As a photographer, covering the technical aspects of photography can be very easy with the amount of free knowledge available on the internet.
Still, when it comes to the artistic aspects of photography, such as guiding other people on how to pose, it can look very awkward and unnatural if not done correctly.
If you are a photographer looking for modeling poses for male clients for your upcoming shoot, you have come to the right place.
This guide covers 30+ modeling poses for men that will help you whether you’re photographing a professional male model or just a shy guy having his first portrait photography session.
To make the poses easy to remember, I have categorized them into the following categories:
Modeling Poses for Men
1) With hands on hips
This is a basic pose that can be easy to pull off if the model is confident. In this pose, the model is just required to stand straight and confidently with his hands on his hips.
You can start off with such poses, as they do not require a lot of effort and can be a good warm-up for more complex poses.
2) Hands crossed
Most of the time, you will find the hands of the model in an awkward position while they are giving a standing pose.
Crossed hands are a great way for models to use their hands while standing straight. They can try looking somewhere else or straight at the camera with their hands crossed.
3) Adjusting the wardrobe
These poses are great for formal shoots that require a suit or jacket. Ask your model to adjust their handcuffs, jacket, or button while looking at or away from the camera.
4) Hands in pocket
Another trick is to get the model to keep their hands in their pockets. The goal is to have their hands do something and not to make the portrait look awkward.
5) Looking sideways with one hand
Ask your model which side of their face they like more. Have them look at something far away while you shoot that part of the face.
This is a classical pose that is inspired by Michelangelo’s David and has been used throughout centuries of art.
In this pose, the model shifts his weight to one leg while twisting his shoulder and arms a bit off center, and bending the knee of the other leg.
Contrapposto can be a little hard to pull off at first but according to a study, this pose is supposed to make us look more attractive.
7) Jacket over shoulder
This pose can be done with suits or jackets and is honestly one of the coolest poses for men.
8) Looking into the distance
Have the model look at something far away or give them a puzzle to think about. Get close to them and try to get a picture from a pleasant angle of the good side of their face.
This pose can be shot from a short or mid-range distance.
This simple pose can be done in different open environments. Ask the model to simply walk up to them candidly.
Leaning is another whole subset of poses that gives a more relaxed and calm feel to the photo. You can have the model lean onto a wall or on their hands on body parts.
- Leaning against a wall
Leaning to a wall or a tree/poll through the back or shoulder is a common pose that can be used anywhere and gives a relaxed feel to the photo.
2) Leaning forward
3) Leaning into the arm
1) Sitting casually
A chair is a great prop for simple poses for men. They can just sit straight and you can ask them different questions about things they are passionate about to bring out their personality.
They can also play around with the chair and sit on the opposite side of it with their face resting on their arms.
2) Sitting with legs crossed, hands supporting the chin
3) Sitting with clasped hands, bent arms
4) The squat
Squatting is a bit unconventional pose that requires good surroundings and some attitude from the model. This requires the cameraman to pose a little low angle as well.
Posing with a Subject
To give your photos more emotion there are different subjects you can use your model to pose with.
1) Posing with a book
If your model is into reading books, you can have them read their favorite book while taking their picture. They can either read or look up at you while you take the photo.
2) Posing with a pet or animal
Posing with animals, especially pets, can be a great subject to pose with. You can have the models play with their pets (dogs/cats) or go for a more classy look such as posing with a horse.
3) Posing with a bike/Car
Posing in the front of the car or while sitting on them can also give a cool look to the portrait. You can ask them to look at the camera while sitting inside the car with their hands on the wheel or leaning on to the rear or front of the car.
4) Holding a cocktail or drink
Get your model a cup of coffee or a wine glass and capture their photos. They can be sitting down or standing up while having the drink in their hand.
Capture some photos while they are drinking or simply looking away.
5) Holding a camera or camera equipment
Photographers can be great models too. These poses with equipment are great if you are shooting a portrait for a photographer friend. Simply ask them to pose with their favorite gear while they look far away or shoot someone.
They can also pose like they are shooting your photo while you are shooting theirs.
Work Out Poses
For men that like working out, these poses are a great way to show their progress and boost their confidence. These poses are either done with a barbell or dumbbells in a gym with enough weight to give a pump and highlight their muscles.
1) With a barbell
Using a barbell to deadlift or bench press is a great way to show their strength. Make sure the model has warmed up well and is lifting weights within their capacity to avoid injury.
2) Hanging on a bar
Pull-ups are a great way of showing muscles. The photographer can have the model do a pull-up in a park or at the gym while shooting them from the front angle.
Pushups are another great form of exercise that can be done anywhere. You will have to go a little below to get a good angle of your model doing pushups.
1) Relaxing on a bench or couch
Take a relaxing portrait of your male model sitting on a bench or couch at home.
2) Laughing and smiling
Making people laugh can be a great way to showcase their personality in your portrait.
Get a warm and lovely portrait of your model by making them laugh. Prepare a joke and keep your camera ready to catch them laughing!
3) Hair Swipe
This is one of the ways to highlight the good features of your model. If they have good hair and it is a feature that they like about themselves, you can ask them to swipe their hands on their hair to give a cool look to the portrait.
General Tips On Shooting Male Models
Distance between the camera and model:
Any object that is closer to the camera appears larger. Keeping this in mind will help you emphasize specific features that may be important in achieving the perfect look for a male portrait.
For example, it is common for male portraits to highlight the torso or chest, making the picture look more masculine. This control over the proximity to the camera will allow some flexibility concerning the poses and help you make any alterations that you deem fit.
A longer lens can make an object appear smaller, while a shorter lens can help you connect with your subject in a better way. So try out different lenses to see which one will help you get closer to your vision.
Once you’ve decided on a lens, plan the male model’s photoshoot pose accordingly. Doing so ahead of time will also help you save time.
And if you are a photographer who likes to save time, make sure to check out FilterPixel. FilterPixel is an AI photo culling software that helps photographers save time by selecting their best photos automatically.
As a photographer, it is critical to guide your client in terms of poses while also photographing him quickly. If you don’t like a particular posture, gently tell your model to change it and how exactly they should change it.
At the same time, keep taking their photographs. You never know what might work or not work. You want to spend only a few minutes on each pose, getting every detail just right.
When working with your clients, you should try empathizing with them, especially if it is their first time.
Get to know them and their personalities, what they like about themselves, and what their insecurities are.
Your job as a photographer is to highlight the good features while minimizing or concealing any unflattering ones that the model is not comfortable exposing.
The key to getting a good, natural pose from your subject is to make sure that they are comfortable around you. Keep them engaged with interesting conversations and never feel shy to give them a few words of encouragement to boost their confidence.
I hope you have found some new inspiration for your next shoot with the poses in these blogs.