Would you believe it if someone told you there were specific rules of etiquette for sunglasses? Well it turns out there are. The rules of etiquette cover things like removing sunglasses when conducting business and making sure the sunglasses you choose reflect a professional image. But the rules do not cover photographs for the most part. So, should you take off your sunglasses when posing for pictures?
This question is a real issue now that all of us who own a smartphone are carrying cameras with us wherever we go. We are now more likely than ever before to take pictures on a daily basis. Some are selfies, others are not. But with so many pictures now being taken, we inevitably see more people in pictures wearing sunglasses.
Perhaps this is an area of etiquette that needs to be discussed. In so doing, we might compare wearing sunglasses in photographs to some other activities for which sunglasses are inappropriate.
Sunglasses and Business Discussions
It has long been understood that you should remove your sunglasses during business discussions. The reasoning is pretty clear, as explained by the professionals at Olympic Eyewear.
When doing business, you want to be able to look the other person directly in the eye. You want to be able to see facial expressions that may denote the other person’s reaction to the proposed deal. That is not possible when the parties do not remove their sunglasses.
In a picture-taking scenario, is it really necessary to be able to see the subject’s eyes? Do you really need to see the fullness of the subject’s facial expression? That depends on your perspective. Some people really want to see a bare face in pictures. Sunglasses just get in the way.
Wearing Sunglasses Indoors
The rules of etiquette clearly dictate that you remove your sunglasses indoors. Not doing so is considered rude and somewhat pretentious. As the thinking goes, wearing sunglasses indoors implies that you have something to hide. It implies that you think pretty highly of yourself.
We can apply the same thinking to removing sunglasses for pictures. If a picture is worth 1000 words, wearing sunglasses in a photograph could say a lot about you – for either good or bad. What kind of image do you want to convey in the photo?
Wearing Sunglasses Inside the Bank
Over the last decade or so it has become a bad idea to wear sunglasses inside a bank. In fact, many banks prohibit sunglasses, hoodies, and hats. They do so to allow their security cameras to get clear shots of every face. They want to be able to identify every customer who comes into the building.
Again, the question of sunglasses and photographs may come down to one of identity. Do you prefer to not remove your shades because you do not want people to identify you in the picture? Do you worry about someone else’s photographs being posted online, revealing who you are or where you have been?
It is Up to You and the Photographer
At the end of the day, there are no established rules of etiquette relating to wearing sunglasses in a photograph. So it’s really up to you and the photographer to decide between the two of you. There are very good reasons for removing your sunglasses for a photo, just as there are good reasons for keeping them on.
Perhaps someday the etiquette experts among us will come up with an easy-to-understand rule. In the meantime, we are all on our own. It is a crazy world out there, sunglasses and all.