I have a Canon m50 camera and use the default lens that came with it, a 15-45mm lens.

I work in a company that makes stainless steel products, many of them with glass.

So the problem is that there is always a reflection on the glass and sometimes on stainless steel.

The company is ok with having the equipment needed to get rid of the reflections.

So I need your advice on how to get a product photography without reflections or less reflections and the equipment needed for that.

Those some of the samples of what we get:

Glass reflection

stainless steel reflection

  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How to photograph glass without reflections and shadows? Nov 19, 2019 at 8:31
  • 1
    When shooting TV shows, actors commonly wear glasses frames without actual glass in them. It's not going to help for everything, but in some cases is removing the glass an option?
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 19, 2019 at 19:29
  • 1
    Typo: "to get red of the reflections"
    – Mast
    Nov 19, 2019 at 19:59
  • 3
    Use a polarizer filter. Nov 19, 2019 at 21:33
  • 3
    @BobT That gets into all kinds of intellectual property issues that makes doing so cumbersome at best..
    – Michael C
    Nov 20, 2019 at 1:07

7 Answers 7


In a reflective surface, the reflections are of the surrounding area.

1. The bigger the object the bigger space you need

So, in your case, you need a really big space clean, let's say painted on white, like a photo studio.

Look how humungous and clean a photo studio can be. I think you need about the space to fit two or three cars.

enter image description here

A 90° corner could work so you only need to fix two walls. A flat surface, not an industrial brick. You can put white ceramic mosaics in that zone.

2. Put the furniture in an angle

So you reflect what is on the side of the furniture, not what is behind you.

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If you use a wide lens, the elements that are reflected will appear smaller, which is not good because you need a bigger wall, so try to use a longer focal length and step back.

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3. You could "fake" a big room

Using big pieces of white fabric, 1.5 m width and like 2-10 m long. Use stretchy material like Lycra, a tripod, multiple shots, and 2-4 assistants.

Take two large rigid metal tubes aluminum or steel. Fix the fabric and use them as a big banner.

enter image description here

Put the camera on a tripod, frame the product, concentrate the effort in protecting the reflection of one zone, let's say the reflection of one door. Take one photo. And DO NOT MOVE THE CAMERA.

Protect the reflection on another door, and take another photo. Keep doing this. Until you have all the faces of the product taken.

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Use some more as a background.

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Composite the images in Photoshop or Gimp. Add more background later, focus only on the reflections and the immediate stuff behind the product.

4. Or as your company constructs metal frames

Make some big metal panels that can be covered with the stretchy cloth to have a portable studio room.

5. Make a 3D model of them

The shapes are pretty simple... you could model them quite easily.

Important note

Product photography is an art in itself. We are not focusing for now on how to properly lit the product, only to improve to some extent the resulting image.

If you want to push this to the next level we need to think in terms of light sources, which will turn some of your white fabric into light sources themselves, but that will not only complicate things for you, but it will take some years of expertise.

Photographing even small reflective objects are some of the trickiest things to photograph. You probably need to hire a photographer to have great images.

  • 4
    Modelling objects with glass tends to look odd if you don't have much experience with it. Modelling them is indeed quite easy, modelling them well not so much.
    – Mast
    Nov 19, 2019 at 20:00
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    I'd go with the fabric. Cover everything up to lessen reflections. Neutral reflections don't look half as bad as the current ones.
    – Mast
    Nov 19, 2019 at 20:02
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    Yup, 3D modeling, and rendering are also art on temselves.
    – Rafael
    Nov 19, 2019 at 20:33
  • If you want to attenuate (rather than enhance) the reflections, you have to make the glass reflect black fabric, not white! Nov 21, 2019 at 9:55

Two basic techniques for dealing with reflections on glass should be known, albeit they will only reduce, not totally eliminate them - so for formal product photography, the advice about using an all white or black, uncluttered shooting environment still apply.

One is using polarizing filters. In the simplest form, you use one on your camera lens - for more flexibility, you can put polarizing filters on some or all of your light sources (not on bright incandescent lights, you are likely to heat damage the filter or even set it alight or melt it!). Note that polarizing filters can and need to be adjusted.

The other is lighting what is behind the glass - the builtin lighting of refrigerator-like appliances already provides some of that, consider adding to it by adding white or bright colored backdrops and/or some (hidden) lamps or strobes behind the glass.

