How to Get Rid of a Double Chin. Portrait Photography Posing Tips

Turkey Neck – Meatbeard – neck spam – gwaddle
– meat scarf – cowsaddle – chin dumpling or chinsulation. What ever you want to call them – double or
triple chins are not flattering and can make your subject appear much heavier than they
really are. I’ve got some killer tips to help you thin
the chin and instantly take weight off your subject. Stay tuned! Hey gang! My name is Joe Edelman and my mission is to
help photographers like YOU to develop a solid understanding of the HOWS & WHYS behind great
photography so that you can achieve your goals as a photographer. I get loads of requests to do posing videos
and the reason I have avoided it for so long is that photographers tend to be lazy – they
want a simple solution to a complex problem and there is really no simple solution for
posing unless you like your subjects to look stiff and uncomfortable. So instead of a bunch of razzle dazzle with
pretty models who already know what they are doing – it’s just me in the video because
I‘d rather break it down for you and teach you a little about anatomy, body language,
camera angles, and lighting so that you learn to SEE the things that will ruin your shots
and so that you have an idea of how to fix them. My hope is that you will watch and listen
and then try these things yourself. Until you try them – you really haven’t
learned them. So look for more of these short posing tips
spread out over the next few months. If there are things that YOU struggle with
in your poses… be sure to comment below and I’ll try to help you out in a future video. All of those nicknames btw – I didn’t make
them up, so please don’t send me hate mail. They are all listed in the Urban Thesaurus
along with a bunch more that I can’t repeat on YouTube! Ok – back to the double chins… A double chin is a nightmare to photograph
because it often makes people look heavier than they really are – even skinny people
can get double chins. They are also tough because pretty much everybody
that has one – hates it and is VERY aware of it when they have their picture taken. The heavier the person is – the more impossible
it can become to eliminate or hide the extra chin. Let’s look at the tips… Simply have your subject push their chin forward. This will tighten the skin on the neck and
help to thin the double chin. Now here is the catch… you can’t just
tell your subject to stretch their neck or to push it forward – that rarely works. For some reason, with most people if you tell
them to push their chin forward – they will push it forward and up at the same time. Not only does this look like they are looking
down at you but you’ll be shooting up their nostrils. So when I am giving a subject directions – here
is how it goes… “That looks awesome. Ok. I’m gonna ask you to do something that’s
a little different. I want you just a tiny little bit – were talking
like this much right – I want you to push your chin forward for me and kinda of hold
it out there So its like literally like just that much alright? Not a lot – just a little. Yeah, yeah that’s it. Great, great good. Really good. A little happier nice!” And then no matter how well they do it – believe
me – even after showing them – a lot of people will still lift their chin – I will shoot
off a bunch of frames – tell them they are doing great and then I will ask them to relax
and say: “Awesome – alright relax for a second – were
gonna go one more round. I know this chin push thing is a little weird. I promise you that with the lighting I am
using it brings a little bit more definition to the jaw line and it looks amazing – ok. So feels weird – looks great. Let’s try it one more time – do the chin
push for me – just a little bit yep thats it – keep it nice and level. Here we go – good – that’s it – really good
energy – happy yeah that’s it – awesome! Notice how when I give the directions, I take
the camera away from my face and make eye contact – I lean in – I do the task myself
– I give them positive feedback – in other words – I keep my subject engaged. Also, just in case you have never tried doing
this yourself in front of a camera… understand that it feels awkward. Don’t leave your subject guessing because
the more they feel awkward – the more they become tense and then it shows in their body
language and facial expressions. I acknowledged that I am asking them to do
something that feels awkward and then reassured them that it’s going to look great! In addition to the chin – with some subjects
it helps to ask them to push their shoulders back and then push the chin forward. Go ahead and try this yourself – it is even
more awkward and takes more work – so this should be a last resort and if you do use
this technique – don’t make your subject do it for more than about 15 seconds at a
time so that they don’t get stiff. It’s better to shoot a few frames – let
them relax for a few seconds and then start over – you’ll keep the body language much
more relaxed this way. Frequently I will either raise my camera angle
to slightly above their eyes or ask them to push forward and lower the chin just a tiny
little bit. That brings me to the second tip. Any time you are photographing a subject who
is a little or a lot overweight – shooting from a higher camera angle will help to thin
their body. This is because you are essentially creating
an optical illusion by putting their head closer to the camera and their body further
