Posing male models for photography
When it comes to posing models, there tends to be an abundance of information for how to pose female models and barely any suggestion for posing male models. This is a huge oversight by those in the industry as more attention deserves to be paid for male model poses for shooting.
When shooting with male models, avoid poses designed for females. With female models, photographers guide them to pose with various angles to highlight their curves and suggest different expressions to highlight their femininity. A photo session for a man requires a different range of poses to express a masculine style. If you’re stuck for male model poses ideas, we’ve come up with some to help you out. In this article we will go over the best male model poses for a great photoshoot:
- Male model poses – sitting
- Introducing movement into poses
- Standing poses
- Posing hands
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Male model poses – sitting
Asking your model to sit is a great posing idea, as it creates a relaxed, laid back attitude, which works nicely for portraits, fashion photography – particularly street fashion photography. Even if the staging of the shoot is more upscale, the contrast of the relaxed attitude will still shine in your photography.
Sitting on a chair
Sitting on a chair or a stool is a great idea to show your model relaxed. If your model crosses their arms or leans forwards with hands clasped, this can create an air of authority,
Sitting on steps
If you’re shooting outside, sitting on steps can make your photo look effortlessly cool. You can ask your model to sit with one leg stretched out, and with the other leg bent at the knee for a casual pose. You can also ask your model to pose with both knees bent and relaxed hands for a devil-may-care attitude.
Introducing movement into poses
One of our top male poses ideas is introducing movement into the poses as this creates a more dynamic image than a still pose. The natural motion from your model’s movement looks more naturalistic and effortless than a posed photo. This works equally well for both fashion photography and portrait photography – with fashion photography you can see the flow of the garments in motion, and with portrait photography, you get a more interesting, energetic portrait. You can introduce movement in a couple of ways.
Walking towards the camera
This is a great pose as it shows your model head-on in the frame. If you ask your model to look at the lens, the intensity and drama of the image will be greater than if you ask them to look away, which will create a more casual image.
Walking diagonally across the frame
Walking in a diagonal line across the frame will capture your model from a more interesting angle than if they were to walk horizontally across the frame. From this perspective, you can see more of your model and their attire than if they were in profile. This can be more advantageous if you want to show the whole physique as both shoulders are within the frame.
Walking away from you
Although you won’t see your model’s face in this shot, it can still create an interesting narrative. If you are shooting for fashion, this can be beneficial as it provides a view of how the garments look from behind.
Playing with clothes
Playing with clothes is another way to introduce movement, and again, works well for fashion photography. You can ask your model to zip up their jacket for natural movement in your image or to take their jacket off while looking away. A model putting their hood up can also look good depending on the kind of vibe you are looking to create.
It is nice to incorporate dynamic movement into a shoot, but don’t shy away from standing poses with male models either.
When directing male models in a standing pose, you want them to keep their weight even to highlight their square shoulders. To emphasize the breadth of your model’s shoulders you can get lower and shoot at an upwards angle. You can change up the shot by asking them to cross their arms, put their hands in their pockets, or simply have them relaxed by their sides.
Leaning on a wall
Leaning on a wall is another great way to make your model look effortlessly cool and relaxed. They could lean their shoulder against the wall, or have their back against the wall, with one foot propped up against it.
Finally, if your model is confident and has a great posture, usually the reason why your photograph can still look awkward is because of the placement of the hands. When the hands are hanging awkwardly by your model’s sides, it can compromise the overall confidence and attitude that your model is exuding. One of the best tips for posing a male model is asking him to rub his hands together.
This takes the pressure off of him to pose perfectly, and the pose comes across as natural and suave. You can also ask your model to play with his rings or watch, or with cufflinks or his cuff, or even with the zip of his jacket. This works particularly well with fashion photography as it will highlight styling elements of the model’s attire.
Now that you know all the best poses for male models, you’re on your way to having your best shoot.
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