16 Tips to Photograph Men and Pose Ideas

Daniel • updated November 5, 2022 • 5 min read

Tips to Photograph Men and Pose Ideas

Men are frequently more challenging to photograph than women. Perhaps this is a result of guys typically being apprehensive about being photographed.

As a result, there are fewer resources available for teaching people how to take pictures of men and women.

We won’t discuss how to get a man to shoot pictures in this article. Instead, we’ll concentrate on a few crucial ideas that will improve your performance.

Our tips to photograph men and the posing ideas are geared toward guys, but many of them work well when photographing women as well.


1. What’s the purpose of this picture?

You should know whom you are photographing and also how he perceives the pictures before you begin. This is essentially true for every photo session with humans. The secret to taking amazing pictures is to relax, which is facilitated by a little talking.

Does he want to come across as nice, approachable, tough, seductive, or professional? What does he intend to do with the pictures?

Put him in positions that will contribute to the desired appearance and feel, and pair them with the appropriate expressions.

2. Light

The most crucial element in photography is light, and you can do a lot with it. On guys, angular lighting and deep shadows look fantastic. When taking a man’s picture, draw attention to his muscles.

On the other hand, it is preferable to make a somewhat more corpulent man appear slimmer in the photographs if you are photographing him. All of this is possible with the appropriate illumination.

In contrast to natural light, you have total control over the direction, distance, and intensity in a studio. So don’t be reluctant to capitalize on that. You only need one or two light sources to begin going.

On the other hand, since you don’t need to make any adjustments, working outside feels more natural and is frequently simpler. Remember: strong shadows are cast by a sunny day’s strong light, and soft shadows are cast by a cloudy day’s soft light. Read also about how to Take Good Portraits with Common Light Sources.

3. Shadows, light direction & flash

The “masculine image effect” is significantly influenced by the lighting used. It is a common belief that hard light draws shapes. In addition to facial characteristics, these include cheekbones, beards, the depth of eye sockets, wrinkles, skin imperfections, and lumps.

A certain amount of “roughness” is wanted in men’s photography; therefore, harsher lighting may be used. This is thought to be a significant artistic tool when taking pictures of males. 

Generally speaking, though, you won’t go overboard and will opt to use a striplight or a small softbox as the primary light source rather than a reflector. also a ring light can be used.

4. How does the direction of the light impact a man’s portrait?

The effect of the image may be affected even more by the primary light’s direction: sidelights highlight contours, while backlights provide dramatic effects.

Therefore, backlight, which can be natural or artificial light, produces particularly good results for outdoor photographs.

Make sure to bring a reflector with you while taking men’s photographs outside—this is very crucial! Professional photographers prefer to utilize an off-camera flash, although if placed close enough, a system flash can also work.

Tools to bring your portrait photography to life


5. How should a man pose?

Men prefer to concentrate on the upper body, while women frequently look at the legs and abdomen. It is thought that broad shoulders are “masculine”.

A little advice: if the man is sporty, only position the arms in a half- or full-body picture. This is due to the fact that, at least superficially, a space between the arms and the belly seems to make the latter considerably flatter. 

If you male model is introvert, take your time and create a relaxed atmosphere, read more about how to photograph she persons here.

6. To hold anything, use your arms.

Poses where the man uses his arms to perform anything generally have a more manly appearance. Tools, sports gear, and musical instruments are essential props in men’s photography because of this.

Even if the picture is more for commercial purposes, the subject can nevertheless strike an “explanatory” position with his arms. 

7. Choose appropriate poses

Posing properly is crucial while taking portraits. For the most part, guys value having a strong appearance in photographs. They accomplish this by raising their chest, drawing them, and tightening their abdominal muscles. But it matters that the man is comfortable. If he is uneasy, it will be evident in the position.

8. Arms crossed

Where do you put your hands? It is a common question asked when taking photographs, not just of guys. Take the risk of including body language in your photographs.

Your figure will appear strong and independent in a cross-legged position. It is one of the easiest postures and is particularly appropriate for men who are not accustomed to posing for a living.

9. How to handle the hands

Even while standing, hands in pockets seem fantastic. This will ensure that your posture is natural and at ease.