away. Kind of the same way we figure out which is
the best side of a persons face. Also when your subject lifts their chin towards
the camera – that tightens the neck muscles and has a thinning effect Understand that I am not suggesting extreme
angles otherwise you just make your subject look like a caricature. I am talking about moving just a little above
your subject. Now I know – some of you want me to say that
it should be 6” or a foot or two feet – there is no rule – you have to learn to pay attention
to how it makes your subject look. In other words – go practice. Oh – one other little trick if you are shooting
from above – having your subject tilt their head just a little bit while the chin is pushed
forward will also help to hide the extra chin. If you’re working with a makeup artist – which
you should be if you really want to do great work… a make-up artist can contour the jaw
line and darken the extra chin to make it appear thinner. A darker shade of powder, foundation or bronzer
will make the chin appear to recede. Then a little highlighter on the tip of the
chin will make it seem to pop forward. Again – its not a cure – it won’t make the
extra chin disappear completely – but every little bit helps. A little hair tip. With women that have long hair – having their
hair up or pushed back or better yet behind the shoulders will also help thin the neck. You can also have your subject wear a high
collar. I mentioned in the beginning of the video
that even skinny people get double chins. This is the story of what I call the Chin
Tuckers. The easiest way to figure out if you are working
with a chin tucker is to simply ask your subject to lower their chin. When they do it – they will do it one of two
ways… Some people smoothly lower their chin and
it moves slightly forward in the process. Other people actually pull the chin in to
lower it – in other words they tuck it. This will almost always create a double chin. In addition to the double chin – the body
language is off because the person is essentially pulling away from the camera – ideally you
want their face and body to feel like it is moving towards and welcoming the camera. The solution – is easy – kind of. Just like I did in the first tip explain to
them that you need the chin to travel forward… “Awesome – great relax for a second. Ok – this time when we lower the chin – I
want to do something a little different. So watch me. Just a tiny little bit when you drop your
chin – be careful not to go like this. But what I want you to do is drop the chin
forward and down. So its almost gonna feel like you are stretching
your chin out and dropping down. I know that feels kinda weird, but I promise
you with the lighting that I’m using it really brings out the definition in your jawline
– it’s gonna make everything look great. Ok. So lets try it again – little push forward
– chin drop – awesome thats it here we go good happy great energy. good your good. Understand though that since they are a natural
Chin tucker – over the course of 15 – 30 seconds while you are shooting they will unconsciously
begin to tuck their chin – because it feels more natural to them. When that happens. Give them a break- remind them that you need
it to go forward and start again. Some chin tuckers actually have a very hard
time keeping their chin out. In this situation you can tweak your pose
to use anatomy to your advantage. Instead of just having the subject sit on
a stool like you see here. Set up a second stool or chair for them to
lean on. The idea is for them to have to lean their
body slightly forward. If you try this even sitting at your desk
watching this video – if you lean your body forward and rest on your hand or elbow – your
chin automatically pushes forward and it is actually harder you to tuck your chin. The bonus to this posture is that you get
a really nice diagonal line from the shoulders which enhances the pose and composition of
your shot. Now I am not a big fan of altering my lighting
to hide a double chin – because more often than not you will be working with lighting
that is not flattering for the rest of the image. So the only tips I will give you for lighting
– avoid clamshell lighting where you will have light coming from below your subject
– I prefer to keep my light above and if I am photographing someone with a double chin
I may tend to set my lights slightly – not a lot – just slightly higher than usual. So hopefully you are getting little better
sense of why I don’t agree with teaching “poses” or rules for poses. Poses are STIFF and BORING. Basically you are taking a square peg and
making it fit into a round hole. The more you learn to pay attention to your
subjects emotions and body language – the more you learn to put yourself in your subjects
position and become a better communicator – the LESS you have to actually pose and the
more relaxed your subjects will look in your photographs. As always, I hope that gives you some ideas,
so take this idea and run with it – go practice and show me what you come up with. Until next time, Please hit that thumbs up
and subscribe so that you don’t miss any videos and don’t keep all this cool stuff
to yourself – please share it with your photography friends. Remember – photography is not a competition
– its a passion to be shared. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something
because your BEST shot – it’s your NEXT shot, so keep learning, keep thinking, keep
shooting. Adios!


