Reflective Photography

Kellie Miles, Photographer

When we think of reflection, our minds typically go to an image in our mind of a mirror because that is typically where we see reflections. We can also think of it in different ways, like reflecting on things we have done or our past. Through this theme you can show lots of emotion or simply a reflection in your mirror if you want.

Here are some things to think about when starting shooting with this theme:

  • What are some events that have happened recently or in the past? What about the past year of your life during covid?
  • You can reflect on your personal life in the past year or farther back than that. How have these experiences made you feel? 
  • Also, you can think about this on a community level. What are the groups you’re a part of or identify with? What has this last year been like for these communities? What are some changes or challenges that have occurred?
  • Another way to think about this theme is culture. What kind of cultural changes have there been? There are a lot of changes or feelings that everyone has felt on a large scale, how could you incorporate this into your photos?
  • In reflecting, we can also look at the things that we have overcome, what are some challenges you have faced or observed from the personal all the way to cultural level? How have you grown? What have you learned about yourself during this time?

So while doing reflection, although you can start with in front of the mirror, think about the person standing in front of the mirror. Show your or other people around you with this prompt. Express emotions or how things have impacted you and made you grow.

Reflective poetry can help you explore a literal or a figurative space. (Kellie Miles)

For this shot, you need a tripod or something to set your camera up on. I used a ladder and a pile of books. Then, get two shirts and a mask. First, you’ll take a photo of your background with nothing else in the frame, just the area you’re taking the photo in. Then, with the shirt you already have on, take a photo of yourself looking into the mirror from behind. Next, you’ll change your shirt and put on the mask you grabbed and then take the same picture that you previously did. Then, you go into photoshop and combine them all together. You simply cut yourself out in each of the photos to the one of you with no mask on from behind and you in the mirror wearing a mask with a different shirt on and put them in the photo of your background and boom you’re done! You can do this anywhere and you can put as many different layers of yourself in as you want. If you don’t have photoshop or don’t want to pay for it, a good app for this on your phone is Photoshop Mix. It’s free, and I use it often. Simply load your photos in and use the “cut out” tool to make images like this.

This image is quite simple to take. Simply go outside your house or anyone’s house and locate the house number. You then just take a photo of the house number. I suggest taking it from a different angle like to the side like I did. This adds a little bit more to the image and makes it less boring than it would be if you took it just straight on.

For this photo, I went to my iPhone camera and messed around on portrait mode until I found the lighting that made a white background behind me. There is also the option to make the background completely black as well or leave it alone as your natural background. I then set a timer for 3 seconds on my phone and set it up and took the picture of myself until I got one I liked. Then, I went to google images and searched up the MSU head logo. I took the MSU logo into Photoshop mix and cut out the head part, only leaving the helmet part of the spartan logo. I then layered in my other photo of myself and placed the spartan helmet above my head.