

Always try to keep the sun to one side of you. This will solve many difficult lighting problems. Only the right or left side of your face will be lit up and it will give some shadow and relief to your face.

If you are directly facing the sun then careful of the reflection in the glasses as this could make the face appear very saturated.