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So I'm trying to model using a background image and I really need the front face of the image to be facing the same direction as the z axis.

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  • $\begingroup$ From your quite short description it seems that you'd like to see background image in the Top Ortho preset view (Numpad7). Setup the background image properly (image settings > Axis > Top or Bottom) or add image empty or Image as Plane. See blender.stackexchange.com/questions/118/… $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 3 '17 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ you can make the background image appear only in a specific axis. By default is set to all views but you can make it be top, bottom, front, back, left right or camera. $\endgroup$ – user1853 Feb 3 '17 at 23:09
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After adding the background image to the 3D view simply change the axis the image is displayed on.

background image settings

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