How to capture mirrored selfies on iPhone and iPad

Mirrored iPhone selfies - hero image

Fans of iPhone photography have long complained about the Camera app saving un-mirrored selfies. It’s confusing because the viewfinder displays a mirrored image. Thankfully, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 let you revert this behavior. As a result, your photographs now reflect the front camera preview in the viewfinder. Here’s how to take mirrored iPhone selfies.

Why are your selfies flipped?

It’s taken quite a few number of years, but Apple has finally added a mirroring toggle to your camera settings. Now you can choose between taking mirrored or un-mirrored photos with the front-facing camera. This useful new setting is available on any iPhone and iPod touch devices with the iOS 14 software, as well as on iPads that are compatible with the iPadOS 14 update.

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But why does the iPhone viewfinder show a mirrored image in the first place? The simple answer is that before selfies came along, we were all used to seeing ourselves mirrored in mirrors and other surfaces that produce reflections with left and right reversed.

The viewfinder in the Camera app simply displays what we’re accustomed to seeing.

Mirrored iPhone selfies - regular non-flipped image taken with the rear camera
Photos taken with the rear camera are always shown in the viewfinder and saved to Photos un-mirrored

Before iOS 14, saved images taken with the front camera were returned to their original, unflipped composition. As a result, you got precisely what the camera saw at the moment you took the photo rather than what you saw through the viewfinder, which wasn’t ideal.

Mirroring selfies manually

In iOS 13 and earlier, it was possible to manually mirror your selfies after the fact. You could do that quite easily with the editing tools in the Photos app. You’d typically invoke the Crop tool and hit the top-left icon resembling a pair of triangles to flip any saved selfie.

TUTORIAL: How to preserve your iPhone camera settings

You can still mirror selfies manually, but iOS and iPadOS 14 bring a handy new toggle that lets you configure Camera to save your selfies mirrored to match the front camera preview.

Follow along with our tutorial embedded right ahead as we show you how to change your iPhone’s default behavior so that the Camera app saves your selfies correctly.

How to take mirrored selfies on iPhone & iPad

Follow these steps to take mirrored selfies with your iPhone or iPad camera:

  1. Open Settings on your device.
  2. Choose Camera from the root list.
  3. Slide the Mirror Front Camera switch to the ON position below the heading Composition.

From that point onward, the Camera app will save mirrored selfies.

Mirrored iPhone selfies - the Mirror Front Camera option enabled and highlighted in Camera settings
Mirrored selfies reflect the front camera preview

In other words, a photo you take of yourself using the front-facing camera will now match what you saw through the viewfinder when you took that selfie rather than being saved un-flipped.

50 major new features in iOS 14

For a quick overview of the 50 headline new iPhone and iPod touch features introduced with iOS 14, be sure to watch our hands-on video walkthrough right ahead.

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