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Tips & Tricks

The Ultimate Guide to Photo Poses for Men

By Kezhia Rodriguez on April 6th 2017

Struggle posing men? It’s most likely you are overthinking the process. Masculinity, strength, and power are the three components that make up our posing goals for men.

Orchestrate the perfect shoot with our techniques in hand placement, expressions, and body language that can revamp your portfolio. In our Complete Posing Workshop, transform from a photographer into a director to pose clients and master the subtle nuances for every shooting scenario.

From standing to group photos, here is our guide to photo poses for men:

Photo Poses for Men #1 | Standing Portrait

Starting with the standing portrait pose, we can direct our subject from the ground up. Adopt the Foundation Posing Framework to make posing and directing less daunting. Our first three steps to pose our subject through the standing portrait are:

  1. Feet First, Hip Distance Apart
  2. Toes Pointed Out
  3. A Straight Spine

Posture instantly changes the look of confidence and translates as a triple-threat: masculine, strong and powerful. In our Photographing the Groom workshop we cover more tips on posing men, capturing expressions, lighting, and composition in a less-than-perfect hotel room. See how to recreate these shots with some of our favorite gear.

[REWIND: Goals for posing couples ]

Photo Poses for Men #2 | Sitting Portrait

Sitting poses can be complicated because typically our natural inclination is to hunch over. We’ll walk you through how angles can diminish or increase your client’s presence, building the pose from the ground up.

Begin at the feet and keep the toes pointed outward to refrain from the “potty” look. Shift to a stronger posture and varied hand placement to change our subject’s demeanor. Use camera angles to help your subject achieve presence in the frame; a slight adjustment in angle helps our subject become more proportional in the frame and changes the portrait from whimsical to editorial.

Focal length plays a huge role when photographing seated subjects because of distortion from specific lenses making objects closer to the camera appear larger and wider.

Photo Poses for Men #3 | Editorial Group Photo

High-fashion group photos provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your directing skills. Great direction is a catalyst to great posing which means that it might take a bit of coaxing to get your subjects to cooperate with this next pose. Since men can handle harsh shadows and brooding looks, pose them with more of a high-fashion/GQ theme in mind: think serious expressions, strong dominance in the frame, moodier tone, and dramatic light.

One way to make a portrait ‘editorial’ is through lighting like we cover in Lighting 201. Be sure to direct your subject through expressions as well to sell the image. Try a more serious expression and utilize shadow cast to chisel out his jaw and features.

Photo Poses for Men #4 | Fun Group Photo

Fun group photos provide the perfect occasion to interact and get those candid expressions. As the director, think about what is going to make the image most meaningful, and work in and out of the scene to tell an entire story. Not only will this translate as authentic, but you’ll be able to capture those truly candid moments through your interaction.

Boost your male, female, or group posing game with the Complete Posing Workshop, your guide to transform from photographer to director. Upgrade today to stream unlimited photography education with SLR Premium.

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Writer for SLR Lounge.

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