Every photographer can attest that male clients are often more shy than female clients on set. Many representatives of the stronger sex simply do not like to be photographed, they are shy, they do not know what position to take, where to look or where to put their hands. All this prevents the creation of an expressive male portrait. There are many tricks and ideas for such photo shoots — we talk about the basic tricks and tricks for perfect shots.
Shooting style of a male portrait
It is better to discuss with the man in advance what kind of photos he wants to receive. If the client has not thought about it or has not decided, offer him a choice of several options, for example:
- men’s photo session in the studio;
- shooting in the gym, if a person goes in for sports;
- photographs on the roof of a house or in an abandoned building;
- photo session with your favorite car or in the garage.
Props make a huge variety in men’s images for a photo shoot. It can be anything your heart desires: all kinds of hats, suspenders and other accessories, a guitar, strong alcohol or a cup of coffee, a cigar, an umbrella, a book… When choosing, be guided by the man’s hobbies and preferences. Chat and try to highlight something that might be of interest to him.
The most expressive and brutal male portraits are obtained when the photo is created against a “rough” background: brick, graffiti, concrete, stone, and so on. The main thing is that no butterflies or flowers.
A simple technique with which you can get great live shots. In fairness, we note that it does not always work, but we still recommend trying it. In fact, this is just a trick: tell the man that the first few frames are test. Because of this, he will feel even more relaxed and at ease. And perhaps a couple of first photos will fall into a series of the most successful shots.
Ask the client to look at a point and then into the lens. At this moment, you need to take a picture: the look will turn out as natural as possible.
Where to put the hands of a man in photography
This problem may seem a little funny to you, but in fact, many photographers experience it when shooting male portraits. The easiest way to attach your hands is to put them in your pockets. When doing this, pay attention to the fact that the thumbs remain outside.
Or you can occupy your hands with something that you have with you. It can be anything: glasses, phone, cigarette, keys. If something is in the hands, the poses will become more varied and natural.
No blurs or smoothing
Textured sharpness is the best solution for a male portrait. There should be no blurring, smoothing of the skin or other processing techniques that give the image softness and good looks. The smallest details should be clearly worked out — from stubble and wrinkles to light gray hair. All this adds brutality to the image of a man, and the resulting portrait captivates with honesty. Of course, features such as imperfections in the skin or a large belly are better hidden or slightly smoothed out by retouching or simply by changing the angle.
Men’s b/w photo session in the studio
Monochrome shots always look more serious and solid. Black and white shots with the right approach to a male photo shoot in a studio or any other place turn out to be stylish and expressive. The composition of the frame in black and white photography should be impeccable. Not a single extra point is allowed, which can stand out in a monochrome picture and ruin everything.
Cropping is an elementary but very powerful technique that will make the image of a man in the photo more significant and meaningful. When the model looks into the lens, it’s an excuse to zoom in, creating a chest-length or waist-length framing portrait. In this case, the man will occupy the main part of the photo, which will attract more attention to himself. Do not try to immediately create close-up shots, as you can miss and the frame will be irretrievably lost. It is better to crop photos in post-processing.
How to photograph men from the front
Men at a photo shoot (if they are not professional models) usually have to relax and tune in to the right wave longer than girls. Start with several frontal angles (facing directly towards the camera). At the same time, the model will practice freezing before releasing the shutter, and the photographer will practice focusing on the eyes.
Also, full-face shots will help you understand what facial expression is best for a man who came to you for a photo shoot. There is one simple trick: ask the model to think about something good and exciting, but not show emotions. At the same time, the person’s eyes will sparkle, and the face will remain relaxed.
Poses for a photo of a man with tattoos
If there are tattoos on the man’s body, be sure to display them in the pictures. Believe me, there is not a single man with tattoos who would not be proud of them. Invite the model to take a picture of them separately or somehow beat them in the pictures — you will almost certainly get an affirmative answer. Try different angles and b/w. It is also now fashionable to take detailed shots. Take photos of individual body parts with tattoos to later attach these shots to a series of portrait shots.
Male portrait in the studio — making the “correct” face for the photo
If you are working in a studio, be sure to “play” with the light and find the strong side of the model’s face. There are several tricks that will help make a male portrait more brutal and expressive:
- If a man has a short neck, ask him to lift his chin to visually lengthen it.
- A neutral facial expression will help make the portrait more mysterious.
- Tilts of the head to the side are not the best technique for male photography.
- Don’t force complex emotions on the model’s face. The best photos are always taken randomly and naturally.
If the face looks tense and the man can’t seem to relax it, try one trick. Ask the model to tilt her head, and on command, quickly raise it. Take a couple of shots at this point. The trick is that the mimic muscles of the face do not have time to tighten when the head is lifted, so it looks as natural as possible.
Male images and poses for a photo shoot
Posing is generally a separate topic, but we will tell you in general terms how to photograph men correctly and what poses are most advantageous. There are basic tricks that help the model look more masculine and brutal.
- If it is necessary to emphasize developed muscles and broad shoulders, you need to turn them towards the lens, and turn your hips a little. This curve of the torso will highlight the thin waist and wide torso, creating a V‑shaped silhouette.
- You can cross your arms and pull your shoulders back — this is a basic pose suitable for a photo of every man.
- Invite the model to throw a jacket or jacket over her shoulder, and hook the finger of the other hand into her pocket.
- Check that the man follows his posture. Sitting or standing, it doesn’t matter. The back should be straight, even if in life he usually stoops.
- Another classic pose — a man sits on a chair or armchair, throwing one leg over the other and slightly moving the body forward.
- You can lean your model back or sideways against a tree, wall, or other vertical surface.
All these poses are good to use as initial ideas for a male photo shoot, making adjustments to suit the circumstances and shooting scenario.