Mirror Photography Tips

Mirrors offer a quick and easy way to add another dimension to your portrait photos. Read our mirror photography tips to help you have a great time and take some startling shots.

Try a variety of mirrors and effects. Mirrors are great to shoot with, either in the studio or at home, they are cheap, come in all shapes and sizes and can be used in any number of ways to enhance your portraits.

Keep the composition simple and use colour: as you can see with this surreal portrait using a single mirror.

Self-portrait mirror

Try to get as much light into your portraits as possible, this allows a low ISO to keep noise to a minimum and high shutter speed to prevent camera shake.

The infinity effect: In this example the photographer has used two mirrors to create an infinity effect. Angle the mirrors so you don’t capture your own or your lighting’s reflection.

Portrait mirror infinity

Depth of field – control out of focus areas by closing your aperture to f/5.6 or smaller. This produces greater areas of your image that are in focus, meaning when you focus on eyes the nose and ears are also in focus.

Place the mirror on the floor and shoot down, then flip the image afterwards to create a really interesting effect.

Portrait mirror perspective

Direct your subject – when working with people remember to keep a good rapport going throughout the shoot. Communicate what you are thinking with clear language allowing them to easily follow your instructions. Don’t forget; with this sort of photography the person may have no idea how the final shot will look. So, do a few tests shots and show them on the back of the camera to help them understand the concept. It’s all about creativity, so also listen to their opinions; it is likely they will have some good ideas, too.

Keep experimenting. Shoots like these often don’t follow any set pattern and are directed by what works and what doesn’t, be prepared to try lots of different angles and combinations of positions and mirrors before you get something that you like. Once you hit on an angle that works, keep shooting until you feel the shot is the best it can possibly be.

We hope these mirror photography tricks give you some great ideas on how to take creative self-portraits. Don’t forget once you have taken some shots you are proud of, share them by uploading to the Canon Gallery.