For many who dream of being portrait photographers, the art of posing your subjects well can be intimidating. The difficulty of this task is compounded by the gender-specific nuances of posing men and women. Of course, the rules can be broken but, you need to know them before you can break them. Otherwise, you won’t know why breaking them works.

Looking across the photography landscape, women still dominate the billboards, magazine covers, and the feeds found on the various screens that siphon our IQ through our eyeballs. In general, we’re more acquainted with the female form and how it is posed. So when the time comes to pose men, the process can be a bit foreign and more challenging. Luckily for you, the team from Mango Street Lab has some basic tips to guide you when posing men.

Tip 1 – Accentuate the Jaw

Men do well with harsher light that accentuates their features. Use this kind of light to define his face and present a pronounced jawline.

Tip 2 – Give him actions to do with his hands

Manly things, moody things, give him anything to do that captures the style you want to convey. Photographs with action, however subtle, add an element that draws interest into your image.

Tip 3 – Posture (Relaxed or Sharp Angles)


Directing your model to relax part of his body, such as his arm, will create a laid back look that will not only look good in that particular photo, but provide a nice visual contrast to the other photos in your session.

Sharp Angles

Have your model lean against something or sit down in your shooting environment. He’ll have to bend the joints at his elbows and knees, creating those sharp angles that you’ll want.


There is obviously a wealth of information about this subject so, if you want to deep dive into the art of posing, a good place to start is our Complete Posing Workshop..

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