Posing male models for full-length, natural-looking photos can be tricky. We already have a cheat sheet for posing female modelsbut photographing male subjects will usually require a different approach.
Here are nine posing ideas, courtesy of our sister magazine, PhotoPlus, that will give you instant inspiration when posing your model for photo shoots. The suggested poses will give you some ideas for shooting classic male portraits, but also ways to inject a bit of humor or action into your shots to bring out your subject’s personality – and to give a less formal portrait.
All you need is space to set up a temporary studio, a full photographic background, and some lighting. LED panels will be fine for static shots, but for more dynamic “action” poses you’ll probably need the motion freeze effect of the studio flash setup.
You may find that regular portrait lenses are a bit too long for full-length portraits, especially if you’re working indoors or in a confined space. Try a 50mm or 35mm equivalent lens instead, but beware of perspective distortion from extra high or extra low viewpoints if you’re using a wide-angle lens.
Our nine suggestions are:
1: Side on: with your subject standing sideways to give a slimming view and shape the shoulders
2: Casual dress: standing with the weight on the back foot and one hand in the pocket of the pants
3: Walk with your head held high: Pull from the bottom up and have the model slowly walk towards you with drooping shoulders
4: Stand-up collar: keep your hands busy by asking the model to play with their shirt collar or shirt cuffs
5: Duplex: use a chair as a posing prop
6: Take a bench: lean forward towards the camera while seated
7: On the move: cross the frame
8: Act of faith: don’t say cheese, jump!
9: Karate Kick: best foot forward for an all action pose
Click on the upper right corner of the pose guide above to see this pose guide in high resolution. You can use it for your own reference, but also show it to your model to give them an idea of what you want them to do and how they look. Be sure to check back regularly for more great photography cheat sheets
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