Introduction: Self-Portrait Camera Mirror

About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building out…
Inspired by Samsung's new Dual View TL220 digital camera that has a second LCD screen on the front so you can see yourself when you snap your own picture, I velcroed a small mirror to my existing digital camera and saved over 300 bucks!

When I thought about how many pictures I have taken of myself while holding the camera at arms length, I realized that a feature that would allow you to see what you're shooting would actually be pretty darn useful.  

The mirror shows exactly what's in the center of the photo, so as long as I can see a nose or an eye in the mirror when taking a self portrait, I can be pretty sure that the photo will come out well situated.  Bye bye half-head self portrait photos!

Step 1: Inspired by Samsung

Way to go Samsung - this is a good idea!  But, since I've already got a digital camera that meets my needs and hasn't broken *yet*, I thought I'd take 5 minutes and 2 bucks and modify my existing camera to have the same functionality using some old school technology - mirrors baby, mirrors.

Step 2: Materials

This project is dead simple:
  • Digital Camera
  • Sticky backed Velcro
  • Small 1" - 2" mirror (convex is best, flat is ok, concave w/magnification is no good)
Small mirrors are everywhere.  Check out mirrors from compacts and make up.  The one I liked best was from an "Inspection Mirror" made by "General Tools" bought for 2 bucks from a hardware store.

Step 3: Liberate Mirror

Unscrew the wingnut and liberate the mirror from the handle.  Then, pry the little bracket off of the back of the mirror using your hands or a pliers.  Careful, don't break the mirror.

Step 4: Flatten the Back

The bracket leaves two little bumps on the back of the mirror.  Since the mirror has got to lay perfectly flat on the camera body to work, use the pliers to squash the bumps down and make it smooth.

Step 5: Stick Velcro

Take one piece of the sticky backed Velcro and attach it to the camera just below the lens.  Take the other piece of Velcro and attach it to the back of the mirror.  Press firmly.

Step 6: Attach Mirror

Attach the mirror to the camera.

Step 7: Use

The reflection in the mirror isn't nearly as big as the entire field that will be captured in the photo, so I just use it to target the center of the image, making sure that my self portrait captures the most important stuff - ME, or me and my loved ones/friends.

We've all seen bad examples of how bad self portraits can be, where half of someone's face get's chopped off.  The images below are of some of the Instructables Staff testing the self portrait mirror out, and as you can see, the result look pretty good!