How to Pose Men | Portrait Photography

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I’m Joe. I teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York. I want to talk about posing techniques for men.

Start by talking about posing techniques that are bad for men. Folding your arms. Especially folding your arms with a tilt. Roll your left shoulder back just a tiny bit. Turn your head to your right. This is, it makes you look vain and arrogant.

Try not to photography people from below their eye line. You get a little bit up in the air, lift your head a little bit. Go ahead and smush a little bit. That looks absolutely terrible.

From your waist, turn a little bit to your left. A little more. Turn your head a little more to your right. That looks really bad. Wow.

Hand under the chin. Why do people do this? Your hands are not that interesting. Yes, that’s truly terrible.

Try to have your subject dress nice when they’re having their picture taken. A tee-shirt with a pattern or a logo on it or something like that, you’re not going to look great that way.

There’s no reason to try to look like a fashion model and do this. Nobody looks good
that way. They look good when they’re smiling.

Oh, another one of my favorite bad poses. One hand over the other like this. What are you doing? What are you doing? That’s not good.

If you’re having your portrait taken or you’re taking somebody’s portrait, have them shave when they show up. Clean shaven is better. Of if it’s scruffy, make sure it looks neat and organized, and like a look instead of a morning accident or something you forgot.

Wear decent pants. You wear stuff that’s got a lot of holes in it and what-not, if you end up doing the full length thing, you ain’t going to look great.

Engage with your subject and keep them paying attention to you. Long, long, long silences get very awkward very quickly.

Have them keep their eyes on the lens. People that are looking off into space somewhere are not paying attention to whoever is on the other side of the picture.

Shade and overcast is your friend. Nobody looks great with direct sunlight shining right on their face. It makes them squint. It creates deep shadows where their eyes are and a big shadow across their face from their nose.

A reflector helps bounce a little bit of light back onto the subject so that they’re brighter than the background and stand out from the background.

Keep your eyes on the lens. Right and left. Which is your right and your left? That’s your right and that’s your left. Already not qualified to be a professional model. You know your right from your left.

Keep your eyes on me. Let me see. This is turning your head. This is tilting your head. Let me see you turn your head one inch to the left. Very nice. Very small amounts of movement to do what I’m going to ask you to do.

Try and get above people’s eyes. Nobody’s going to thank you for photographing them from underneath the chin. The chin is always supposed to be singular. I grew this thing on my face to make sure the chin would stay singular.

Keep your eyes on me. You know what? Turn in full profile with your toes pointing that way. Good. Now, from your waist, turn to your right. Well played. It’s so nice to work with a pro.

You can look a little happier about it than that. Come on. Let the happy out. Is it, there you go. There’s the stuff. Fabulous.

For a second I thought it was going to be tinkle time.

Roll your left shoulder back just a little bit. Terrific.

Everybody looks better when you shoot them across their shoulders like this. From your waist, lean towards me a little.

Your subject may complain that this feels incredibly awkward but it doesn’t matter how awkward it feels. All that matters is that it looks great. When people are leaning towards you it looks like they’re more connected to you.

Where did the happy face go? There you go. I knew that there was some happy in there.

You want to be at a shutter speed that’s high enough to keep your hand steady, like 1/125th or better. You want to be at F-4 or F-5 or F-6 so that your depth of field is shallow and your background doesn’t standout and distract.

Arrrrrrrrrr. There you go. Turn your head a little bit to your right. A little more. Good. Tilt your head a little bit to the left. You don’t have to look like that so hard, it’s really not that hard. There you go.

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

You’ve done this before. I can tell.

It doesn’t matter whether they’re rock stars or fashion models or not. If they’re happy, they look good. So be happy. Get them laughing if you need to get them laughing.

And those are a few posing techniques for men.

  1. Ted Li says

    How to be a professional photographer: roast your model.
    How to be a model: BE HAPPY!

  2. Shannon P says

    This guy is such a twat. I would feel super closed off with him and his condescending insulting nature.

  3. Sorelle Amore says

    How to pose models in the 1990s.

  4. Sneaky Little Devil says

    "Waddayadoowin? Waddayadoowin? That's not good. That does not look good." I love this photographer.

  5. Elizabeth Santiago says

    Photos are AWFUL!

  6. Dan Chapman says


  7. Clash TM says


  8. James M says

    4:03 chewbacca lol

  9. Sujesh Ramadas says

    Wow look at the video, it's much better than your stills!

  10. Jorge A. Melendez says


  11. Aprian Ramadhani says

    Instant subs 😂😂

  12. Kettle Bell Kyle says

    what if you're ugly ?

  13. Owen Svoboda says

    "For a second I thought it was gonna be tickle time"

  14. First Name says

    You low-key hurt his feelings really bad

  15. Jack Frost says

    4:04 that sound lmao 😂😂😂

  16. harsh savla says

    How NOT to pose

  17. Curry Lane says

    He’s super annoying

  18. Mehul Tanwar says

    Rude photographer.. dont like his style at all

  19. prashun das says

    Wasted 5mins

  20. Lindsey Blenden says

    What lens is being used?

  21. Rodolfo Torres says

    he is such a hater hahahahaha

  22. "If they're happy, they look good, so BE HAPPY!!! >:("
    I love this instructor xD

  23. Daniel Tavera says

    I am in LOVE with that photographer!!!!

  24. Urban Entity TV says

    The title of this video, "How to Roast Your Male Model", lol

  25. Jesus Gonzalez says

    This guy needs to retire if he's still around. I would fire him in an instant or go to a different photographer. No one should go through this punishment. I did find the end quite funny. Throughout the whole video it was like watching a dominatrix photographer punishing his subject then at the end he became a gentle flower, "…and those are a few posing techniques for men." No bueno on this guy.

  26. GerfordPlayz says

    i love the girl

  27. Ashraf An says

    ok that was rude

  28. maloos kitty says

    This is like the opposite of every tutorial that I've seen. LOL

  29. Michael Kelly says

    Just one little man's thoughts……and yes I don't agree with most of what he is saying…..

  30. GHannel says

    Liked the reflector Girl!

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