  1. Martin Thomas February 4, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Who knew there were so many names for a fat neck??? Great work as always Joe! I will be able to use these tips right away!

  2. Joe Edelman February 4, 2018 at 6:11 am

    What do you struggle with when it comes to posing? Let me know here in the comments and I will do my best to address it in an upcoming Posing Tip video.

  3. DB Kelly February 4, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Joe, great video. Thanks for the tips.

  4. GoPappyGo BiteSizeTips February 4, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Thanks Joe for those great ideas. You Rock!

  5. Tom Kaszuba February 4, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Premium material.

  6. VTPSTTU February 4, 2018 at 6:57 am


    A similar topic is neck lines when the model is doing an over-the-shoulder pose. Is there a trick for getting a pretty over-the-shoulder look without getting distracting folds that spiral up her neck? 

    Regarding the chin trick, what about the paper plate trick? In this trick, the photographer puts three or four paper plates on the floor in the general direction that he/she wants the model to face. Each paper plate is a different color, say red, yellow, blue, and white. The photographer then asks the model to point her chin very subtlety at each plate when he calls that color. In the twenty or thirty seconds that the model starts to relax into a chin tuck position, the photographer can take a few shots. As soon as the model begins to relax into the tuck position, the photographer can just call out a different color.

    As an engineer, I tend to think of this drill as if filling out a spreadsheet. I'd tend to have three or four other posing ideas that I'd incorporate into each color. I might even put numbers on other paper plates and put them on the walls and ceiling. I'd ask that her eyes be pointing at a number and her chin be pointing at a color.  I'd then work through the poses as "red 1," "red 2," "red 3," "red 4," "blue 1," "blue 2," etc.. I don't imagine myself doing this with an experienced model, but if I were trying to help someone who was as inexperienced at modeling as I am at model photography, this idea might be a way to cheat through our weaknesses. 

    Okay, the paper plate trick isn't real. It's just an idea that came to me as I listened to you. 

    Here's the good personal news. I am negotiating with a model for a shoot this week. She has more outfits than I can shoot in one session because of my health issues, but she can bring a guy who is officially an escort but has enough photography interest to function as an assistant. I know that taking an assistant at the last minute isn't ideal, but amateurs, particularly amateurs with health issues, must make compromises. I'm hoping that I can stretch to three to three-and-a-half hours of shooting if the shoot comes together. If this happens, I'll be editing for a long time. 

    If this happens, I'll try to remember to get a shot of the setup so that I can participate in that contest. I won't be able to join the contest this week, but maybe I can join in the next couple of weeks.

  7. Richard Gajdowski February 4, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Joe! I took badge & org chart pics at work for a couple of years for the fun of it, and to meet the new employees. I struggled with taking flattering pictures of people with this very problem (no cosmetologists available there). Raising the lighting is a good tip. I look forward to the rest of your series. Baggy eyes are a problem for me. I suppose PS is the best solution.

  8. Carl Lilley February 4, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Great ideas Joe, will try them soon.

  9. Darren Francisco February 4, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Good tips, Joe. Excellent video. Although, I have this funny feeling that you're , actually, talking to a mannequin while directing "her" how to pose. ^_^

  10. Abe .M. Essack February 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Awesome tutorial! Great Idea & model … your Direction! 😎 👍

  11. RS February 4, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Theses free tips bring you closer to a great shot than exchanging a DX camera for a Medium format.
    Great Joe, this is where it's all about, thanks for sharing

  12. D-Mack February 4, 2018 at 8:31 am

    This is great Joe thanks.

  13. Jake Normand February 4, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for another great video Joe. Long time subscriber. Just a quick note to let you know I appreciate the high quality info and production value of your vids. Your channel is one of the best kept secrets and is criminally unsubscribed – I just don’t get it. Gear videos may be getting hits, but you’re actually making a difference and doing far more to advance art and expression with solid tips and professional techniques. Please keep holding the torch and for encouraging us to keep shooting!!!

  14. ULTRA MUC February 4, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hey joe I have tried to find a tether tools cable for the olympus omd em1 mark ii, where did you get yours and is it for the usb c or are you using an adapter?

  15. UCreations February 4, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Great tips as always!

  16. cerbenkoc February 4, 2018 at 10:35 am

    hey! Thanks for the tip! I struggle with this all the time! 🙂

  17. Jim Watts February 4, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I have been so waiting for this video, I had to some headshots last year, first time at headshots, and I had one with a double chin. Totally threw me off stride, they were very self aware as well, so I had to put on my confidence mask and try to get a rapport and make them comfortable, talk about the hardest thing I have done. Got an ok shot, they were happy. But I felt I could have done better. I'll be practicing these tips Joe. Thanks so much. Liking the explanations, for each one as well. Bloody brilliant.

