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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

Let's look at how mirrors and reflections can add a whole new dimension of creativity to your photos.

Jonathan McBride (L) watches as Scott Meissner applies makeup backstage during “That’s Entertainment”, a variety show at the Locke School in Billerica, Ma. that raised money for fighting leukemia (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
Photographing a local school variety show, I looked for something in addition to the usual shots of kids on stage. I found performers putting on makeup backstage, with one boy intently watched his friend. I noticed the mirror and looked for an unusual angle or perspective for my photo. Reflections can help portray simple activities and interactions with an unusual and creative vantage point, but be sure you shoot from multiple angles, while keeping your own reflection out of the photo. I initially considered photographing only the kid applying makeup, either from the back with his face showing in the mirror, or from the side so you could see both his face and reflection side-by-side, but these were rather ordinary. When I saw that the mirror created a unique angle, simultaneously showing both the face of the kid applying makeup and the one watching, I knew this was a powerful shot.

3 Tips:
1) Mirrors and reflections provide a great opportunity to creatively portray simple interactions and activities.
2) Try photographing from a range of angles and perspectives, but be sure to keep your reflection out of the picture.
3) Be so creative that people will wonder how you took the photo.

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