Katie Thompson’s Shattered Mirror Portraits | Profoto (CA)

Katie Thompson’s Shattered Mirror Portraits

30 January, 2013

Written by: M. Gertz

Katie Thompson is a fashion and portrait photographer working between Chicago, Illinois and Rochester, New York. Her photography is whimsical, imaginative, sometimes darkly humorous, and always beautifully lit. Here, she shares some beauty shots, with a reflective twist.


This shot was done as part of a series of images I’ve been doing that use mirrors and reflections. I’ve always been interested in the idea of self-perception and body image, so I’ve been experimenting with different ways of visually showing that concept. In these images I wanted to show a distorted perception so I took a more minimalistic approach and used carefully placed mirrors to reflect the woman’s face. I’m really interested in fashion and beauty photography so I wanted to create something that was still beautiful but had at least the hint of a darker undertone.

The setup and creation of these shots was pretty simple. I found some different sizes of round mirrors along with a mirror I could shatter, and I glued them to a white board. To get the distortion I offset the mirrors slightly on top of each other. I shot into the mirrors standing directly next to the model.



Most of my work has traditionally been on the darker side, but I’ve recently been trying to experiment with lighting and using more high-key light. I knew I wanted the light to be soft so I used a Profoto Softbox 3’ Octa with an Acute2/D4 head as my main light. I love this modifier because it’s small and easy to set up and also gives a really nice soft but still directional light. For fill and my background light I used 2 Acute2/D4 heads with reflectors aimed at the white studio walls. I used a D4 pack and triggered the lights with a PocketWizard.


One thing I love about the D4 pack is the built-in radio slave. It’s really convenient when all I need is a single PocketWizard on my camera to fire the strobes. I choose to use Profoto gear also because of the ease of use. This shot was a simple setup and the design of both the modifiers and the pack allowed me to get these shots done quick and exactly how I’d pictured them.

To see more of Katie Thompson’s work (including more mirror portraits), check out her site, find her on Flickr, and connect with her on Facebook.


All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Katie Thompson, all rights reserved; story is ©Profoto. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

Written by: M. Gertz