How to Pose Inexperienced Male Models

Men are generally more nervous when it comes to posing for the camera. This is especially true if they have no previous “modeling” experience under their belts. And as we all know, the camera can really capture what may not be visible to the eye. Meaning, all that uncertainty gets amplified through our lens, and becomes extra visible in our pictures.

That’s why it’s essential to make your model feel comfortable and confident. It’s crucial to help them with posing, and ensure they look and feel their very best.
This guide to posing inexperienced men will help you get the kind of photographs that you and your model want, no matter if it’s a family picture, portrait, or one of my dudeoir photoshoots. It all comes down to these three steps.

Step One: Create the environment

As soon as your model arrives, make them feel welcome. Sit down together, have a chat, and get to know each other. Breaking the ice is very important before the start of the shoot, as trust is essential. That’s how you get the best quality photographs that everyone is happy about.
Now, depending on the type of the photoshoot you are about to do, here are some tips on what you can talk about:

• Discuss the reason for this photoshoot

Is it for work? For a partner? Will this be a surprise gift? All these details add another layer to the way you want the photos to look.

• Discuss the desired outcome

If this is a photoshoot for work, your model will most likely want the photographs to radiate confidence and power. If it’s a surprise for a partner, then love and lust will probably take the center stage. Ask your model what they want these pictures to portray.

• Ask how comfortable they are in front of the camera

Knowing this will help you direct your model, and make sure they are not pushed too hard. After all, you want the photoshoot to be a pleasant experience for everyone. That’s the only way to achieve the results that you want – great pictures, a happy model, and a proud photographer.

Step Two: Pose your model’s body

Here are the best body poses that even the most inexperienced male models can nail on their first try. With just the right amount of direction, you can have them looking like David Beckham.

• Crossed arms stance (or “Dad at the BBQ” pose)

Have your model relax his shoulders, pull them back a little, and cross his arms on top of his chest. His core must always be tense, even if he’s wearing a top – this provides the picture with more presence.
If it’s a full body shot, then turning him slightly sideways and having him cross his legs as well gives the pose more dimension. Make sure full weight is put only on one leg to avoid an awkward pose.

• Hands in pockets (or “Let me take you on a date” pose)


Have your model square his shoulders by relaxing them and pushing them slightly towards the camera. This gives the whole frame of the body more masculinity and confidence.

Then, have your model put his hands in his pockets, and put his weight on one hip. And if you are after more confidence, have him hold a jacket over his shoulder.

• Walking (or “Strolling through life” pose)

Have your model put one leg forward, whilst leaving one leg back. The front foot should have the heel on the floor and the toes above ground. And the back foot must hold all weight on the ball of the foot.
Then have one arm slightly pushed forward, and one swinging back. If you are using props (such as clothing, or a briefcase), posing the arms will be easier. Also, you can always have one hand in the pocket – this add more relaxed confidence.
When it comes to the posture, ensure your model’s shoulders are relaxed and pushed slightly back, whilst the core is fully engaged. The head should be facing the direction the model is walking towards, with the chin slightly raised.

• Leaning against a wall (or “The world is at my feet” pose)

One of the many ways you can have your model leaning against a wall is by putting his hands in his pockets, placing one of his shoulders against the wall, and having one of his legs bent and also leaning against the wall.
Make sure the shoulders are completely relaxed, the core tense, and the chin slightly raised.
P.S. You can have your model cross his arms in this pose too.

Step Three: Pose the model’s face

You can have your model acing the pose, but if the facial expression is out of place, the picture is ruined. Here are three facial poses that will never let you down.

• The longing stare

Have your model look into the lens of the camera, with eyes slightly squinted and head slightly tilted. This will project a thoughtful and confident emotion.

• The big smile

If you have your model smiling, facing the camera or not, make sure the teeth are visible. A small smirk will not have the same effect as a full smile that shows off those pearly whites.

• Thoughtful stare into the distance

Many inexperienced male models find this pose easiest to adapt to. Simply have your model look past the camera and into the distance. It you position the head facing slightly sideways, it provides a more natural and relaxed overall look.

• The sexy laugh

If your male model has a gorgeous smile, make them laugh and look slightly towards the floor. This will provide the “seductive, yet vulnerable” feel to the picture, driving their partner crazy.

Some extra tips

By simply varying the body and face poses mentioned above you will be able to create different emotions and atmospheres in the pictures. But to ensure the quality is always top-notch, keep these pointers in mind:
• Make sure the hands are always busy and never just hanging by the sides.
• Keep the chin raised from the neck, even if your model is looking at the floor.
• Don’t use too many props – it takes away attention from your model.
• No matter the pose, always have your model’s chest open and shoulders down.
Try these tips out and let us know how they worked! And if you’d like to learn more about professional photography, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.



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