Portraits using mirrors: how to improve them?

After all these days spent at home, you may think that you have run out of ideas for practicing photography? You have to know how to look around and take into account what you have at hand. With a little creativity, you can take advantage of your surroundings to get the most out of your camera. In this case, we will be interested here in the mirrors that we have at home. Some people have a mirror in every room, while others have one mirror in all and all in their bathroom. It doesn’t matter if you have a little or a lot at home, we will give you some tips for taking portraits using mirrors.With this object, you can achieve truly original results, on portraits as well as self-portraits. We will now see the important elements to take into account in order to do this.

Tips to follow

Large mirrors can give compositions with a lot of detail in the frame, especially when using a wide angle lens. Small mirrors, on the other hand, can give you a boost to harness your creativity. You may have already paired a mirror in your home with your selfies on occasion. That’s no reason not to believe that mirrors are valuable creative tools, especially these days when we’ve been around a lot. Here are a few tips.

Use the Distortion

You should take into account the distortion of objects before you start experimenting with reflections. The closer you or the subject to be photographed are to the reflective surface, the more delicate the effects will be. You can use distortion to create images with a dreamlike touch, like those from a fairy tale or a dream. To do this, test the distortion. On the other hand, it may not be what you are looking for but it is worth testing, for results that may be surprising and unexpected.

Use large mirrors to make the space bigger

A large mirror in a cramped space can give the impression of a much larger space than it actually is, such as in an elevator, for example. And it also allows you to give more information using the mirror. To hide your camera, do not place it exactly in front of the mirror. This may seem like a bit of an obvious tip, but you tend to forget, when you are focused on focusing on other areas of the scene. A good position is to place the camera close to the mirror and glued to a corner, making sure that no part of the camera appears in the image.

The most varied ice creams

Add a smaller sized mirror to your portrait and you will see how your creativity will take flight. The more bizarre the mirror and its frame, the more you will stand out and the more original will be the result. It can be a real challenge to focus on the subject with a small mirror. But these difficulties are worth the trouble, given the result of this type of portrait. Small mirrors feature a frame that can let you frame the model’s face, literally, or a little detail that you want to bring out.With a small mirror, you can draw attention to the area of ​​the image of your choice and give a creative touch to your shots. Small mirrors recommended for this are pocket mirrors, ceiling mirrors or reflective surfaces of objects such as kitchen utensils.

Use artificial light to make the subject stand out

Mirror photography can be an original option to find different points of view. To make the subject stand out, you can assemble a lighting scheme using an artificial light source, some studio flashes using them as face or fill light. You can also play with the color temperature to get different shades of color. The whole thing is only a matter of tests and experiments.

Portraits using mirrors: use manual focus for better adjustment

You may need to take a photo with a complicated background, with many objects with a complex lumienux pattern. If this is the case, using autofocus may give you the focus on a different area of ​​the image, which will not be where the subject is, especially if you opt for a large aperture, like an f/1.4, for example. To obtain focus on the precise area of ​​your choice, we recommend that you work with manual focus. If you are not used to using it, it may seem weird at first, but you will certainly get used to it…

Use multiple mirrors at once to create a surreal effect

Surrealist photography essentially consists of mixing universes, stories, concepts. And you don’t necessarily need to use a lot of objects or props to pull off a surreal photo. Use at least two mirrors to focus from various angles. You can frame the model’s face, while reflecting other objects around the scene, which would not appear in the image without the presence of the reflection.

Portraits using mirrors: take a self-portrait with your model

The portrait photo is generally turned towards the individual in front of the camera. The photographer is often invisible but the portrait photo using mirrors is the exception that confirms the rule since the photographer can also appear in the image. And it’s a way to give your selfies a creative touch, where you can create a larger space in the photo and fill in the gaps. Check for more info here.

Atmospheric self-portraits

Selfies in the mirror have become very popular, but they’re not that interesting anymore. This does not mean, however, that we can no longer use mirrors to make original self-portraits. Instead of focusing only on yourself and framing yourself, try to create an atmosphere all around by using objects near the mirror. Whether they are crisp or not in the image, they will always create a special atmosphere.

Use a small mirror to make an abstract portrait

The abstract portraits are quite unique and striking. We can thus achieve a portrait that looks like a painting or that brings out only part of the subject. Use a small mirror or prism to test this type of portrait. With a prism you will be able to get reflections with more distortion, while with a small mirror it will be easier to focus on the subject. You can try out either of these items and have fun experimenting.


When you start taking portraits using mirrors, you’ll come to appreciate new perspectives and new styles, in favor of more creative photos. Even the simplest of mirrors can help take your portraits to the next level.

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