Simple Tips for Photographing Males

Photographing men isn't always the easiest! This very short video gives some great pointers for getting started. 

The tip that I find most useful from this video is having men lean against something. For whatever reason, women tend to try out more poses themselves and have a good idea of their "best side" — men, less so, in my experience as a portrait photographer, at least. 

Leaning against a wall provides immediate security. It's amazing how people (of both genders) relax when there's some physical support. There's something about being photographed that makes people feel vulnerable. Why not give them an easy way to get started? 

It's also great advice to start out with full-body shots, as these are less intense. Let yourself warm up while you're shooting, and then come in close when both you and your subject are ready. 

Photographing men is something a lot of photographers find tricky. As a family photographer, I find men relax when the focus is on their children. But this doesn't help with photographing a solo male! Which tips and tricks would you suggest for helping men relax in front of the camera and for getting great poses that lead to great shots? 

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Dan Ostergren's picture

Having a model lean against a wall as the photographer in this video suggests, doesn't seem to me like a good posing tip; to me that only really translates to lazy and uninteresting. If you have trouble posing anybody, try bringing reference photos to a shoot in order to inspire yourself and help direct your model into actually interesting poses. I find a good place to start is using magazine tear sheets, which I keep in a zip up portfolio and bring to most photo shoots. For men in particular, there is lots of inspiration to be found in ancient greek and roman sculptures that showcase male form and beauty, and these are a great example of where to start with male posing. Posing anybody who is not an experienced model is usually difficult, and having reference to use for personal inspiration and something to use for directing the model will give both the photographer and the model more confidence during a shoot. Just leaning on this wall won't cut it.

Being an amateur photographer, it is challenging to get either of the genders to pose in front of a camera. Recently while I had to cover a wedding at, our cinematography team faced a massive challenge in getting the groom to make eye contact with the camera. We finally took up candid photography to cover the event.