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Face Value Project: Portrait using a two-way mirror system by Juan Luis Garcia

11/06/2012 ISO 1200 Magazine 2 Comments

Earline Coleman expresses her thoughts on the mirror portrait experience. Photographed on October 4, 2012 in Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, LA

FACE VALUE is an ongoing art photography series of mirror portraits. Over 250 people in several states have participated so far with the goal of photographing 500 individuals across the U.S.

Peleg Top expresses his thoughts on the mirror portrait experience. Photographed on November 2, 2012 in Angelino Heights Los Angeles, CA.

A “mirror portrait” is a photo of someone looking at themselves through a two-way mirror. The photo is then flipped to reveal their reflection so we can see them as they see themselves.

The face is one of our most important tools for communication. Each face says so much about a person but it’s amazing how our self-perception can differ from those around us.

The series is an opportunity for those who are photographed often to experience a unique method of portraiture and for those who are rarely photographed to experience the sensation of being in front of a camera (although they can’t actually see it!).

The experience of being photographed this way has been described as profound, therapeutic, restorative, stimulating, introspective, personal, challenging, emotional, confrontational, but always interesting and enjoyable. You never know how you’ll feel when you stare into your own eyes.


  • Photograph a diverse group of 500 individuals and show their portrait in a truly unique and honest way.
  • Explore our self-perceptions and show how connected we all are as humans.
  • Celebrate our universal and individual beauty through intimate portraits.
  • Create an exhibition and book once all 500 people have been photographed!

  • Russell Simmon’s reflection
    “I think I look pretty good for a 54 year old. I can tell when I’m not eating right by my skin complexion.”

    Participants ranging from 3 months to 82 years old include cancer survivors, burn victims, heavily tattooed people, priests, millionaires, addicts, professors, physicians, psychotherapists, adult film stars, politicians, poets, musicians, beauty models, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, artist Shepard Fairey, rock legend Gene Simmons, director Brett Ratner, entertainment personality Liz Hernandez, author Rachel Kushner, gallerist Stephen Cohen, actress Luenell, photographer Glen E. Friedman, fashion designer Andy Hilfiger, Occupy Wall St.’s Jesse LaGreca, makeover messiah Daniel DiCriscio, Last Comic Standing winner Felipe Esparza, NBC’s The Voice contestant Holly Brewer.



    Award-winning photographer, Juan Luis Garcia, has an obsession with faces that has driven him to travel around the world from Australia to Dubai to Cuba portraying the people he encounters. His debut photo exhibition and monograph, CUBA y CUBANS: Photographs by Juan Luis Garcia, has garnered international acclaim and was awarded “’s Book of the Week”. Juan Luis’ photographs have been published world-wide on magazine covers, newspapers, TV campaigns, fashion catalogs, cd covers, fine art photography catalogs, and more.

    He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and neighbors. Click here to view his photography portfolio.


    Behind the Scenes photos and video stills courtesy of: Rafael Cardenas / Joris Debeij / Alvin Charles / Keu Reyes / Rene Aguirre

    Text, images and videos via

    To see pictures, more information and behind the scenes visit


    Thanks for the feature! Just want to clarify these are not self-portraits though. I am behind the mirror shooting the photos as the participants are looking at the mirror.

    Thanks Juan, I have changed the title. Great job.