I’ve seen a lot of “mirror shots” like the one on the left over the last few years, people wanting to start as a model and needing something they can upload to a profile site in the hope they can get a photographer to help them shoot something better. Many are shot in low light indoors in the evening, blurred and very noisy.  Everyone on this planet starts with nothing, so the fact they’ve taken some initiative is good, not everyone has the money to pay for shots and sign up with an agent day one.  Of course not everyone will make it, many will give up early leaving the determined, hard-working and persistent ones to continue on.

If you’re just about to start and using a phone with a reasonable camera here’s some tips that might help.

  • If possible get someone else to take the shot for you. Rest the phone on something and keep the pose as still as possible to get a sharp image. Phone cameras are getting faster all the time but they’re still way slower than a dSLR.
  • Do it during the day in good daylight not late at night under artificial light. Bright but soft light will be more flattering than strong light that creates harsh shadows.
  • If you don’t have a friend to help and need to use a mirror don’t take a photograph of your reflection.
  • Don’t use a front facing camera that’s design for low quality video calls!

There are a few things you can do with the help of a mirror:

  • Turn the device around and use the mirror to see its screen as I did in the second shot at the top of the page.  Doing this will avoid any dust and dirt on the mirror, give a better quality image and you’ll not see a phone in the shot.
  • Alternatively if using a smart phone install a camera app that will give you a delayed shutter and take multiple shots at intervals. Gorillacam is such an app for the iPhone. Rest the phone somewhere steady and let it click away. Take multiple shots and then pick the best one from the set.
  • If you have a large mirror to hand and a flat phone tape it to the mirror just after starting a series of timed shots.  You can then use the mirror to see how you’re posing. Tape it around chest height to get more of yourself in. If taped at head height you’ll end up with photos with a lot of wasted space above you.

With a suitable image uploaded to one of the profile sites you’ll stand a much better chance of finding a photographer to help you further, a photographer that will hopefully bring some quality light to your shots.

Some of my other tips for new models can be found here.