How to Pose Men Who Are Not Used to Being in Front of the Camera

Posing professional models can be easy, but how do you get the best poses from someone who’s not used to being in front of the camera? Creating a rapport with your subject that puts them at ease is crucial, and having a small repertoire of posing options can be an incredibly useful part of the process.

In this short video, photographer Julia Trotti runs you through a series of ideas for posing a male subject who is clearly not accustomed to being in front of the lens. Trotti works extensively both as a wedding photographer and as a fashion photographer, and clearly her experience of the latter has given her a number of ideas when it comes to posing awkward grooms and groomsmen.

One of my favorite tips from Trotti is to ask your subject to change poses and then shoot the transition, capturing the relaxed, more natural moments that arise as a result. You can see a similar effect when the model is asked to walk as the subject is less absorbed by holding a specific position and can move more freely.

Note that Trotti is shooting at f/2, a very wide aperture that creates a very shallow depth of field. As a result, trying to keep a moving subject pin sharp can be tricky which is why Trotti tries to maintain a consistent distance between her and her subject by walking backwards as he walks towards her.

If you’ve any tips on how to pose male subjects who are not models, be sure to leave them in the comments below.

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Motti Bembaron's picture

I know it's a posing video but still, wear a shirt with no logos.

Andy Day's picture

Ha. Excellent point.

It should highlight that he is not professional :)

PS: The most weird thing I've seen on Creativelive is taped logos of everything everywhere except Apple on their laptops.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Yes, I know. God forbid they covered the Apple logo...They used to use Dell and they covered the Dell logos, when they started using Apple I guess they didn't feel ashamed anymore :-)

Unless you're being sponsored by the company in the logo...

Motti Bembaron's picture

True but if you are sponsored why not say it?

Rod Kestel's picture

One thing I was taught was to tell the person they're waiting in a checkout queue. Never (well, rarely) stand square-shoulders towards the camera.

Getting them between poses is a good tip. When I interview people for the radio, I sometimes find the best content is after we've "finished".

Fstoppers prolly know the story about Richard Avedon posing a royal couple who were too used to being in front of a camera and were too polished so he told them (lied) that his dog just died.

One of his famous pictures of Marilyn Monroe, who was all glam, but getting tired after an hour and dropped her guard. Click.