Mirror Self-Portraits I Wish I Took (Plus Some Tips)


There are many reasons to self-portrait: to remember a particular moment, to document a good hair day, to record a mood, to express yourself, to take advantage of good lighting, or maybe just to finish a roll. In my father's case, I fondly recall him taking self-portraits to practice double exposures–on one side of the photo, he's relaxing while looking at the camera; on the opposite side, he's reading a newspaper. It was magic to me.

Whatever the intention may be, taking self-portraits requires some confidence. As someone who is used to being behind the camera, here you are finally exposing your face to the world. It also requires creativity–how do you make it different, how do you make it yours? From timeless mirror shots to out-of-the-box selfies, here are some of the most interesting ones taken by your fellow community members!

Credits: keitamille, corinne-camiade & bellamanzano

The Standard

Clean, sharp, classic. It's the standard mirror self-portrait, but what makes these photos stand out is the choice of colors. Here, @nat4ever makes a bold statement with showstopping reds, further intensifying a powerful self-portrait. Now, imagine if the yellow curtains in @angelouirma's self-portrait weren't there—it just wouldn't be the same. It gives a sunny, homey feel, contrasting against her blue shirt but complementing the other warm colors in the photo. Lastly, @aideenanna's bundled-up self-portrait plays well with the laid-back blue-greens, giving a cool and calm feel, with just a peep of sunshine to brighten the frame.

Tip: Make your classic mirror self-portrait more impactful with a dominant color. It influences the overall mood of your photo, so use them well.

Credits: nat4ever, angelouirma & aideenanna

The Artsy

Patterns and textures add character to an otherwise plain self-portrait. Depending on what you use to create them, your photo can look painterly!

Tip: Look around for common household items. Window blinds, sheer curtains, lacy fabrics, crumpled paper foil, and even a mist of water come in handy, as you can see in these photos.

Credits: hanibale, tinyportuguese & laurauribe

The Full Face

It may look simple, but I never get it right. My attempts have always been awkward, with double chins and flaring nostrils and a deer-in-the-headlights look. Or maybe it's just my face? Ha! I still believe it takes practice to shoot a nice, full-faced self-portrait.

Tip: Maybe you can tell me–how do you do it?

Credits: sizer696_2m, bellamontiel, yulia_paix, rivermantis & thecompassrose

The Conceptual

The clever, unconventional use of mirrors delivers a new fresh concept to the classic mirror self-portrait. Held by a friend? Yes. Propped on a plant box? Sure. In the snow? Why the hell not!

Tip: Never underestimate the power of a mirror that's off the wall (literally). Place it somewhere unexpected and have fun!

Credits: sakuramiyao, quantumkisa, hanibale, frenchyfyl, untidy_mess, kynedryl & severinegodissart

Are you a self-portrait expert? Share some tips in the comments box!

written by shhquiet on 2021-05-04 #tutorials #self-portrait #quarantine


  1. crismiranda
    crismiranda ·

    Great ideias!

  2. frenchyfyl
    frenchyfyl ·

    Nice article!

  3. ofchanceandchoice
    ofchanceandchoice ·

    Mirror self-portraits are the best!

  4. soundbrigade
    soundbrigade ·

    I always try to add one selfie in each film I snap, which means using the self-timer, or stretching my arms out as far as I can, but ...

    ... if I am to add a tip, it is to look for opportunities to use whatever is reflective to take a self portrait, like a shop window, or a water surface, or a metal surface - just look at all the people taking selfies at the "Bean" in Chicago.

    (Right now I am shooting a positive film in my pretty modern Olympus SuperZoom and have my face on every shot.)

  5. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @soundbrigade that's a great tip, shop windows can make it seem like you're doing a double exposure :)

  6. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @frenchyfyl loved your photo!

  7. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @crismiranda glad you liked them :)

  8. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @ofchanceandchoice esp when there's good lighting!

  9. crismiranda
    crismiranda ·

    @shhquiet my pleasure!

  10. nat4ever
    nat4ever ·

    Thanks and very useful article!

  11. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @nat4ever thanks, too! that was a great self portrait :)

  12. pradoken
    pradoken ·


  13. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @pradoken 😊

  14. b3tsy
    b3tsy ·

    loved this!!

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