When it comes to portraits, the slightest change in posing can dramatically change the feel and look of the overall image. It is normal for people to sit with their heads further back, which does not make for an engaging portrait. One of the most simple shifts in your subject’s head position can change everything.

After the subject’s body is positioned, direct them to push their chin forward, and slightly down. Be sure not to direct them to tilt too far down, unless you would like them to look up through their lashes, which creates a bit more of an intimate portrait. When using this technique on men, have them push their chin forward but not down, unless you really need to define their jaw line.

This cropped, side-by-side image illustrates the dramatic difference pushing the chin forward and tilting the head down can make.

In the images above, my camera’s position never moved. After directing the subject to move her chin forward and down, I then had her tilt her torso toward the camera just a tiny bit. As you can see in the above image, the result was a more engaging photo. There is strong engagement in the eyes, a more flattering face shape, and better separation between the chin and neck. It’s a very subtle shift but can take your portraits to the next level.