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A Slimming Posing Technique: Chins Down and Shoot From Above


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When photographing women of almost any age, we want them to look their best and feel better about themselves when they leave the shoot than before they came.

There are a number of lighting tricks and posing styles we can use to help make our subjects feel and look their best.

For today’s post I will be discussing chins.  Nobody wants a double chin, at least nobody I know of.  And if they have one, they likely do not want it obvious in photos.  If posed incorrectly of from an unflattering position, a photographer can actually give the appearance of a double chin on someone who does not have one.

To minimize excess chins or to make sure we do not stick one on someone there are 2 helpful tips.

  1. Chin Down – when shooting, constantly tell your subject to tilt their chin down a bit. They will not know why you are saying this, nor do you need to tell them. Just say it as naturally as you would asking them to look or tilt to the right or left.  An inch makes a HUGE difference.
  2. Get above your subject and shoot slightly down on them.  This helps give an overall slimming effect too.  So if you are blessed with height, this may happen naturally for you.  I am 5’2” so for me to get height, you will see me on step stools, steps, or even climbing up on chairs.  Anything to get about a foot higher than the subject.  This is not always possible though.  And in those cases I rely on #1.

In the 1st photo, I was lower than her and chin not down.  In the second photo you can see she was tilting her head back (artsy but not so flattering).  And then the 3rd photo – perfect facial shape and defined chin.  As you can see my model was not heavy at all, but she did have a round shaped face.  Trust me, she will want number 3 for her friends to see on Facebook, not 1 or 2.

chinup-thumb A Slimming Posing Technique: Chins Down and Shoot From Above Photography Tips

There are times were you can break both these rules.  If for example your subject is super slim, you may do the reverse.  Also when trying to get an artistic style – you may actually shoot from way low instead. You can get away with this more on wide angle shots.  You can see in the second shot I am way lower than her yet it works! So rules can be broken…

bluedress-thumb A Slimming Posing Technique: Chins Down and Shoot From Above Photography Tips

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  1. Krista on August 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

    You can laugh, but I’ve heard that actually asking them to stick their chin out (or forward) can reduce the unwanted second chin as well. Oh, and something about sticking your tongue to the roof of your mouth constricts the muscle under the chin, too. Have you tried either of these? Any photographer insights on these recommendations?

  2. DaniGirl on August 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    So simple — love this!

  3. Janete on August 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    wow, the 3 chin up? shots are amazing. i can’t believe they are the same woman! #3 definately is beautiful. it’s so simple to do 🙂

  4. Deborah Farver on August 20, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks and WOW what a difference that made. She looks great in the last picture.

  5. Rose on August 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Well now, who couldn’t use this tip?? haha I actually saw on an episode of friends they were talking about getting a great driver’s license photo, and they said chin down, and turn your head 10% to the side (so slightly off center). I use this and I think it works!! Definitely chin down! And I think it was friends…Great photos!

  6. Marissa Rodriguez on August 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Great tips! They really do make a big difference! Thank you! 🙂

  7. Jeanette Verster on August 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Very cool tips!

  8. Ruth Emerson on August 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve used this plenty of times and it definitely works! I must comment……love your image Jodi in the glass of the door on photo #1 of her in the long dress!!!!!

  9. arlene david on August 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    useful tip…love this cause i have big arms ang have big bulge in the stomach

  10. Bob Towery on August 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Great technique, excellent results. Well done and thanks for sharing.

  11. burning calories on August 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, very great tips!!! Photo #3 looks so beautiful… You really make a big difference between these photos! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Slimming Clubs on August 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Some great tips. The 3rd photo with her chin down looks significantly better than the first two!

  13. Indianapolis Wedding Photographer on September 29, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Chin Down works so well not just because of the “slimming” effect, but it forces good should posture as well. Go ahead try to slumping shoulders with your chin down. I love the wide angle shot from down low. There are so many photographers that would say that is the kiss of death for a stout-gal-photo. You make work! As a stout gal myself I am very aware of body position when I shoot. Great Tips!

  14. bananaslugs on March 8, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Good posing advice in general but why the focus on gender/women? No MAN wants to have a double chin either.

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