I test a lot of beauty products and give advice to other women about my experience. I would like to take a photo of me looking in the mirror using the products. So basically the picture will show the back of my head in the foreground and my reflection in the background. How can I do this without the camera showing in the picture? I can't afford any expensive editing software to do tricks. I see this kind of photography in beauty type blogs and in wedding photos. Any help you can offer would be great. Thank you.
How can I do this without the camera showing in the picture?
Angles. Imagine a line running down the center of the mirror Stand to one side of the mirror and face the center line. Have someone else stand in the corresponding position on the other side of the line, also looking at the center of the mirror. You'll see the other person, and they'll see you but neither of you see yourselves.
Now, pretend that you're the camera and the other person is you; start to play with the angles. You don't have to be placed symmetrically about the center line -- doing that first just gives you a good starting point and illustrates that it's easy to take the camera (represented by you) out of the photo. So have the other person (who is playing you) move in front of the mirror, looking straight into it. Can you see their face as well as the back of their head? Adjust your position and theirs until you've got something that works. Then get your camera out, look through the viewfinder, and make any further adjustments. Once you've got it figured out, mark the spots.
Angles work vertically, too, of course: you can position the camera above your head looking down into the mirror, again taking the camera out of the mirror image.
Hide the camera. Sometimes you can't get the shot you want without the camera being in the photo. For example, if you want the frame of the mirror to be straight in the photo, the camera will have to be placed in line with the mirror (unless you have a tilt-shift lens, which you probably don't). If you can't get the camera out of the frame, then you can often hide it in a dark part of the photo. Cut a hole in some black cloth so that only the lens peeks through, and make sure that whatever is behind the camera is also black. Or, hide the camera inside some enclosure that has an opening in the side, so that the camera is in darkness and invisible in the image in the mirror. You can also use a long lens so that the camera can be placed farther away from the mirror and therefore appears much smaller.
One of possible setups is illustrated with this image:
To take this photo one needs to place camera off-side. Depending on how important the scene is you may cut almost everything and also place camera further from the mirror and use objective with bigger focal length to achieve similar size of head and it's reflection. A model can also stay closer to the mirror and the camera may be placed higher for shoulders to not obscure the reflection.