The Case of Glass for Artistic Photography

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Hi Glass Detective,

I’m an artist and photographer. I’m interested in creating images where 1-2 people are lying down, full-height on plate glass, where I can photograph the image through the glass from below. Is this possible you think, without tragedy?





Thank you for your inquiry regarding the possible use of glass for a custom photo shoot. My quick response to you is that this absolutely possible. I had the good fortune of being involved with the construction of the glass ledge boxes, “The Ledge”, at Willis Tower in Chicago a few years back and the glass for the floor panels (multi layered safety glass with safety interlayers) was tested to 5000 lbs. (using steel plates) and passed. So if the proper glass is used, holding the weight of a couple of people should not be a problem. HOWEVER, how you support the glass and what type of safety glass you will want to use are serious concerns. I am going to suggest that you contact a reputable Glazing Contractor in your area and work through the design, material selection and methodology with them. They will help you develop a support/frame system (very important) and should discuss “load deflection” with you as well. Size determination of the glass panel(s) will also determine what thickness and type of product you will want to use. So find a good glazing contractor (California has many) and you should be all set to go. Hope this helps and good luck with your project. And thanks for contacting the Glass Detective at!

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Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management.

Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon.

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