Posing can be really tough for new male models. There’s such a fine line between getting it right and getting it really wrong that many people we work with have no idea how to start.
Posing Techniques for Male Models
The first step to mastering male photography poses is to relax. You need to be comfortable in your own skin and confident in front of the camera. That taken care of, you then need to work on your basic pose, the pose you will use when a company or agent wants to take your photo at a casting to keep as a reference pic. This pose needs to be classic and simple, showing off your face, shoulders and frame in the best possible way.
The key to mastering this pose is to work on your posture. A straight back, strong shoulders/chest and a lifted head looks so much better than slouching, soft shoulders and a bent spine. Practice standing straight in front of the mirror, then focus on how your face looks. You don’t want to look moody but you do need to look natural. Check out our Pinterest Board Male Posing Tips for some good examples and our Posture post for more help on standing straight.
Photoshoot Poses for Male Models
The next stage is figuring out a set of poses for catalogue style work. These are poses that you can fall back on and use in almost any situation. Think on the lines of ASOS models, Topman models, guys you see modelling in every day situations. Try:
- Standing straight with your legs slightly apart and using your hands to create different poses; try placing them in your front pockets, then again in your back pockets, once with your hands by your side etc.
- Standing with one leg crossed over the other. Keep this looking masculine by crossing your leg over only a little and balancing your crossed leg by putting the tip of your toe on the floor. (This pose works with your leg crossed behind or in front of your body.) Spice this pose up by leaning to the opposite side of your bent leg (only a little), putting one hand in a pocket or holding a wrist across your body. Again more examples can be seen on our Pinterest board.
- Standing sideways. You can twist your head to look at the camera or you can look away to get a profile shot. (Have a look in the mirror to see which side flatters your face more.)
- Standing so your body is facing away from the camera, then turn to look back.
- Try standing with your hands on your hips. Only a few models can get away with this without looking overly feminine. Your legs will need to be shoulder width apart and your chest very broad and strong.
- Crossing your arms. This creates a really strong masculine look. Keep your hands on show by resting them on your upper arms or tuck them inside. Think how your fingers will look, you don’t want them awkwardly sticking out or squashed together. If you laugh whilst crossing your hands you’ll create a really eye-catching photo; the contrast in emotion will look great!
- Sitting or crouching. Bringing your body into one smaller space will create a high impact shot. Be careful not to get lazy if you’re sitting down and if you’re crouching don’t put pressure on your fingers, it will make them look large.
- Using your hands, whether you have them pressed together in front of your mouth (like you’re thinking), pointing upwards, making the peace sign, whatever. Be creative!
Face Poses in Male Modelling
Once you have mastered your stance, it’s time to concentrate on your face expression. This is super important and is a lot harder then it seems. Cool photo poses for guys demand for you to look nonchalant, serious and moody. Rarely do designers wish to see male models grinning from ear to ear. There is no set formula on how to pose for a photograph but one thing is for certain you need to master the art of a natural, smouldering photography pose. Look in the mirror and work out how to make your facial expression come alive in a subtle way. Model posing takes a lot of practice. Use the mirror to work out what works and what doesn’t. A portrait shot is very focused on the face and needs a model who can master the skill.
Male Model Runway Poses
If you are asked to appear in a catwalk show it is worthwhile to note that you may have to pose on the runway. Yes, a lot of the time you will be moving yet their maybe still moments also. Similar techniques apply to men’s photoshoot photography. However, the difference is that you will be performing in front of a live audience so there is little room for mistakes. Also, you will be walking into position, pausing and then moving on. It is important that you remember the sequence and stand confidently in place until it is your turn to walk again. Listen to instructions so that you fully understand your role and how to pose on the day. Remember that you are on stage and photographs will be taken. Therefore, keep performing until you leave the runway.
How Can UK Models Help?
A great way of practicing your poses is to work with UK Models to produce a professional portfolio for yourself. You will work with experienced photographers and have your images critiqued at the end of the session, something aspiring models find very helpful. Visit our website for more details.
Then, with those poses mastered it’s time to experiment! Let your personality shine, be brave and go with your gut instinct!
How to Look Good for a Photoshoot
- Keep a strong posture
- Consider every part of your body, from your fingers to your toes
- Remember that your eyes play a huge part in the pose
- Practice in front of the mirror
- Get experience
- Don’t be over dramatic (unless you’re specifically asked to be)