When you think of taking a selfie, what comes to mind? Most likely, your arm outstretched in front of your face, grasping onto your phone, working to get that perfect angle (thank God for the pop socket, right?).
But wait, aren’t you forgetting something? There’s also the mirror selfie.
While the mirror selfie might not be what comes to mind when you think of a “traditional” selfie, it totally is one in its own right. Hence, the trending selfie vs mirror selfie debate.
So today, to help you get a better sense of selfies vs mirror selfies, we’re laying it all out there for you. And if this debate isn't enough, be sure to check out how to take a mirror selfie, followed by the best mirror selfie poses.
Let’s all get on the same mirror selfie page, shall we?
When should you choose a traditional selfie:
1. Seeking a close-up shot
Probably the most obvious reason to opt for the traditional selfie over the mirror selfie is that you want your face to be the star of the show.
Whether this is because you just managed to nail a James Charles makeup tutorial, you just had your teeth whitened, or you’re feeling yourself that day, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a little up close and personal in your selfie.
In fact, the whole “up close and personal” thing is probably one of the biggest draws of the traditional selfie.
2. The background isn’t interesting
Let’s be real, not every location you choose to take a selfie is worthy of your IG feed.
Your messy bedroom? Nah. A public bathroom? Ick. Your best friend’s basement. No thanks.
Bottom line: None of these locations are particularly too pretty, so let’s not distract from your selfie by shooting in a mirror. Instead, ignore the background and let your face do the talking.
3. Good lighting
Never waste good lighting. Seriously just don’t do it.
Unless the lighting happens to be streaming in at the exact right angle for your mirror selfie, chances are, you need to move around to get your selfie. Are you going to move that mirror around with you? Probably not.
Find the right lighting and let that be the driving force behind where you take your selfie.
Plus hey, if the lighting is really that good, there’s a good chance you’ll want to have your face highlighted in the shot. The background in a mirror selfie is just distracting in this case.
When should you choose a mirror selfie:
1) To show off your outfit
We’ve all been there: You’re wearing a great outfit that you’re feeling mighty fine in, but you’re also pretty certain beyond your UPS driver and your cat, nobody is going to see it.
In these instances, find a mirror and go to town snapping the perfect selfie.
Plus, don't forget, even when you do get to show off your outfit to a crowd, you’re probably not showing it off to all your IG followers. Snap a pic in a mirror, and your outfit will get the attention it deserves.
2) Cool background
Standing in the foyer of a luxury hotel in Paris? Shopping in your fav retail shop in NYC? Maybe you’re just in a super cool bathroom at one of your favorite local restaurants?
Whatever the case, you’ve likely had moments where you want to show off where you are, but you don’t have anyone to snap a picture for you.
Mirror selfie to the rescue!
3) Unique mirror
I don’t know if it’s just me, but lately, I’ve noticed a trend where a lot more influencers are snapping selfies in the mirror, but these aren’t just any old mirror selfies.
Instead, influencers seem to be making use of unique mirrors. For instance, ornate vintage style mirrors seem to be popular, along with oval and circular shapes.
In these cases, it’s almost like you’re adding a frame to your selfie, making it much more interesting to look at than just your standard square.
4) Multiple people
Do you have multiple people that you want to get into your selfie? While we all try to get these shots, without fail, whoever is holding the camera always ends up getting the short end of the stick. The camera holder is either cut off, at the most unflattering angle, or they’re not smiling because they’re focusing so hard on the shot.
Don’t put your friends in these positions. Instead, suggest taking a mirror selfie. This way everyone can be in the shot and nobody has to contort their body to some insane angle to feel good about themselves. Seems pretty fair to me.
The Bottom Line: Is the Traditional Selfie or The Mirror Selfie Better?
The selfie vs mirror selfie debate is not complicated, so let's keep it simple and straight to the point: neither selfie is better. You need to judge the situation on your own.
If you’re by yourself, you don’t need the background shown, you have good lighting, and getting up close and personal doesn’t have you shaking in your boots, the traditional selfie is probably your best bet.
On the other hand, if you want to show off your outfit, you have a cool background, a unique mirror, or multiple people in the pic, you’ll likely be better off with the mirror selfie.
But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Try out various shots and angles because when it comes to the art of mastering the selfie, it’s all about experimentation.
Let’s get snapping.