While beauty is subjective, a strong and defined jawline is often associated with masculinity and attractiveness for men.  As a photographer, posing and lighting techniques can enhance and define the jawline to create striking and captivating portraits. In this article, we will explore three simple steps that can be used to give men a chiseled jawline, bringing out their best features in photographs.

Regardless of which photo poses for men you’re utilizing, these tips for a chiseled jawline will apply.

Step 1: Extend the Neck

One of the key elements in enhancing a man’s jawline is to create a slightly lengthened and elongated neck. This can be achieved through simple posing and framing techniques. Ask the subject to elongate their neck by stretching it slightly forward. This helps define the jawline by creating a clean separation between the neck and the jaw.

Start by asking your subject to slightly extend his neck forward, which will tighten the skin around the jawline. Be sure the subject doesn’t extend too far forward, however, or you’ll risk making the extension visible, creating a “turtle” effect.

Step 2: Use the Shadows

Shadows play a significant role in sculpting and emphasizing facial features, including the jawline. By skillfully using shadows, you can create the illusion of a stronger and more chiseled jawline. To achieve this effect, position the lighting at an angle that casts shadows under the jawline, enhancing its contours.

This can be achieved through various lighting setups, such as using a softbox or a diffused light source to create gentle and flattering shadows. Experiment with the direction and intensity of the light to find the most complementary angles for your subject’s face.

Turn the subject’s chin into the light to place the broad side of the jaw into shadow, which will narrow the face and help define the jawline.

Step 3: Adjust the Chin up or Down

The positioning of the chin can dramatically alter the appearance of a man’s jawline in a photograph. Slight adjustments in the chin’s angle can make a considerable difference in how defined the jawline appears. For a more chiseled jawline, have the subject tilt their chin slightly downwards. This accentuates the jawline and gives it a more defined and powerful look.

On the other hand, angling the chin slightly upwards can elongate the neck further and create a sophisticated and elegant appearance. Experiment with different chin positions while taking the shots, and let your subject make subtle adjustments to find the most flattering angle.

When the angle and lighting come together and the chin is in place, finish up by directing the subject into the right expression, which should fit the mood of the image you’re capturing. Don’t make the subject laugh, for example, if the image is dark and dramatic, unless you’re purposely aiming to capture such a juxtaposition.

See the Results

Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 50mm f/1.2 at f/1.2, 1/500, ISO 100

If we look at before and after images, the impact of making simple adjustments becomes apparent. All we did was adjust the pose and angle of our subject while all of our camera and lighting settings have remained constant. Now, take this simple technique and get out there and shoot!


A chiseled jawline can significantly enhance a man’s appearance in photographs, exuding confidence and charisma. With the right techniques, photographers can accentuate the jawline and create striking portraits that capture the essence of masculinity. By extending the neck, using shadows effectively, and adjusting the chin, photographers can help men achieve that coveted chiseled jawline effortlessly.

As a photographer, mastering these simple steps will not only enhance your subjects’ facial features but also elevate the overall quality of your portraits. Remember to communicate and collaborate with your subjects, as their comfort and confidence play a crucial role in achieving the desired results. With practice and creativity, you can add a touch of allure and magnetism to your male portraits, highlighting their chiseled jawlines with finesse.

Stay tuned for more simple & effective photography tips & tricks in our Minute Photography series, and don’t forget that you can find more of the best education in photography, from mastering manual mode to lighting and posing your subjects, at SLR Lounge Premium.