Photographing Mirrors

Setting up for mirror photography

Mirrors are always a little tricky to photograph. One of the easiest tricks is to make sure the reflection captures a beautiful view or scene. That's not always easy in the middle of winter though! (Of course after I took this photo I noticed some paint stuck to the mirror. I cleaned it up later with a razor blade.)

Today I'm working on taking photos of a French Provincial dresser and mirror. Here's the "before" shot. The mirror is leaning against a table in the background.

Before Sears Bonnet French Provincial Dresser

After finishing painting both the dresser and mirror (you can see the final photos and tutorial HERE) it was time to set up for photography staging. The mirror is a bit heavy, so I decided to photograph the items separately. I positioned the dresser and some flowers in front of the mirror to use as a backdrop.

Setting up staging and lights for furniture photography
Setting up staging and lights for furniture photography.
First I stood behind the dresser for a front view, but the angle distorts the mirror making it look heavier on the top.

Proportions distorted by angle
Proportions distorted by angle.

Next I stood to the left of the mirror to take the photo on an angle. I think the proportions are much better in this shot. The background is a little busy, but overall I don't think it's too distracting. It won't win any photography awards, but it will work for posting it for sale.

Mirror with dresser and flowers reflected in the background
Mirror with dresser and flowers reflected in the background.

Here's another example of staging items in the background to catch the reflection. With this mirrored vanity I had 3 mirrors to work around. I used an armoire to block my husband's filing cabinets in the background.

I wanted a more clean and polished photo for the vanity, so another option for photographing mirrors is to use Photoshop. I don't own it, but I do know someone that does and she can fix reflections for me and only charges $5 per photo. See below for an example of her work on my vintage vanity. What a difference! I plan to purchase Photoshop at some point, but I don't think I'll need it too frequently, so I'll hold off for now.

Vanity with mirrors before Photoshop
Vanity with mirrors before Photoshop

Vanity with mirrors after Photoshop.
Vanity with mirrors after Photoshop.

I've heard some people use spray deodorant to "fog" the mirror and block the reflection. I've seen it done a few times but it usually looks uneven. Plus I worry about getting the spray on my furniture,  so I haven't tried it myself.

Please share if you have any mirror photography tricks! I need to get the dresser to my booth, so I'll post more "after" photos of it soon.


  1. Thank you for this tutorial :) And also so excited to see you repainted a French provincial set. I have the same mirror and dresser but have been hesitant to paint because I wasn't sure the paint would stick to the surface as it has a "plastic" feel to it. Beautiful job!

    1. Thank you! I have an upcoming tutorial on painting the dresser and laminated and plastic.

  2. Wow! There is free online alternative you could try in the meantime. It's called Pixlr and it isn't terribly difficult to learn (if I could do it, you definitely can). Check it out!

    1. Thanks for the tip Marie--- I will be sure to check it out!


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