Are you a photographer struggling to get the perfect pose for men? Look no further! In this article, we’ll be sharing tips from renowned photographer, on how to pose men to get the best shots possible.
As an experienced wedding portrait and fashion photographer, I’m excited to share my insights on posing men with you. My name is JERRY GHIONIS and I’ve been honing my craft for 27 years, with 20 years of teaching under my belt. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, these tips will help you capture stunning photos of men.
If you want the files used in this tutorial to follow along step-by-step, click below.
Tips on How to Pose Men: Creating Peaks and Valleys in the Male Form.
In this tutorial, I will give you tips on how to pose for men. We’re going to teach you how to go from this to this.
By the way, I have this amazing course, the portrait, a quick start. Click on the link below to download it for free.
Enjoy. So you have a guy in front of you, and you think, where do I start? Because here’s what happens when most guys are in front of your camera; they usually prefer to be photographed less than girls. Now, what he’s doing naturally is putting his hands over his crotch, which tells me that he’s covering up the most sensitive part of his body.
How to Pose Men: Understanding the Importance of Body Language and Lighting.
Now, body language will suggest that he’s feeling uncomfortable. Not that he’s feeling uncomfortable, but he’s just waiting for a photograph. Also, he’s parting his feet. I wouldn’t say I like it when feet are parted for a guy, especially. See, here’s what happens. Curves define the female form as far as the male form, and the chest and shoulders define the male form. Now, if you want to emphasize something, you push it toward the camera and the light. So, in this case, for a guy, the chest and shoulders will look great towards the camera and the waist further back. We’ll come to that in a moment. And as far as the feet are concerned, we must understand that posing starts from the feet. Okay, Even if we photograph head and shoulders, we must begin to understand what’s happening here because that’ll affect what’s happening here. So I often think of posing like architecture that we’ve got peaks and valleys. So if curves define the female form as far as the male form, if he’s standing up straight like this, nothing is going on.
There are no peaks and valleys. There’s, we often refer to posing like letters. Here is just an I; there’s a line and a dot, nothing. But what I want is a V. Okay, We often talk about that strong v, a distinct look and feel. So here’s what happens. If we turn his body on a bit of an angle, I suggest that we’ve got the lighting right over here most of the time. Most of the time, you want to turn the body of the male form towards the light.
So posing is not just understanding; you have to understand posing according to the light source. So if a light source is over here, this will make him look bigger and broader, even if he’s wearing black in this case. So now what’s going to happen is, even though he’s turned his body towards the light, I want to do this; I want to put your feet together like this. Now put all the weight on your back leg and bend that knee perfectly.
Now I want you to hang your body and do a glorified slouch. That’s it. Let’s relax too much. There we go. Turn your body towards the camera. So now, as you can see, we’ve got a v.
How to Pose Men: Enhancing Body Shape and Creating a Casual Look.
We’ve got peaks and valleys. Even that slight little bend is bringing this in. If this looks thinner, this looks wider. Now here’s the before and after. By the way, this is Jacob. I call him a Disney prince. And this is a normal 47-year-old Australian Greek American dude, okay So right now, he was like this.
- The difference between these two shots is ridiculous. He’s handsome in his way, but he has dimples to die for.
- This shot is fine, but it can’t compare to a shot like this. It makes him look more casual.
- Male icons in movies like Marlon Brando hanging on a bike or James Dean on a piece of wood in East of Eden come to mind.
- Guys, in many ways, like to hang. That is part of what we do as men, especially in this case.
Okay, now if you’ve turned your body like this and you’re turning your body towards the camera, we are looking a lot better.
Now what I want to do, too, is just, let’s just reset, let’s unravel for a second, and I want to show you guys the easiest way to pose anyone, let alone in this case, we’re talking about posing tips for men. And that is this, get your subjects to mirror you. So if you stand a bit more that way, okay, Alright, perfect.
So right now, let’s say, for example now, Jacob, we’ve only met once before. We have yet to do a little tutorial beforehand. You are still determining what I’m going to do. But if I said simply to you, mirror exactly what I do, just copy exactly what I do as if you’re looking into a mirror.
How to Pose Men: Avoiding Common Mistakes and Creating Aesthetically Pleasing Poses.
Alright, so with a playful wink and smile, we have demonstrated that actual posing and asking people to mirror you is the most effective method for teaching and conveying posing techniques.
And if you attach a humorous thought to it. So I did the good old John Travolta up and down and finger up and down. Now I’ve stopped demonizing and posing.
- The little things on the pants can look like two little penises pointing to the real thing, which is not good for the photo.
- It’s important to be conscious of this during the shoot to avoid it.
- Using relaxed language in photography can be misleading and may not result in the most aesthetically pleasing photo.
- Framing the genital area is not desirable in male photography.
we want to just put the hands in the pockets, either in or out. Now, especially if you wear pants like that, it must either be in or out. If you’re wearing jeans, you can do the good old, relaxed fists and all that. And that’s fine. So really, important.
So let me explain. See, if you over-pose a guy, he will look a little feminine, which will be an issue.
