Creative Photography: 6 Techniques for Reflections & Mirrors
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Using a mirror for portrait photography
  2. Creating reflections in still life photography
  3. How to capture urban reflections
  4. Why use water reflections in landscape photography?
  5. Using mirrors for creative distortion
  6. Tips for photographing reflections and mirrors

Photography is not just about capturing a scene—it's about painting a world with a lens. Exploring the art of creative photography opens up a realm of possibilities that go beyond the traditional. One such avenue is using reflections and mirrors to add a unique twist to your images. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a beginner looking to expand your skills, this blog will guide you through six techniques to make the most of creative photography reflections and mirrors.

Using a mirror for portrait photography

Portrait photography is all about capturing the essence of a person. With a mirror, you can add depth and an element of surprise to your portraits. Here are a few ways you can use a mirror for creative portrait photography:

Double Exposure Effect

One way to use mirrors in portrait photography is to create a double exposure effect. This involves placing the mirror at an angle that allows you to capture two images in one shot: the subject's reflection and the subject themselves. The result? An ethereal, dreamlike image that tells a layered story.

Playing with Perspective

Another technique is to play with perspective. By strategically placing the mirror, you can reflect different parts of the scene to give an unexpected twist to your portrait. For instance, you might choose to reflect the skyline in a city-based shoot or the foliage in a natural setting. This creates a visually captivating contrast between the subject and their environment.

Mirrored Expressions

Finally, you can use mirrors to capture mirrored expressions. Ask your subject to make a face or pose in front of the mirror, then capture both the original and the reflection. This adds a touch of whimsy and fun to your portraits—perfect for those looking to step outside the box with their creative photography reflections and mirrors.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So grab a mirror, find a willing subject, and start experimenting. You might just find that mirrors open up a whole new world in your portrait photography.

Creating reflections in still life photography

Still life photography can be a playground for creativity, especially when you bring reflections into the mix. By adding a reflective surface to your setup, you can create images that are both visually stunning and thought-provoking. So, how do you do it? Let's dive in.

Choosing the Right Surface

First things first, you need to choose the right surface for your reflection. Glass and mirrors are the most common choices, but don't be afraid to get creative. You could use a shiny metal tray, a pool of water, or even a glossy tabletop. The key is to choose a surface that complements your subject and adds to the overall mood of the image.

Setting the Scene

Once you've chosen your reflective surface, it's time to set the scene. Position your subject on the surface and experiment with different angles until you find a reflection that catches your eye. Remember, the best creative photography reflections and mirrors often come from unexpected angles, so don't be afraid to move around and try new perspectives.

Lighting Matters

Lighting plays a huge role in how your reflection will look. If you want a soft, diffused reflection, try using natural light or a softbox. If you're going for a more dramatic, high-contrast look, a direct light source might be a better choice. Experiment with different lighting setups until you find one that brings your vision to life.

Creating reflections in still life photography can be a fun and rewarding challenge. So why not give it a try? With a little creativity and some trial and error, you might just capture an image that takes your breath away.

How to capture urban reflections

Urban photography is all about capturing the essence of city life, and reflections can add that extra layer of depth and interest to your images. Whether it's a puddle after a rainstorm or a sleek glass skyscraper, the city is full of opportunities to capture unique reflections. So, let's explore some techniques to help you capture the urban jungle like never before.

Find Your Reflective Surfaces

Urban environments are packed with reflective surfaces. Rain-soaked streets, glass windows, shiny metal surfaces, even sunglasses can be your canvas for creative photography reflections and mirrors. Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities as you walk around the city. You might be surprised by what you find!

Look Beyond the Obvious

Reflections aren't just about mirroring what's in front of you. They can also distort, twist, and transform the urban landscape into something entirely new. Train your eye to see these reflections not just as duplicates, but as elements that can add a fresh twist to your images.

Master the Light

Light can change a simple reflection into a jaw-dropping image. Early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is low, can create long shadows and warm, glowing reflections. Nighttime city lights can turn a window or a puddle into a vibrant splash of color. So, don't forget to consider the time of day when you're planning your shoot.

Urban reflections can turn the familiar into the extraordinary. So the next time you're out in the city, why not try looking at it from a new angle? You never know what creative photography reflections and mirrors you might find.

Why use water reflections in landscape photography?

