Artistic Mirror Self-Portrait Photography That Will Blow Your Mind
Mirror, mirror, on the wall… Using a mirror for self-portrait photography is one of the most simple, yet intriguing ways of creating a self-portrait.
It is basically you capturing yourself looking at yourself – and there are endless variations of this theme.
With a little bit of creativity, a simple mirror self-portrait becomes a fascinating, multi-dimensional concept.
I’ve gathered a collection of mirror self-portraits from some of my favorite photographers for inspiration – plus some tips for you to get started!
How to do mirror self-portrait photography
Basically, there are 3 ways of using a mirror in self-portrait photography:
- Capturing a self-portrait in the mirror with the camera showing
- Capturing your reflection in the mirror without the camera being visible
- Using the mirror as a prop, not to capture your reflection
Are you new to self-portrait photography? Don’t miss this comprehensive guide, teaching you all you need to know about taking photos of yourself:
Tips for mirror self-portrait photography
1. Take your time focusing
Sometimes, the auto-focus of your camera might get a little bit confused by the mirror. Be patient and take your time focusing. If the auto-focus won’t work at all, try focusing manually – that should fix the issue.
2. Use your phone as a remote
Mirror self-portraits can be extra tricky when you are not holding the camera directly in front of your face. In this case, using your phone as a remote can be quite helpful – when you connect your camera to a remote-controlling app, you usually can see live on the screen what the camera sees. This helps you to get into the perfect pose for your mirror self-portrait.
3. Get creative
Mirrors are such an amazing prop – and as you can see in the photos below, creativity knows no limitations. Try combining several mirrors, use a broken mirror, take it outdoors, show only parts of yourself, create a surreal composite or find unique angles to capture. There are endless stories to be told and the more you experiment, the more you will come up with.
You and the camera: Inspiring mirror self-portraits
This is the easiest way of capturing a mirror self-portrait photo – simply sit in front of the mirror and hold the camera in front of your face or body.
Ezgi Polat, a Berlin-based photographer, has taken a wonderful series of mirror self-portraits with her fluffy cat. Her face is sometimes hidden behind the camera, sometimes visible – but let’s be honest, we all know that the real superstar here is her beautiful cat, Cliff.
Chantal Convertini is a film self-portrait photographer who frequently captures herself – alone or together with her partner – in front of a mirror. She crafts beautifully intimate scenes, often featuring artistic nudity.
A must-have photo on all road trips: German artist Rona Keller captures a beautiful sentiment of wanderlust and adventure with this mirror self-portrait.
Clearly, cats uplevel any attempt of mirror self-portrait photography – and it is wonderful to see the wide range of cameras used. Kalua K. Krynska is an analogue photography enthusiast, so of course, this beautiful photo is no exception.
Mirror self-portraits that don’t show the camera
Now, this is where things get interesting! It is actually not that easy to take a photo of yourself in a mirror without the camera showing, as you might find out.
You might have to get a little creative with the angles and give it several tries – a tripod can help you to get the perspective just right.
This self-portrait by Siréliss Photographie still twists my mind. Was it taken indoors? Outdoors? A masterfully crafted composite? Taken during the 2020 pandemic, she demonstrated her creativity while being confined at home.
‘Don’t look at me, just feel my soul’ is the motto behind Laura Zalenga’s work. This aesthetic black-and-white mirror self-portrait invites you to step right into her world.
Kyle Thompson has a lot of talent for unusual compositions – so finding him in water with a mirror comes as no surprise. This striking self-portrait captivates with its story-telling surrealism.
Another mirror self-portrait by Ezgi Polat, this time only showing a small fragment of her self. As they say, less is more – this composition is both simple and intriguing.
This mirror self-portrait by Rony Hernandes is intriguing on so many levels – how do the mirror parts stick to the wall? Are all these fragments really just one photo? The nude portrait cleverly omits the face and genital area, showing the photographer’s talent for clever composition.
This mirror self-portrait by Malgorzata Sajur is especially interesting since it features an element of motion – to get a similar effect, try taking the photo at a low shutter speed while turning in a circle, keeping the mirror and camera steady.
Ziqian Liu is a true master of mirror self-portrait photography. A large part of her portfolio consists of minimalistic, cleverly arranged mirror portraits – they never fail to inspire with their simplicity and elegance.
Brooke Shaden is known for her surreal, heavily edited self-portraits. So, of course, when she uses a mirror, you are guaranteed to have your mind blown by the result!
Creative self-portraits with mirrors as a prop
The last option for mirror self-portraits is not showing your reflection at all (or only very little) and rather using the mirror as a prop.
This must be my favorite series of mirror self-portrait photography I’ve seen so far. Amazingly creative Loreal Prystaj captures herself outdoors holding a mirror, creating some fascinating body art under the title ‘Reflecting on nature’.
An older work of mine – I had accidentally broken a mirror, so I gathered the pieces and glued them onto a cut-up plastic bottle. To get the focus right, I had to first focus on the eye, then hold the mirror pieces in front of the lens.
It seems Amelie Satzger never runs out of creative ideas – her vibrant work is always refreshing. She frequently uses everyday objects like a mirror to create absolutely brilliant self-portraits.
Your turn: get creative with mirror self-portrait photography
I hope you loved these mirror self-portraits as much as I did! Are you feeling inspired to create some of your own? If you do, please tag me on Instagram (@anna.heimkreiter) or leave a comment – I’d love to see what you come up with.
Just remember, get inspired, but do not copy – your best work will always carry your unique signature. Have fun creating!