You can adjust your watch because that’s what you would do. You would adjust your cuff link. You would roll up your sleeves. You could also put your arms and arms crossed.
Or we do this if you want to look bigger and bulkier; remember, two, we will never be straight and flatfooted. We said that’s a wrong thing.
That’s going to work better for a few people. Let’s combine these ideas now. So we will turn our body towards a light source, in this case, an open garage door.
We are going to hang the body forward. We’re going to bend that knee slightly. So shake the feet out. Sometimes we can overdo it.
Okay, So bring the feet together, don’t think about it. Bend that front knee, hang the body, and lean the chest forward. So now we’ve creed that v.
How to Pose Men: Emphasizing the Right Poses and Avoiding Common Mistakes.
Let’s go a little bit, a little bit taller, depending on the body type and shape. And the face is how far you go with that particular pose.
So, for example, let’s say we have plus size guy, and again, he was setting up too straight like this, his gut’s hanging out, and there’s a double chin showing; we don’t like that.
Well, in this case, we’ll lean him way forward and then chin forward, almost like a turtle. So if we look out that way, for example, now I want you to pretend your head’s like a turtle and do this for me.
- Sometimes I over-dramatize poses, but I’ll crop out the awkwardness. If my face overlaps my neck, it shortens the length of the body part and looks better.
- Giving a guy something to do in a suit is important, as they often appreciate the idea.
So put the hands in the pockets, bend the shoulders up, and bury your chin underneath the jacket; for example, chin down a little bit.
There you go. And then turn like this. How cool does he look? Just there. Let’s come back here a little bit.
So remember, if you’re photographing a plus-size guy, you didn’t get him to emphasize the pose we did before.
So, for example, if we turn our body towards a light source like before, put our feet together. By the way, remember, we never want to get what we call pigeon toes.
Okay, draw an imaginary line between each toe, and we never want the imaginary line to ever cross over. So at the very least, we put them parallel. I like one foot, just an angle.
So, for example, I get people to shake it out, put the feet together, and then slightly bend that front knee.
Okay. Of course, with women, you will overemphasize it and do it differently, which we cover in a different episode.
But for now, let’s relax again, bring the shoulders out, hands in the pockets just for argument, and then turn the shoulders towards the camera. And now we are looking at a v.
How much you lean forward, or as I say, a glorified sludge depends on the person.
So, for example, if we had a plus-size guy where we didn’t have much of a neck, we didn’t have a narrowing point, you would need to stretch that face as far as possible.
So bring the shoulders back and then bring that chin forward.
How to Pose Men: Shortening Body Parts and Giving Them Something to Do.
Now that looks weird from this perspective, but what happens is, depending on your angle,
you can shorten the length of that neck by simply going up a bit higher.
No different than, let’s say, for me, for example, if I point my hand towards the camera here, then all my hands and my arm are covered in a circle.
But in fact, it’s that long. So with posing and with compression and with, whenever you photograph people, you do not want to force shorten any body part within reason based upon the shot you’re looking for.
But that can also help. So deliberate shortening can help. So let’s do it again. So we’re doing like this and then chin forward. Now he doesn’t need it.
He’s got a sharp jawline, young dude, no problem. Me, I have to do that turtle thing too. If this looks awkward, you’re going to bring the camera angle a little bit higher and then make sure there’s sometimes, in fact, I often get my guys to lean forward like this; it might look great three-quarter or closeup that it’s going to look awkward, full length.
And that’s where I don’t shoot full length in that capacity.
So remember, all these posing tips are great, but it depends on the person you’re photographing as to how far you go or not.
Now that we’ve established some posing tips for the male form, let’s put them into practice and take some shots.
How to Pose Men: Better Portraits
Currently, Jacob appears to be quite uncomfortable with his hands positioned awkwardly over his crotch area and not sure what to do next.
That is how most guys will be in front of your camera.
So yes, we have to disarm them with charm, fun, humor, and all that stuff. But for now, we’re specifically talking about the nuances of what will bring out the best in the male form.
So we said that we wanted to turn the body toward the light source. In this case, the garage door is open, so that we will turn his body towards the garage door. xx
Great. So now we’ll put your hands in your pockets to give you something to do. Guys feel cool when they when you’ve got your hands in their pockets; remember, we do not want the thumbs coming out. Let’s try; let’s try a few bad versions of what we’re doing.
So straighten up again, hands over the crotch, and look over here. Great. What I want you to do now is just put your hands in your pockets and with your thumbs.
Yep. Like so like that. Perfect. You are so looking at me, just a normal passive face.
Great. Now do this. Okay, we do not want those shots. Okay, let’s look at them again. Hands over the crotch, no thumbs out, no. And then thumbs in the pocket. And they’re all the four fingers out.
No, we don’t want that. So now we will turn the body towards a light source, making it look bigger and broader.
So let’s turn your body towards a light source. Stop there. Too much has come back. Good. Now, if ever, sometimes when you ask a guy to turn his body towards a light source, he’ll do this and keep his feet planted.
