To avoid reflections in studio photography from your off-camera flash, you have to first understand the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection. You see, basic physics allows us to position our equipment and our subject in ways that completely prevent the reflection showing up on a reflective surface, regardless of whether that is a human wearing glasses, a dog licking a sheet of acrylic or a wall art product with a glass/metal surface.

This all came about because we released the “How to photograph lick shots in studio” video and literally hundreds of you tried it. 90% of those who tried it really struggled with reflections.

There is a video version of this topic, that’s here:


My excitement about the fact that my Physics GSCE result was actually an A* still makes me chuckle ????

Core points to avoid reflections in studio photography:

If I had to summarise:

  • The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection – it’s always constant
  • If you can see the light reflection in or on the subject of the photograph, you need to make the angle of incidence wider – in other words, move the light further around the circle
  • If you can’t move the light source for whatever reason, angle your subject away from the light source – doing so does the exact same thing, by widening that angle of incidence
  • If you can see a reflection in your top-lit studio photographs, often created with butterfly lighting, you need to move your light further over the subject, or select a smaller modifier to reduce the width of the light from above

To be honest, that’s about it on this topic, just remember the angle of incidence = the angle of reflection.