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Using Mirrors for Capturing Self Portraits

Sometimes, your best subject could be yourself. It’s better to do it yourself rather than get others to pose for you. However, you need one prop to make it work best: a mirror. Any mirror. Here is how you can do it in many creative ways…

Make faces

(CC image courtesy Giorgio Grande)

Just standing in front of the mirror and parting your hair or shaving isn’t it. You have to make a face and also have your camera in front in the frame, too. But yes, ensure that the flash is off to avoid over exposure in one part of the frame.

Widen the frame

Sometimes, it’s best to convey the mood of the scene and not just your mugshot. Which is why you can frame your picture in such a way that you show yourself in front of a mirror and also the curtain, wardrobe or window adjacent to it.

Reflections work

If you are fed up with mirrors, there are alternatives: lakes, ponds, rivers, oceans, puddles or even water in a large bowl. Hold your camera and look at your reflection. And go click.


If you are at a parking lot, ATM or a mall where there are these curved mirrors, they work as great fish eye lenses for you. Take your picture and see how you and your surroundings are captured.

(CC image courtesy of Lawrence Whittemore)

Shades and rear view mirrors

When you are out, and can’t find a mirror, you might make the most of a reflection in dark glasses. And again, you could do this in two ways. Either you could show one half of the subject with the shades or just zoom in and show just the shades and your reflection. If this is not happening, you could use rear view mirrors.

Take in multiples

Sometimes, it pays to be child-like. It allows you to think creatively. One way is to use multiple mirrors to make it appear as if there are many of you in the frame and not just one.

(CC image courtesy of Andre Thor)

Go invisible

Another way to capture your portrait is to keep your camera in front of you and show only sections of your face, to generate some kind of mystery.

(CC image courtesy of Fernando Ocana)

Go mirrorless

Yes, you can zoom in on the mirror and take your picture, without showing the mirror. You can call this trick photography, but the purpose of taking a self portrait is more than amply served.

Blur it

Sometimes, breaking the rules make your images stand out. You can focus on the foreground and blur the background which contains you. The result is a picture that is kind of dreamy.

(CC image courtesy of Eugenia)


You can stand in front of a full-length or waist-length mirror and take a picture of you with the camera near your solar plexus. To make it the work of an artist, you can look away or better still, look at the camera while the picture is taken. The way you stand, your body language and your stance says a lot about you. And there’s nothing like this technique, to say it all in one image.

Reflective surfaces

Sometimes, it pays to be observant. While you are walking around shops, malls and restaurants, you might come across highly reflective windows and walls. These serve as perfect mediums for self portraits. Make the most of them. And if whipping out a camera is too much of a problem, you can use your cellphone or media player.

To sum up

Mirror self portrait photography is a good way to take pictures of landmarks with you in it. It’s also a good profile image you can use for social networking sites, particularly Flickr and Facebook. And photography isn’t restricted to your point and shoots and DSLRs. Don’t forget the camera in your cellphones. What’s more, you can shoot mirror shots on every trip you go on. It’s great fun and memorable.

~Zahid H. Javali