So often what I’ll do is I’ll say to my subjects, pretend like you’re on a turntable and I’m rotating you this way, that way. Your feet, your legs, every part of your body, and your person are moving toward a light source.
So, in this case, he did it right. So now put your hands in your pockets, and if your legs feel stiff, I always ask my subjects to shake their legs out a little bit.
Great. Okay, feet close together. And now, just bend that front knee well, and hang the body forward. Glorified slouch. It’s a misnomer that is posing and that a guy should be perfectly straight like this.
We set at the introduction of this article that we get double chins and then get a bit of a gut. So if we now have a concave version of our upper bodies, we will get the gut further away from the camera and the chest and shoulders towards the camera. In this case, you can see very clearly what’s happening.
Now his feet are there. You can see a valley at his legs, which makes it more of a V, but we’ll get him to turn his body more towards the camera.
Perfect. And then til face, this way and turn, do me a favor, bring your elbow out a little bit on this side; too much has come back. A good bit more. And then bring this arm out a little bit too. So more back. So lift the elbow a little bit.
We are doing that because I want to see a gap between his arms and his body. Only sometimes. In this case, if you are photographing me immortal like me now, I wouldn’t call myself skinny.
I wouldn’t call myself ridiculously overweight. I’ve got normal chubby issues at 47. What I want to do is I want to have gaps between body parts that give me a silhouette.
And also, if I bring his arms out, apart from seeing a gap, as we can see here between his arms and his body, we broader broaden him still. So if we now bring this elbow out, good. And then turn your face this way.
Turn good and eyes back at me. And now we’re looking cool. And if you ever feel that your subjects feel a little bit stiff in the shot because you’ve posed it a bit too much per se, I’ll say this.
Jacob, just let the air out of that shot. Perfect. So now it’s looking really good. Turn your face perfectly. So again, let’s look at the difference.
So now we’ve got peaks and valleys. The chest is quite wide. We’re going right down to the V of his legs, and he’s looking bigger and broader, and it’s a bit more refined for pho, for photographing a guy.
Look at the difference between that shot, for example, and then posing the way we did. It looks less good.
So watch what happens now that if we turn his body away from the light, as I would suggest the female form, which we’ll discuss in the future episode, it makes him look a little bit feminine and maybe a little bit too thin and not as, not as big and broad as we’d like to see the masculine form.
So now, if we get him to bring his chin to his outer shoulder and his eyes back at me, you can see how that just looks slightly feminine. And even if he leans towards the camera, let’s do that again. That is a very, very feminine pose.
We do not want that. So if you over-pose a guy, you can make him look feminine. And if that’s you, that’s your prerogative, and that’s fine.
It depends on what you’re trying to say. So remember, posing starts from the feet. We always want to relax our feet. We usually want to bend the leg closest to the camera, and all the weight is on the back leg. We want to hang the body nice and relaxed. Turn the body towards the light source. Relax the chin, and bring it out a little bit. Turn the turn the face. So this eye hits the light, as we can see.
Now in this photograph, we hang his body and relax him a little bit. We can bring those elbows out a little to broaden him. Even this one is good; too much comeback. Okay, just there. And nice and relaxed. We’re not overly worried about expression—just a nice passive look. We are looking towards that camera. Turn your face towards me, and we have a nice finesse shot.
When it comes to posing men for photos, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to capture their best angles and convey the desired mood or tone. Here are some tips to help you pose men effectively:
- Pay attention to body language: Men tend to have broader shoulders and a more angular physique than women, so it’s important to pose them in a way that accentuates these features. Encourage them to stand up straight, with their shoulders back and their chest out. Avoid posing them with crossed arms, which can make them appear closed off or defensive.
- Use props and accessories: Props and accessories can be a great way to add interest and personality to a photo, especially when it comes to male subjects. Consider having them hold a jacket or hat, or using a chair or other object to create interesting lines and shapes in the photo.
- Play with lighting: Lighting can have a huge impact on the mood and tone of a photo. Experiment with different types of lighting, such as natural light, soft lighting, or dramatic lighting, to achieve the desired effect.
- Pose them in action: Men often look their best when they are in motion or engaged in some sort of activity. Consider posing them while they are walking, running, or doing something related to their interests or profession.
- Focus on their facial expressions: A man’s expression can communicate a lot about his personality and the tone of the photo. Encourage your subject to relax and be themselves, while also giving them direction on how to convey the desired emotion or mood.
Overall, the key to posing men is to highlight their natural features and personality, while also creating a dynamic and engaging photo that tells a story. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning photos of men.
Guys, I hope you enjoyed that. We’ll see you soon. Thank you so much for watching.
I hope you enjoyed the content of this article. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to respond. Thank you for reading, and remember that success is not about being perfect, but rather striving to be better than you were yesterday. Stay tuned for more articles coming soon.
And if you want even more posing and photography tips, get a copy of my free ebook, Portrait Photography Quickstart. It will give you everything you need to jumpstart your talents as a photographer.