You can lean on your thighs or the chair while sitting, join your fingers, or interlock your hands. When a man is first getting acclimated to being shot, sitting positions work well. His postures while standing after this appear more at ease.

10. Leaning against a wall.

Lean the model against the wall for a more at-ease portrait. Walls are a useful tool. Alternately, have him stand with one leg bent and lean on the wall with the other.

Any angle can be used to take such a picture. He might also rest one arm against the wall as an alternative. That’s a really cool image, don’t forget to use proper Instagram quotes when posting.

11. Use men’s toys as props.

It also blends quite well with a motorcycle or automobile. particularly if the man is close to his machine. The fact that he can lean here gives you an edge because it makes posing simpler and more enjoyable.

A man will take more photos with his automobile or motorcycle than without it if taking photos is more of a necessary sacrifice for him.

If you want to learn more about props, read our guide about how to take portrait photos with props.

12. Classic attire

The shoulders appear wider and the waist appears slimmer when wearing traditional clothing such as a suit or shirt with a vest. In order to make the midsection of the body appear a little narrower in the photograph, the jacket should often be closed on stronger men. It’s best to stick to a chest portrait if the photographer is at a loss for ideas.

For more about attire Men’s Fashion, Style, Grooming and  Men’s Fashion, Style & Latest Trends

13. Test out various expressions

The more unforced the expression, as with any other subject in a photo shoot, the better. A man’s personality should be captured in a photograph if at all possible.

Let the actor let his lips hang open and flash some teeth. He doesn’t have to make a big smile, and he doesn’t have to clench his lips in every picture either.

On guys, slightly squinted eyes also look good. This can be done by slightly elevating the lower eyelids; this gives the model a more balanced and deep expression.

Attempt to reduce the double chin. This can be accomplished by having your subject lean slightly forward and shooting at eye level from above. Sometimes, just pulling the chin forward and applying light pressure is sufficient.

14. How to take outdoor portraits of men

Inclement weather, including snow or rain, doesn’t affect the outdoor portrait at all. The key component is the accumulation of ice or water that exudes a “wild” feeling on the skin or beard.

Here’s the easiest way to go about it: Just enough of the aperture should be open to see the surrounding area. If feasible, a picture without a flash, or else the photo could look overly staged. So having daylight would undoubtedly be beneficial.

The image of a guy at work is another appealing choice that frequently works well because machinery and automobiles have traditionally been associated with men and are frequently used in news reporting. Men can be posed against the light to avoid the images appearing overly somber.

15. Consider the proper processing

Regarding skin flaws, it depends on the individual’s fashion sense. Certainly, we support the removal of transient flaws like pimples.

It all depends on your goals for reducing wrinkles, scars, and birthmarks. It is advised to speak with the model if necessary.

In general, less editing is advised for male pictures compared to female pictures. In the final image, men’s skin shouldn’t look any softer than it does in images of women and kids.

16. Tips to Photograph Men, posing ideas

Frequently asked questions

How should I pose as a man?

Pose where the man moves his arms generally appear more masculine. Tools, sporting goods, or musical instruments are great accessories in men’s photography.

If the photo is for business purposes, he can make an “informative” pose with his arms. In men’s photography, the focus is typically on the model’s upper body.

Check also out this detailed article, explaining portrait vs landscape format.

How can I appear more relaxed for a photo?

When posing for a photo, urge them to turn their heads just a little bit in your direction; this will not only make them look more relaxed and involved overall, but also more appealing. He is supported in a corner, leaning in with his hand in his pocket.

What is the appropriate male smile?

Maintain a downward chin and move your head just a little bit away from the camera. Your jaw will be highlighted and appear stronger because of the angle. A sincere grin involves more than just puffing up your cheeks and showing off your teeth.

More about how men look good in photos:
Some examples of how power posing can actually boost your confidence
Motion – Male Adult Poses
How to Pose in Photos like a Fashion Blogger
Posing Tips for Couples

Keep reading: How to Take Photos of People Wearing Glasses »

What are your tips to photograph men? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Daniel
Daniel has been supporting the editorial team as a content creator since the end of 2021 and is mainly responsible for portrait photography and related practical topics around cameras, lenses as well as accessories.

Turn your snapshots into awesome portraits.


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