I'm trying to photograph mirrored sunglasses in a flat lay set up but am having too much trouble with reflections. I'm hoping someone can help me with a light setup and any other ideas so I don't have anything reflected in the sunglasses. They're colored mirror as well. So I still need to be able to show those colours. Please help.

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    Hi, Welcome to stackexchange. We'll try to get you going. We come from all-over the world. Your terms could be misinterpreted. Tell us, what is a flat-lay set-up? What is a co,lured mirror? A picture is worth a thousand words. Do you have anything for us to troubleshoot? Do you have any special restrictions?
    – Stan
    Jul 23 '16 at 3:38
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    It's very helpful with these kinds of questions for the OP to include photo(s) of what didn't work.
    – Michael C
    Jul 23 '16 at 8:29

Cover the subject sunglasses with a tent made of white cloth. Suspend the tent above the subject. Illuminate with lamps aimed at the tent. The camera peers at the subject through a hole cut in the tent. A dulling spry can be used if needed. Procure a pump spray bottle of hair spray. Empty the contents and replace with a water mixture of talcum power. Spray on the sunglasses and allow to dry. If the tent idea fails, using white Styrofoam sheets from a crafts store, line a box making a cavity of white to hold the sunglasses. Light the subject by making one or two peep holes for the light to enter. You are making an integrating chamber that totally diffuses the light. Totally diffused light has no directional properties.

  • But even diffused light can and will produce bright reflections at all angles from a smooth, reflective (non-Lambertian) surface. Your suggestion to coat the lenses with a transparent diffusing material is excellent. Folks need to remember that what they want is a final photo that looks the way they want. It's like food shots: shoe polish for crispy roast turky skin, Elmer's glue for milk on cereal, etc. Jul 25 '16 at 11:30
  • One of the best is Krylon Dulling Stray from a craft store. Jul 25 '16 at 14:45
  • @CarlWitthoft When I've shot products for (not of) packaging and advertising, lawyers were always present to witness that actual serving sizes and package contents were used unaltered. This was true for stills, and for video. Jus' sayin'
    – Stan
    Jul 27 '16 at 6:57

The trick is to have the white paper reflect the entire sunglass lenses. Place white paper (the same material used in the background) near the reflected area and play around until you notice the reflection is gone. https://vansunglass.com/blogs/news/how-to-photograph-reflective-sunglasses


Besides setting up your lighting correctly, you can also use a polarizer filter to reduce unwanted reflections and to reveal the actual color of the glasses.

The polarizer filters that can be found nowadays are screw-on "circular polarizers". They are easy to use: you simply turn the front ring to selectively throw away the right (amount of) reflections (the same way you would rotate a variable ND filter to reduce exposure, if you are familiar with that).

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