  18. Roman Geber February 4, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Hahaha. Love how you give instructions to your manikin 😀

  19. Cass Woofy woo February 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Another great video Joe!

  20. Coolbuddy X February 4, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you Joe
    a subjet who is overwight what do you recommend… 30mm or 50mm maybe?

  21. John Burridge February 4, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the very solid video. Noticed in your scenarios your subject is always sitting. I find. myself shying away from seated positions as I dislike the potential for my subject scrunching up or slouching but feel like most tutorials have them sitting. Thoughts or preference?

  22. jfinite February 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Awesome tips, Joe, love the one about the additional chair!

  23. computerjantje February 4, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Great video. I love it. Thank you very much

  24. Santiago de Miguel February 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Amazing! My mother will be happy I learned these tips.

  25. Greg Wallis February 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Great advice, as usual. Chin tucking also creates a very defensive look, which can be seen by looking at a boxer who automatically puts his chin down to protect his throat, as do animals. So not only do you get a double chin but also, I suggest, a psychological pose that will always fail to engage. Keep it up, Joe!

  26. Ajax Rodriguez February 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Another great tutorial! Thanks, Joe! Demonstrating how you communicate with a subject is a bonus!

    Another posing tutorial I'd like is hand positioning. When they are on a lap, hip, shoulder, clasping or just hanging.

  27. jackie kaspern February 4, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Joe great video how about one on woman with large boo's so they not look so big.

  28. Frank Woodbery February 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    My most difficult portrait subjects are folks that don't speak English that well. They are tense and intimidated sitting in front of a camera and the big flashing lights. Any smile looks forced and unnatural. Short of a shot of alcohol, how do I get them to relax?

  29. Mark Bukumunhe February 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Part of my job is taking passport/visa photos and that pushing the face forward and sticking the chin out really does work 🙂

  30. LongTimeTTFan February 4, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Very convincing tips. And they are also easy to remember like "Turtle Stretch", "Chin Tuckers". You're very knowledgeable and eloquent. Thanks a lot.

  31. Łukasz M February 4, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    OMG! Joe! You got amazing tattoo on Your finger! Love it!

  32. Kim Dung Ho February 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Love the tips! Thank Joe!!!

  33. Karen Hilton February 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks Joe-I have this problem myself!

  34. Stephen Wampler February 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Another good video, Joe. What do you suggest for subjects that always have their eyes wide open in photos?

  35. Ls Lx February 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    When directing the subjects they usually tense up..especially the older gals and some young boys

  36. safeharbor7 February 4, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Much enjoyed Joe, thumbs up…

  37. Brian Andersen February 4, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for the tips.

  38. Matthew Furman February 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    You are a true professional. I love how you role. Keep up the great work.

  39. Impostertot February 4, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Great Joe! Just what the doctor ordered! There is not much that I have seen on You Tube about specific model guidance overall. Lots of specific hardware lighting techniques but not so much on the human interaction, if you know what I mean. These are wonderful, practical tips and thank you for including your directions to the models. Looking forward to more in this type of series.

  40. Kirk Kinnell February 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Outstanding!!! This is great!!!

  41. D. Baranovskiy February 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I don't think your model is very cooperative. Hasn't moved once 😀

  42. Scott Beers February 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Another great video. Thanks for the helpful advice!

  43. Kevin M. Gates February 4, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks, Joe!

  44. Alikour Productions LLC February 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Amazing stuff Joe! Thanks for the info! (By the way, my wife is a chin tucker from hell, lol) Been working long hours, but glad to be back and able to catch up on your videos! Much love my friend.
    -Al Khouri III

  45. zaphod Noyb February 4, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    This is great Joe, I can't imagine how many more frustrating hours of shooting I'd have to endure before discovering this for myself. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of your posing series! Thanks so much Joe!

  46. Al B February 5, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Great tips, thanks Joe!  I've heard you talk about this method before, but it's nice to have it broken down to better understand the rationale behind it.

  47. Dark Iris February 5, 2018 at 5:53 am

    You should have included some sample shots!

  48. Ata Lipsos February 5, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you! Please make more posing videos. They are awesome!

  49. neil cooper February 5, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    brilliant, thanks Joe

  50. devdas Devdas February 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Another awesome video thanks very detailed and to the point no beating about the bush with fancy hats 🤭

  51. James Lewis February 5, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I use step two a lot. This is one easy way to stretch the neck. A ladder or step stool is a great tool to have in your studio.

