i've been teaching private photography classes lately. here is one of my current favorite portrait techniques.
have your subject sit and look right up into your lens while you stand above. shoot with an extremely narrow depth of field. manually focus on the eyes. make sure you're not focusing on the nose or the ears!
this perspective is flattering to the subject, while allowing the photographer to include hints of information in the background.
works like a charm. even with me. i happen to be incredibly unphotogenic. it's true and i'm ok with it. it's like having brown eyes. it is just this way. but every once in awhile, someone will make a nice picture of me.
i'm so proud of my student for many things, including this image of yours truly!