Water reflections can add a magical touch to landscape images, transforming the ordinary into the truly extraordinary. It's about more than just mirroring the scene. Water reflections can bring a sense of balance, add depth, and even create an entirely new perspective. So, let's dive right into why water reflections can elevate your landscape photography to new heights.

Balance and Symmetry

Water reflections naturally create a sense of balance and symmetry in your photos. A mountain reflected in a tranquil lake, or trees mirrored in a quiet stream: these scenes are visually pleasing because they're balanced. It's like nature's own version of a see-saw—everything is in harmony.

Depth and Dimension

When you incorporate water reflections in your landscape shots, you add an extra layer of depth and dimension. It's like inviting your viewer to step into the photo, and that's a powerful tool in your creative photography arsenal. Remember, a photo isn't just a two-dimensional image—it can be a window into a three-dimensional world.

A Fresh Perspective

Water reflections can offer a fresh perspective on a familiar scene. Imagine a crisp autumn forest scene. Now imagine it reflected in a clear, calm lake. Suddenly, you're not just seeing the forest—you're seeing the forest in a whole new way. And that can make for some truly memorable creative photography reflections and mirrors.

So, next time you're out capturing the beauty of the natural world, don't forget to look for those water reflections. They could be the key to turning a good photo into a great one.

Using Mirrors for Creative Distortion

Mirrors are more than just reflective surfaces; they are a powerful tool for creative distortion in photography. They can add an element of surprise, mystery or even whimsy to your photos, making them uniquely intriguing. Let's explore how you can use mirrors for creative distortion in your photography.

Adding a Twist to Portraits

Bringing a mirror into your portrait photography can add a delightful twist. For instance, you could have your subject hold a mirror at an angle to reflect a different scene, or use a mirror to create a double image of your subject. The mirror not only adds a sense of depth but also brings an element of surprise into the frame. The result? A portrait that's anything but ordinary.

Creating Unexpected Scenarios

With a mirror and a dash of creativity, you can create almost any scenario. Imagine a mirror placed on the ground, reflecting the sky. It can look like a portal to another world, right there at your feet! Or, use a curved mirror to distort an everyday scene into something surreal. These unexpected scenarios can take your creative photography reflections and mirrors to the next level.

Adding Drama to Still Life

Still life photography can benefit from a touch of mirror-induced distortion too. A mirror can reflect parts of your still life subject, creating a sense of continuity and connection. Or, it can introduce new elements, adding layers of complexity and intrigue. The result? A still life photo that tells a story.

In conclusion, mirrors are not just a reflective surface; they are a canvas for creativity. So, don't be afraid to experiment with mirrors in your photography. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.

Tips for Photographing Reflections and Mirrors

Working with reflections and mirrors in your photography can be a thrilling venture. But it can also be a bit tricky. So, let's discuss some practical tips to help you make the most out of your creative photography reflections and mirrors.

Finding the Perfect Angle

When working with reflections and mirrors, angle is everything. You might need to shift your position or adjust the angle of the mirror to capture the perfect reflection. Remember, the angle that gives you the best reflection may not be the most obvious one. So, don't be afraid to experiment and find the perfect angle that enhances your composition.

Checking the Focus

With reflections, it's easy to focus on the wrong thing. Your camera might automatically focus on the mirror or the reflective surface, instead of the reflected image. To avoid this, manually set your focus on the image you want to highlight. This way, your creative photography reflections and mirrors will always be sharp and clear.

Keeping the Mirror Clean

A smudged or dirty mirror can ruin your shot. Make sure to clean your mirror before you start shooting. But, be careful not to clean it too much! A little bit of dust or a few water droplets can add an interesting texture to your photo.

Planning the Composition

Remember, the reflection or mirror image is just one part of your photo. Pay attention to the rest of the composition as well. How does the reflection interact with the other elements in the frame? Does it add to the story you're trying to tell? Always consider the whole picture when planning your composition.

So, are you ready to start experimenting with reflections and mirrors in your photography? With these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating stunning and creative photography reflections and mirrors.

If you enjoyed exploring creative photography techniques in this blog post and want to discover more ways to use photography as a form of expression, check out the workshop 'Using Nature and Photography as a Form of Meditation' by louisbever. This workshop will teach you how to connect with nature and use photography as a means of meditation, allowing you to further develop your creativity and unique photography style.