4 Tricks For Eliminating Glare In Product Photography

November 25, 2020

So many photographers and biz owners I know struggle with photographing products! We may make it look easy in the final photo, but it can be really tough to get your lighting and angles right. 

One thing that nobody likes dealing with is glare. Glare happens in product photography when your source of light hits a reflective surface. A glass bottle, shiny product label, or aluminum can cause glare and totally ruin your photo.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve for eliminating glare, and I’m sharing them with you all today in this post!

Use matte spray

One of my favorite ways to combat glare is to use matte spray! (Here’s one of my favorites.) Give your product a little dose of matte spray, and it’ll temporarily dull down any reflective surfaces in your shoot. Matte spray helps when I need to make a bunch of different reflective items work in one shot, like I did here

 

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You can find clear matte spray online or in hardware stores. (It also might be called “dulling spray”). Before you spray, remember to tape off any areas you want to keep clear or else they’ll become clouded. Let the spray dry completely before you start styling your shoot.

If you’re photographing a product that can’t be sprayed, or spraying would change the aesthetic of your shot too much, you have other options! Read on.

Change your angle

Look at where your light is coming from and tweak the angle of your products away from that light source. For example, if you’re using natural light from a window to the right, adjust your product slightly to see if that removes the glare.

If you’re styling products on a flat table, you can prop up your product on one edge to eliminate glare. Acrylic blocks and sticky tack can help! Here’s an example of how angle makes a difference when shooting products on a flat table. No glare in sight!

 

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Move your light source

Changing your angle not working? Move your light source! If you’re using an artificial light source, don’t be afraid to experiment with your lighting angles. 

I had to do that for this photoshoot since there were so many reflective surfaces going on — the cutlery, the ornaments, even the chocolates themselves! 

 

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Move your light source backward, slide it to the side, angle it, or bounce it in a different way. It might take a little trial and error, but eventually, you’ll find a position that works for you!

Get help from black foam board

Glare doesn’t always come from a natural or artificial light source. Sometimes it can come from unlikely places, like a table or even your ceiling! 

That’s why I love using a piece of black foam board to reduce glare. Use black foam board to cut or completely block light from falling into your shot. When used this way, it’s called a “flag” or “cutter.” 

Without black foam board in this shot, I would have had to deal with some serious glare from all the cherries, not to mention the can!

Bonus for new photographers and biz owners: foam board can be a lot cheaper than a set of foldable reflectors!

Need more photography tips?

Wanna learn more about making your photos look just as good as you picture them in your head? 

When you join my course, Slay the Flatlay, you’ll learn all about styling, photography, personal branding, choosing and using the right camera gear, composition, and so much more! You get over 4 hours of instruction and over 20 modules when you sign up for Slay the Flatlay.

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Plus, you can save $50 on the course with the code SLAY. Learn more and sign up here!

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