How to Pose and Photograph Men Who Are Not Models

male model wearing all black clothing and gold jewelry looking away from camera.

I must admit, posing men who are not models can be very difficult to do, especially when you are used to working with women, as I am. When posing men, it’s best to have them loosen up and be as comfortable as possible. I also like to show my models what I’d like for them to do so that they can visually see the pose rather than me try to explain what I want them to do. Depending on the pose, showing them can be faster than trying to explain it.

Here are a few poses and techniques you could use the next time you work with a guy who is either a model or not! (I took these pictures three years ago, but these are still relevant and useful)

1. Leaning against something.

Leaning against something whether it’s a wall, tree, pole or railing is very natural and definitely a go to pose that I tell guys to do. I instruct them to lean against the object with one shoulder and shift is weight to one leg. They could do this either looking at the camera or away from the camera. I typically like to do both as well as get some pictures of them smiling or laughing. I also get them to play with their hands, or jewelry if they have any on, or put their hands in their pocket with the thumb sticking out.

2. Sitting Poses

When I have men sitting, I instruct them to slouch back into the chair and put one leg out more than the other. I also have the put their arm on the back of the seat, if it does have a back. Either I show them this pose or I tell them to sit back into the chair like they normally do. This is a very natural and comfortable pose that men do so it’s should look as such.

3. Kneeling

I usually have the model lean at an angle because it’s more flattering than being head on to the camera. If you do that them head on, you can pose them like the third picture below.

4. Movement

My favorite thing to get guys to do is playing with their hands, crossing their arms or even walking! Instruct them to look at their watch, either play with or fix their jewelry, and rub their hands together as if they are washing their hands but to do this slowly. If they have on a jacket, they can do movement with that as well.

5. Standing

Standing can be a little tricky, but if done right, it can look good! Having them stand at an angle is my personal favorite, or standing with either one or both hands in their pockets with the thumb out, and arms crossed either straight towards the camera or at an angle.

First Male Model: Alonzo

Second Male Model: Chris

Third Male Model: Raymond