The Secret To A Great Headshot Pose: 'Chin Forward and Down'

Every client that sits on my posing stool at The Headshot Studio will hear the same phrase come from my mouth: "Can you put your chin forward and down for me?". After the initial confused expression from my client they start to understand what I mean once I show them on the back of my camera, the difference this simple action can make to a headshot or portrait. This move basically accentuates the jawline and eliminates double chins, and always looks great. Pretty much every headshot on these pages uses this method.

 This headshot was taken while testing my lighting setup without any direction from me - Far too much neck on show.

This headshot was taken while testing my lighting setup without any direction from me - Far too much neck on show.

 This headshot was taken with full direction and posing from me with chin forward and down. The camera is in the same position.

This headshot was taken with full direction and posing from me with chin forward and down. The camera is in the same position.

With selfies, we have been conditioned to position our heads and tilt our neck up as high as we can, and although in most situations it removes the double chin, it doesn't look natural and a professional headshot using this position would look bizarre to say the least! We converse and usually view other faces at the same level as our own and a professional headshot should reflect that.

 Taking one for the team here - This selfie of myself taken on my phone is in the elevated position that is really popular. While it may seem flattering, the angle is not natural as we normally interact with each other at eye level...

Taking one for the team here - This selfie of myself taken on my phone is in the elevated position that is really popular. While it may seem flattering, the angle is not natural as we normally interact with each other at eye level...

 Taken with the same phone, this selfie is more at eye level with the chin down. Note: I hate taking selfies.

Taken with the same phone, this selfie is more at eye level with the chin down. Note: I hate taking selfies.

At our headshot sessions, I usually take a few test shots while I perfect my lighting without giving any direction and its interesting to see what positions my clients believe would be best - more times than not, they default to tilting their chins up (I would've done the exact same thing before I discovered this posing technique). Once I have sorted my lighting and give direction and posing advice, its fun to show my clients the difference just tilting their chin forward and down can make.

I discovered this technique from renowned American Portrait Photographer, Sue Bryce, and the pose has been widely adopted by other portrait and headshot photographers across the globe. Another great way of explaining it is to imagine there is a piece of string attached to your chin and it is being pulled down.

While the traditional selfie pose has a style of its own and its place on social media, websites such as LinkedIn require that professional edge, an edge that can only be achieved with a professional portrait and posing achieved, in part, with 4 simple words: Chin forward and down.

Thank you so much for reading, if you're ready to drop that chin and step into our studio for that professional headshot you've been meaning to get, drop us an email or fill in the form below and lets make it happen!

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