We’ve all had those self-critical clients who just want you to use your “magic” and make them look better than they see themselves. Whether photographing a model or a businessperson, if  you are shooting headshots you are flexing your expertise so that your subject can put their best foot forward in their profession. Well, in this oldie but goodie video, Peter Hurley lets us in on his big secret for shedding the ten pounds the camera supposedly packs on: to Hurley, it’s all about the JAW.

Watch Peter Hurley’s, “It’s All About the Jaw!”

No one wants to be stuck with a double-chin, certainly, but in taking posture to the other extreme with Hurley’s “forehead out and down” technique to tighten the skin over the jaw,we can see the strength and separation created, and the nice shadows that wrap around the jawline. Slight adjustment, but big difference in appearance!

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[REWIND: How to Look Better in Photos | Mastering The Squinch]

As a former model himself, Peter Hurley shares many directorial gems in this video blog, and I would encourage you to look past the simplicity of the posing suggestion and take note of the client relation tips he reveals along the way. Here are some that I found helpful:

How to Ask Our Subjects to “Feel Weird to Look Good”

  1.  Make the request clear: you want their forehead out and down (talking chins can confuse).
  2. They probably still won’t get it: So, demonstrate the pose yourself and have a good laugh at the awkwardness (photos of your subject laughing is always a bonus).
  3. Stay in the subtleties: Keep it relaxed, and make sure they stand up straight rather than leaning toward or away from camera. This direction is for the head, not the shoulders.
  4.  Finally, prove it to them. Show them their pictures so they can see the difference and believe you when you say looking good is worth feeling weird for! After all, if the best pose was to stand like a normal human being, than what would they need us for?

To see more of Peter Hurley’s tips on mastering the headshot, check out the Peter Hurley Headshot DVD.

Have you utilized Hurley’s posing in the past, getting your clients to jut that jaw for the camera? What tricks do you find most helpful when asking your clients to pose outside of their comfort zone? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.