Ask any photographer how they feel about Transitions lenses and they will likely react with a sigh and a smile. We totally understand how convenient they can be but ohhhh my goodness there’s so much we wish you knew about them before a portrait session or your wedding day. This is often something I forget to educate clients about before their engagement session or wedding day and I plan to interact with clients more about them this year and include a note about them in my style guide.
Before I get too ahead of myself here though, I want to make sure that I note that the couples and individuals you see below wearing Transitions lenses, were totally comfortable wearing them on their wedding day or for their session - and you might be too. That’s perfectly okay! I typically explain before I start shooting that naturally because we are outside or close to window light, their lenses will be dark in pictures meaning we won’t see their eyes. I’ll ask if they have a second pair of glasses or if they would like to take them off. I always want my clients to feel like themselves both in front of the camera and when they see themselves in pictures. If you always wear transitions lenses and having them dark in your pictures doesn’t bother you or your partner, then by all means, it’s fine with me.
But… there are some things that I think people should be aware of before their portrait session, engagement session or wedding day if they have transitions lenses. Today, we’re going to focus on the wedding day but know that all of the information below applies to any time that you’re being professionally photographed.
I could be really harsh and start and end this blog post with a simple: don’t do it.
However, I know for a lot of people there are personal preferences and financial situations that would mean the Transitions lenses are here to stay. So, I want to talk through the problems and potential solutions.
Bottom Line: if you are wearing Transitions, there is a 99% chance that they will be dark which means that we will never be able to see your eyes.
We shoot most of our portraits outside and while I don’t place my subject’s faces in the direct sun, most Transitions lenses now are so sensitive that they will begin to change the moment we step outside. If we cannot be outside, it’s still likely that I will have my clients close to window light and your lenses will still be dark. I’ve never photographed someone with Transitions lenses where their glasses weren’t dark or turning dark.
If your lenses are dark, Photoshop cannot fix it. There is no going back.
There’s nothing I can do in post processing to make your lenses look normal. Those images will forever feature your blacked out glasses.
If need be, you can wear them and then remove them.
I’ve had some clients who wore their glasses for their first look (so that they could truly take in how beautiful their partner was) and then removed them for the portraits. In order for this to work, you have to recognize yourself and like the way you look without your glasses! Most people who wear their glasses religiously won’t opt to take them off though.
However, I don’t ever want you to be blind!
Not being able to see well isn’t worth the vanity of not having your glasses blocking the camera from seeing your eyes.
Your wedding images will be cherished for generations. If you have contacts or other non-Transitions glasses that you like, please, wear those.
These are big moments. Our eyes express so much of our emotions. We want to be able to see your eyes!
If budget allows, consider investing in a second pair of glasses.
Maybe you don’t like contacts, you always wear your glasses so you don’t want to take them off but you only have Transitions lenses. In this case, if your budget allows, I recommend investing in a second pair of glasses before your engagement session or wedding day. I love Warby Parker! My own glasses are from them and were only $95. Plus for every pair sold, a pair is donated to someone in need. Zenni also has some incredibly awesome frames for men and women at prices like $9.95, $32.95 and $11.95. Seriously!
If you personally don’t like the look of the dark Transitions lenses, you may need to warn your wedding party about them in advance!
If you have bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents or other immediate family members who wear Transitions lenses, you’ll want to talk with them ahead of time to ask them about their alternatives (contacts, other glasses, etc.) and let them know your feelings on this.
Your wedding day can’t be redone. It’s a once in a lifetime moment.
Listen, I know that a new pair of glasses isn’t in the budget for everyone but if there is ever a time to purchase a pair of regular glasses, it’s now.
But… if you’re okay with not seeing your eyes in your images, then I’m okay with it too.
This is ultimately a very personal choice. While I feel strongly that I would prefer to see your eyes, a lot of people are very closely attached to their one pair of glasses which I do understand. If you choose to wear your Transitions lenses, then I will obviously support this decision!
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