  • 1
    Good answers, but 1) polarizer might make the glass appear too black. 2) Adding lights inside could be perceived as false advertising, if the real product doesn't have internal lighting.
    – Mattman944
    Nov 19, 2019 at 11:50
  • There's your problem - from a diffuse reflection standpoint, glass is black if there's nothing bright behind it and no specular/mirror reflections. Nov 19, 2019 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Mattman944 you can always turn them to a slightly non-optimal position so that some reflections will remain
    – IMil
    Nov 20, 2019 at 0:15
  • Polarizers are great when you have a single surface/angle, but when there are several you'll never get rid of all reflections. With metal a polarizer on the lens won't work unless you also polarize the light first, and that will affect the ability to filter "mixed polarized light" (i.e. glass which causes a polarized reflection and metal which doesn't). Nov 21, 2019 at 0:26

I use for reference the first half page of hits when I search "product photographs industrial refrigerator"…

enter image description here

You'll notice the very first thing you are going to need is a white room, or if budget is limited then some kind of framework from which you can hang white sheets or paper roll, completely surrounding the product.
Once you have that, you are then in a position to arrange your lighting suitably.

You are never going to get rid of the reflections in such a cluttered environment as you have now.


With reflective surfaces you do not remove the reflections. Instead, you give it something pleasing to reflect. That's what the white room/walls do... they provide a continuous smooth white reflection/gradient. Curved surfaces are much more difficult because they see/reflect a much larger area/radius.

  • 2
    Probably the reason why product guys always practice on bottles of stiff drink ... you need it after the frustrating lessons about everything within a mile being reflected in curved glass..... Nov 20, 2019 at 8:23

I'm going to take an oblique approach to answer what I infer to be the implied question, "how does my company get good product shots of large appliances with large glass doors?". When you say,

the company is ok with having the equipment needed to get rid of the reflections,

I assume that you are the person who is taking the product photos, and have a limited idea of what is required to eliminate reflections in the product photos. Therefore, the company is "ok" with having the equipment needed to eliminate the reflections insomuch as your understanding of the cost involved.

I suggest that the shortest path (i.e., lowest cost) is to hire a professional photographer to take product shots of your equipment. The pro photog will quickly identify the underlying issues regarding reflections, space, lighting, etc., and will likely be able to provide solutions regarding said problems.

A well-written contract with the pro photographer will include time educating the in-house photographer (i.e., you, the OP), regarding how to light, block, and scrim the large reflective objects (such as suggested in the other answers to this question). But, a relatively short investment of high-dollar time up front (the pro-photographer) will allow more efficient use of lower-cost time on an ongoing basis (you, the salaried in-house photographer), as compared to the larger running cost of you, the in-house photographer, to fidget and figure out the process over a longer time period (costing more in the long run).


You should definitely do clean product shots - solid blank background and lighting. You can also do shots that show your product being used but you first need images that clearly show your product and show your product off.

Since your product is steel and glass, you should do a black background. Any color or white will reflect off the glass and steel and make the image harder to read.

Your products are also large and intricate. Closeups are definitely better with black background. If there's anything in the reflections, that's what viewers see. They have to work to see past the reflection.

Here are a couple examples of product shots of steel and glass on black:

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    While these are good product shots, they aren't primary steel & glass — they're black & glass (the car is more black paint than chrome/stainless & glass, and the watch is primarily black)
    – scottbb
    Nov 20, 2019 at 0:35
  • @scottbb these are examples of product shots in black with nothing but the lights in the reflection which is what I'm talking about. Yes I couldn't come up with anything that looks exactly like their case. You have pics like that? Or you're saying I haven't spent enough time trying to find a better example?
    – moot
    Nov 20, 2019 at 3:25
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    Neither. I'm just saying that OP's products are reflective metal-and-glass, whereas your examples are black-and-glass. The techniques may be different, especially from a product sample standpoint. Especially in the appliance catalog space, where they are typically shown on a white background.
    – scottbb
    Nov 20, 2019 at 3:30
  • @scottbb Techniques? I'm talking about the background color and only lights in reflection.What technique? And what's the appliance catalog space? come on now. You're getting pretty trolly
    – moot
    Nov 21, 2019 at 16:49
  • 1
    I'm surprised Getty allowed this use of their IP which, when posted here via imgur, requires it to be licensed under terms that they are not usually amenable to.
    – Michael C
    Nov 21, 2019 at 22:57

One thing you could do is put some light inside, which will hide the reflection. Ideally, these would be LED strips placed on the far edges of shelves so that the will not be visible in the photo, but the light will.

This will also make the sci-fi/laboratory aspect of the shelves stand out.

  • 6
    The problem with doing that is that it falsely represents the product as having internal lighting.
    – linksassin
    Nov 20, 2019 at 6:16
  • @linksassin That's a good point. Nov 20, 2019 at 11:23

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