  52. Rob Kennedy Photography February 6, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Another great video Joe. Thanks for your effort and time 🙂

  53. britcom1 February 6, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Ha ha, this is great advice, Joe!

  54. Joe A7Rii February 6, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Great tips! Thanks Joe

  55. jhon gris February 6, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    you are the best,,,,thank you..

  56. Tony Seddon February 6, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    Loving these video's Joe.

  57. Lyn.Memories Cosplay Photography February 7, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, there were several tips that I will definitely use in future. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
    I specialized in costume photography and if the characters don't carry any weapons or accessories, it's sometimes hard to find posings, what to do with their hands etc. Maybe you can cover that topic in one of your next videos. 🙂

  58. Linc Williams February 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    great video and advice @joeedelman!

  59. Danay Machado February 8, 2018 at 2:55 am

    nice i just wish you had some to pose and take those shot to give it more of a visual

  60. A-muse February 9, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    This is perfect! I love the way you explain WHY you are doing each thing, such as WHY the turtle stretch works, and WHY you take the camera away from your face to engage with your subject. And I love that you demonstrate each step, instead of just telling us what we should do. You just gained a new subscriber!

  61. Tonia Kraakman February 9, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks Joe!

  62. Wilson Newman February 11, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Awesome video with fantastic advice. Everyone interested in taking photos of people should watch this series.

  63. Luis Salazar February 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    How about some person with thicker noses??

  64. ABHINAV SINGH February 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    hi joe . hope u r doing good. i shoot indian wedding mostly at night. how to get soft light from flash which needs to highly mobile as i shoot moments mostly. please help as it is impossible to set up umbrella swiflty. thank you

  65. Insect Jones February 24, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Great information Joe, thanks !!!!!

  66. Bob Dumon March 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Wow, really great stuff, thank you. I've heard and seen other videos about the "stick your chin out" posing, but this is the best I've seen on the subject. Excellent, thanks!

  67. Jeff Bostic March 1, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Love the video, nicely done, well demonstrated. Great advice. And nice closing comment about photography being a passion not a compotition. Thanks I look forward to watching more.

  68. James Reilly March 5, 2018 at 10:31 pm



  69. The Post Color Blog March 6, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Joe, I love your way of teaching where you not only offer suggestions, but you filmed yourself actually doing it (whether or not the model was real) it's very helpful to see how other photographers work. Thanks, as always.

  70. Luiz Eduardo Guida Valmont April 6, 2018 at 12:54 am

    "Your best shot is your next shot"

    You got another sub on this one. Well, not really, I had already subscribed at that point.

    Thanks for the video. It'll be of great great help on my next session come this Saturday.


  71. Yamakawa April 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    More great advice. Thanks for the hard work. Y

  72. Jose Diaz H April 9, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Lo menos que puedo decir es gracias, cada uno de los video que he visto, esta genial!!,

  73. zhu cloud April 12, 2018 at 5:41 am

    really good video, thanks

  74. kathy b April 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Hey, Mr. Joe………I have a unique question……..where do u shop for clothing….I Love the style shirt you wore in this video……..I have a male Senior portrait to shoot and he would look amazing in this style shirt. Thanks!

  75. Abe De La Barra June 25, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I just found you and I AM HAPPY!!! Thank God I learnt English!!! Thanks for your suggestions!!!! Éxito!

  76. Yitzchal Levi August 4, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Great tips! Todah

  77. Wayne jenkyn August 23, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Thanks Joe, you publish some great content, always so helpful.

  78. Tomáš Velecký September 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    The "smile" tattoo ( 2:55 ) on your finger is just an amazing idea, great tips btw

  79. Ketaki Dixit October 19, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    awesome awesome video …not only for photographer but also the general people ..thank u

  80. Mark Thomson November 23, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Fantastic advice 😉

  81. Anna Ferguson December 30, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Excellent tips dealing with the awkwardness of posing and your intro just made me laugh so hard Joe. I have the opposite problem. How do you deal with a chin that naturally juts out. What's the best post for them please?

  82. Fajar Sidikz February 10, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Nice tutorial, very helpful thank you

  83. TEJ BklynNY February 11, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    There's only one thing I love more than your videos, Joe. Your shirts! 👍🏾

  84. Michael Schmitt February 19, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Another great video !!! I love the lean on a chair tip !!! I have a headshot shoot next week and will definitely use that one.

  85. Howard Wong March 17, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I would see see before and after

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