Portrait Photography Tips: Quick Posing Guide for Men

Posing men is often challenging for those just starting out with portrait photography. You can keep it simple yet effective with these quick tips.

While portrait photography tips seem predominantly for posing females, there are a good number of tutorials out there showing how to pose male subjects. If you’re new to photographing men, you may find it challenging to direct them into poses that work. With this quick video tutorial from Anita Sadowska, you’ll have some ideas for this, whether you’re working with experienced models or newbies.

As with female models, posing male models involves capturing the right mood or feel, and highlighting their best features. You don’t really need anything fancy to achieve this, especially if you’re just starting out. In her video below, Anita demonstrates how she usually poses her male models whether seated or standing, or making the most out of the elements found at the location.

When it comes to posing men, playing with angles through the positioning of their arms and legs works really well. This is effective in creating a masculine vibe that also accentuates their features. The key is to avoid stiff sitting or standing poses that tend to be either bland or unflattering. You can begin by directing them into relaxed seated poses. Anita suggests a few simple ones where they place their folded arms or elbow on a bench and rest their head on their hands. Poses where their limbs are bent tend to create interesting angles that can make the models look relaxed and natural.

For standing poses, avoid stiff and straight poses as well. Get them to pose in a spot where they can lean a little bit. It also helps if you can get them to do something with their hands, like running it across their hair or reaching up and back to their nape. If they’re wearing accessories like rings or watches, you can ask them to play around with them a little to add some variations to the shots.

Anita also photographs her male models a bit differently. Instead of using tighter crops as she does with female models, she leaves a little bit of room and includes more of her male models’ upper body in the shot. That way, the shot looks more comfortable and isn’t overly dependent on the hand placement.

Lastly, if your location has some interesting spots, use them to make variations of the standing and sitting poses. Aside from eye-level shots, try playing with low angles to elongate the body.

Need more portrait photography tips for posing men? Check out this full-body portrait posing cheat sheet for men, and try these unique poses that will look great for both male and female models.

Don’t forget to check out Anita Sadowska’s YouTube channel as well for more of her photography tips.


Screenshot image from the video