Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall…

Mirror, mirror, on the wall... Copyright: Alex Bramwell

…that doesn’t look like me at all!

Most people (in my world, at least) don’t seem to like having their picture taken. There is often a real sense of embarrassment when you show them the photos for the first time and many sitters will remark that the pictures do not look like them, even though you are really pleased with the result.

The reason for this is very simple. We are used to seeing our own face everyday, but in reverse. What we think we look like is largely based on the image we see in the mirror.

In the “olden days”, when I sensed my subject was having this issue when I showed the prints, or even the Polaroid proof during the shoot, I would simply get a mirror and make them look at the picture reflected. This always solved the problem.

If there was a picture from the final set that I particularly liked and wanted to get a good reaction from, I would print an additional copy after reversing the negative in the enlarger. This mirrored image is the one I would show the sitter first and it never failed.

Of course, now we have digital photography, reversing the image couldn’t be simpler, so give it a try.

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