When I first started dabbling in portrait photography, I quickly realized that the photographer’s connection to the subject can be the difference between a mediocre portrait and a great one. Communication is one of the most important skills you can learn as a portrait photographer. That’s why in this video, I’m going to show you some simple posing tips and techniques that you can use while taking portraits of males who are not models.
In this video, I asked my friend Karol to be our subject. Now, Karol has never been in front of a professional photographer/camera or done a photoshoot in his life. YAY! I can show you how my tips work as organically as possible. This easy posing guide can come in handy in many occasions: photographing a groom during wedding portraits, senior portraits, headshots, when taking photos of a friend or partner or any classic portrait session with a male who is a model or not.
Here are a few of the key tips mentioned in the video:
Poses with the hands & arms
I think we can all agree that hands and arms are one of the most awkward body parts to pose for a portrait. What do you do with them?! One of the first tips I share in this video are some poses males can do with their hands. I also give some direction you can give as the photographer to get your subject into these poses. You can see these tips happening in real time and moments where I decide to tell our model to do something different to keep the photoshoot and poses feeling fresh.
Eventually, having a bank of these different hand and arm poses for males comes in handy so you never have an awkward or quiet moment during a photo shoot. You won’t get caught unsure of how to direct your model. Keeping your subject moving is a great way to take their mind off thinking too much about how they are looking. It helps to keep them feeling more comfortable in front of the camera.
One of my next tips to directing a male who is not a model is to get them to move around. My personal favorite is to ask them to walk, as it gets them to move around naturally, and following them with my camera. Keep in mind that if you are walking backward while taking photos, to always take a look around your location first to make sure it’s safe!
Walking is the perfect way to break up the posing sections of a photoshoot. You might find that if you give too many directions to someone who is not comfortable in front of a camera, they can become more and more rigid. Getting your subject to walk around allows them to flow back into their own natural stance and gives them a break from all the directions.
Usually, when photographing males as opposed to females, portraits can sometimes look square and straight. With some simple posing tips shared in this video such as shifting weight from one leg to another while standing, leaning up against a wall or sitting down, you can create some dynamic poses with changes to the shape of your subject’s shoulders and body for more interesting portraits.