I'd suggest using the CameraOffsetDefault controller in the Advanced Menu under the Debug Settings. This will allow you to place the camera in any position around yourself while still maintaining your avatar as the desired focal point. I'm pretty sure that the numbers are all relative to the position of the head but I'm not 100% positive on this.
If your Advanced Menu isn't already open in your viewer, you can enable it by clicking Ctrl-Alt-D on a PC or Option-Ctrl-D on a Mac. Once this is open, scroll down to the Debug Settings option and this will open up a small input window with a drop down menu full of lots of options. You can either use the menu to scroll through to CameraOffsetDefault or you can simply type that exactly into the input field. This will cause the X, Y and Z coordinates of the camera position to now be available for change in your window.
The default settings (which you can easily reset when you're finished with the 'Reset to default' button) are as follows:
X = -3.00 (this means the camera is three meters behind you)
Y = 0.00 (this means the camera is directly behind you and not off to the sides at all)
Z = 0.75 (this means that the camera is three quarters of a meter above your head)
So, to get the camera in front of you at chest level, you need to start out by making the X value a positive number. Increasing this value will increase the distance from your character but anything in the 3.00 to 5.00 range will give you a nice distance. You can leave the Y value alone for a head on shot but you can also get some nice angled footage by playing with this value too. For the Z value, I'd try experimenting with anything in the 0.00 to -0.75 range but it sounds like maybe -0.25 to -0.50 or so is what you're after. But play around with the numbers to whatever works best for you... these are only some basic suggestions.
It would be nice if you could change these settings on the fly (like you can with other camera controls) but unfortunately you'll need to restart your viewer after making any changes to the camera offset settings in order for them to take place. Also, it can be a bit tricky to walk around like this since basically you're walking backwards in the sense that you can't see where you're going. You can cam out first to see where you need to go or, what I like to do, is go the end point of my desired shot then walk backwards to the starting point. Now you'll be able to walk forward again with the confidence of knowing that you'll end up at the desired end point without having to turn or guess. That works for me anyway.
I hope this helps and have fun!