There have been a few recent notable examples of this (by people famous for being famous [warning, audio], but the researchers found that head-tilting in pictures dates back to medieval paintings. They suggest that it's a submissive gesture:
This finding supports the idea that head canting is strongly connected with the expression of submission, appeasement, ingratiation, and request for protection... In contrast, in paintings portraying nobles, professionals, and artists, head canting was minimal or absent.This is a little disconcerting, since I seem to recall tilting my head in, oh, one or two photos. Let's look at the photographic evidence from some of my Flickr pics -- here's me at the Vaynerchuk-Scoble event at 1223 in July:
OK, maybe I'm just trying to snuggle up next to JC. How about a solo shot? (In formal wear, to boot):
And with company:
Getting laid off from that company:
With Fark's Drew Curtis:
Next to the Wienermobile:
Wearing a hat:
Next to someone wearing a hat:
So, it appears that I'm a chronic, serial, unrepentant head-tilter.
(And this is just a small selection, with just the photos where I'm not explicitly trying to fit into the picture, or taking a photo of myself.)
Maybe I have an equilibrium problem (I note that alcohol is involved in most of these photos).
However, I think it's mostly because I'm trying to get closer to the person I'm next to. This could be because I'm an emotional basket case; alternately, it could be because I'm usually shorter than the person I'm next to.
I wonder what the researchers have to say about Mouth-Open Girl.