Mirror, mirror on the wall, have you ever wondered how to capture the perfect shot without yourself stealing the limelight? And what’s the secret behind those magical selfies that seem to defy the laws of photography?

It’s time to uncover the mysteries and unveil the techniques that will help you master the art of mirror photography. From banishing those unwanted reflections to achieving jaw-dropping bathroom selfies, we’ll embark on a journey filled with tips, tricks, and a touch of whimsy.

So, bid farewell to multiple chins and ancient vampires, and let’s explore the captivating world of mirror photography together.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the purpose of your mirror photography is crucial in selecting the most suitable technique.
  • Tilt-shift lenses are highly effective in capturing mirror photos without the photographer’s reflection, providing professional-level results.
  • The “Vampire Effect” technique involves positioning the camera parallel to the mirror or using a self-timer and standing out of the way to achieve reflection-free images.
  • An alternative approach to the Vampire Effect is positioning the mirror towards a blank wall or ceiling, standing far away to avoid reflections, and using a long focal length for the shot.
  • Dulling sprays can be used to eliminate reflections entirely from the mirror, providing a clean surface for photography, and post-processing software like Lightroom can be used to add desired reflections later.
  • Post-processing offers creative possibilities, allowing photographers to manipulate mirror photos and enhance them using software like Lightroom or Photoshop.
  • Taking deliberate reflection photos of mirrors can showcase their reflective qualities and add creativity and artistry to your images.
  • The Still-Life effect involves using the Tilt-Shift or Vampire effect to capture a mirror reflecting an interesting subject within its frame, highlighting the mirror’s capabilities.
  • Including your camera as the subject in the mirror photo can create a unique and self-referential image, providing a mirror perspective of yourself or your equipment.
  • Mirror selfies have gained popularity, and by mastering pose, lighting, camera angle, and confidence, you can capture impressive self-portraits.
  • Set the scene for your mirror selfie by choosing an appropriate mirror, organizing the space to match your desired aesthetic, and paying attention to lighting, whether it’s natural or artificial.
  • When using artificial lighting, opt for soft and warm sources to avoid harsh and unflattering results.

Taking Pictures of Mirrors without a Reflection:

First off, what are your goals for taking these photos? Are you shooting to show other photographers an artistic edge? Or perhaps your point is to remove reflections from mirrors you’re trying to sell? (because your house is a nightmare, and no one on Craig’s list wants to see that.)

Understanding the purpose of the image you’re making is a vital first step towards knowing which of the effects below will work best for you. Once you know the focus of your photography, you can go about setting the scene so that you can achieve the perfect shot.

picture of a mirror

The Tilt-Shift Lens:

A tilt-shift lens is a pretty incredible piece of camera equipment. It is the single most effective way to take a mirror photo without the person taking the photo being present in the final image. A tilt-shift lens could be the single answer that you need.

These lenses are popular with architectural, product, portrait, and nature photographers. But it’ll take even the most inexperienced camera person and level them up to all the best professional photographers.

These incredible lenses allow you to focus on a subject that is not directly in front of your camera lens because of their nifty capacity to angle themselves to assist with shooting the scene. You do not need to worry about shifting shutter speed or aperture specifically for the lens, either. You need to set them up and start shooting the image. The tilt-shift lens even introduces vignetting if you correctly focus it.

Another significant advantage is that nothing needs to be edited post-process, and the images you take are the images you will receive.

The Vampire Effect

The brilliance of the tilt-shift lens comes into its own with the Vampire Effect.

Having a tripod and a good light source is vital for this effect.

Start by setting your camera up on its tripod, directly in front of the mirror you intend to shoot. Now that you’ve set up your camera, move it parallel to the mirror but off to the side so that you are no longer visible. You can now angle your lens so that it appears that the image was taken straight-on.

You can also achieve this effect by lowering your tripod below the mirror and then shifting the tilt-shift lens upwards.  In order to remove yourself from the photos, though, you’ll need to set up a self-timer and stand out of the way while you take a picture of the mirror.

A less expensive solution for the Vampire Effect is to position your mirror towards a blank wall or ceiling, stand far away from it so that you are out of the reflection, and then make your shot using a very long focal length. The image will not appear head-on, but it will cover your basic need without the expensive lenses.

The Spray-on Effect:

Not sure you want any reflections at all in your mirror when you take a picture of it?


Many a product shoot makes use of removable dulling sprays on glass and mirrors to give the illusion of reflection and shine without having to deal with the hassle of reflected light from the camera’s flash.

These dulling sprays cover the entire mirror in a silvery substance that allows no reflection. And now, shoot at will! You can stand straight in front of the mirror with no issue. And, if you decide you’d like to put a “reflection” into the picture post-shoot, you can do so with software like Lightroom.

The Post-Processing Effect:

Ah yes, the magic of editing! With the invention of editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop, photography has made the photographer master more than just the camera.

We now have photographers showing us a picture of what they saw and a picture of what they want us to see.

Using this technology to take a mirror photo is pretty straightforward once you know how to use the software. First off, you will place some kind of green screen material over the mirror itself, cut perfectly to the size of the frame.

Once in place, take your photos from whichever angle you think is best, using lighting and other tricks to heighten the quality of your shot.

Now that you’ve got your shot, you can play around a bit. You can create a very light reflection in the software or go big and put in some laser-shooting dinosaurs. The limits really are your imagination at this point.

Taking Pictures of Mirrors with a Deliberate Reflection:

Sometimes though, you should show how well your mirror reflects the world around it.

Besides proving that your mirror is what you say it is, taking photos of a mirror with yourself or a subject included in it can create wonderfully creative and artistic pieces.

The Still-Life Effect:

For the Still-Life effect, you will need to employ either the Tilt-Shift or the Vampire effect, as discussed above.

The significant difference here is that you will not present a blank space for your mirror to reflect off of. Instead, your mirror frame is going to house an interesting image (like a beautiful vase of flowers) that your mirror will reflect. These reflections will prove that your mirror is as you say it is and not just a piece of glass.

And while you can create the same image in photoshop, getting this technique right saves you post-production time and is better to truly capture a moment in time, complete with correct lighting and a solid connection to the photographer.

Your camera can also become the subject of your mirror photo. Position the angle of your picture so that you have your camera showing, either on a tripod or with you standing behind you. Now, shoot directly into the actual mirror. You will now have a mirror image of yourself, or your camera, imprinted into the glass of the mirror.

Mirror Selfies:

Following on from the Still-Life effect, another method that has gained immeasurable popularity in the past decade is the mirror selfie!

But, long before iPhones and Instagram filters, mirror selfies were some of the most inspired and mysterious shots a professional photographer took.

Nowadays, a mirror selfie is within the realm of most people, and there are several different tricks you can use to post the perfect selfie without using a fancy camera or high-tech lighting.

Taking a Mirror Selfie:

If you’re looking good and feeling good in yourself and your body, why not share it with everyone around you? Creating the perfect mirror selfie post for your social media can be daunting at first.

However, the answer is in the correct pose, lighting, camera, and confidence. Master these, and your selfie game will be the envy and admiration of all of your friends!

Set Your Selfie Scene:

Before you go about taking your incredible selfies, answer questions in your head about what kind of selfie you want to take. Go onto social media and look at other selfies to learn the signs of a good selfie. Once these questions are answered, you can go about setting your scene.

Find a mirror that suits your purpose. If it’s full-length selfies you’re after, find a full-length mirror. If you want the perfect headshot, it’ll be better to find a smaller mirror, perhaps with an attractive frame. Oh, and make sure it’s clean before you take your picture.

Next, organize your space in a way that appeals to the essence of the photo you are trying to take. If you want it casual, let your backdrop be a little messy. If you’re after a classy feel, though, a neat background is a sign of that.  Take advantage of the impact of negative space on your selfies.

Finally, take a good hard look at the lighting you are using. Using natural lighting will always have the best effects, so close to an excellent natural light source will always be best if your photographs are taken in the daytime. Be careful though of backlighting yourself, as this will turn your incredible selfie into a stunning silhouette.

If not, there is lighting available. Try to pick artificial lighting that is soft and warm. Avoid harsh white and fluorescent lighting at all costs.


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Pick your Pose and Take your Picture

As you embark on your mirror photography adventure, don’t forget to embrace the playful spirit within you! This is your moment to unleash your creativity and discover the most flattering angles that showcase your unique personality. Stand tall, strike a pose, and let your camera capture the magic.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Explore unconventional camera positions that add an air of mystery to your selfies. Conceal your face partially with the camera for an intriguing touch or dare to place it entirely out of frame, creating a captivating off-center composition.

And don’t hesitate to make use of your camera’s self-timer function. Set it up, give your hands the freedom to express themselves, and watch the magic unfold. Hold up a sign, flash a double peace sign, or let your imagination run wild.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, now you hold the secret to capturing the best picture of them all! So, go forth and let your creativity shine through the lens. Happy snapping, and may your mirror photography journey be filled with delightful surprises and stunning images that reflect the true essence of you!