10 Best Men Photography Poses (+ Tips and Examples)

10 Best Men Photography Poses (+ Tips and Examples) - Mastin Labs

Even if you're behind the camera, it's still typically up to you to determine the best photo poses for your models. You can use endless official and unofficial male photography poses, depending on your setting and vibe. However, there are several formal poses every professional photographer should know. 

Top 10 Men Photography Poses You Should Know

Different male poses evoke various moods depending on the angle, lighting, and specific position. Below are the ten best men's poses for photoshoots.

1. The Casual Strolling Pose

You don't necessarily need to recreate the  "Abbey Road" cover, but a casual strolling pose is an unspoken essential of many photoshoots. The strolling shot can take countless angles, actions, and settings. 

As it's an action shot, you may have to take multiple photos before capturing a high-quality walking pose. Most photos feature the subject mid-walk or taking their first couple of steps. However, models can also perform specific actions to make the shot feel more candid. Examples include:

  • Readjusting their hat or collar
  • Checking or talking on their phone
  • Carrying an item, such as a suit or briefcase
  • Walking a pet
  • Waving to a friend, taxi, or bus

2. The Classic Leaning Pose

There's really not much to this basic pose, making it a great option for warming up, gaining experience, or capturing quick shots on a time constraint. There are few rules or limitations to capturing the classic leaning pose, so long as the position looks comfortable on camera. Ask your model to try kicking one knee up, leaning an arm out for support, or exploring the space to find where they'd most likely relax.

man leaning against a wall next to a window posing for a picture

3. The Stylish Standing With Crossed Legs Pose

The crossed-leg standing pose is perfect for approachable and professionally casual photos. These are usually wide portrait shots that capture the model's entire body — though feet are optional. 

The model should stand in an upright formal pose and then cross one leg in front of the other. Start with what works most comfortably for them, but then ask them to readjust if you need a better angle. 

4. The Enigmatic Looking Over the Shoulder Pose

The looking-over-the-shoulder pose simply features the subject looking behind them. These types of men's photography poses are excellent for showing off another model, a background, or the back of someone's outfit. 

man looking over his shoulder standing next to a dog posing for a picture

Though it's usually a medium shot from behind the subject, these distinct poses don't always have to be captured in an over-the-shoulder format. Feel free to play around with different angles, backgrounds, and lighting to add to the photo's enigmatic vibe. 

5. The Relaxed Seated Pose

How someone sits when they're relaxed can take many forms — not all of which look ideal on camera. For the best results, give your model time to find a few comfortable positions, whether they're leaning, cross-legged, or somewhere in between. Once they find a spot that works for them, you can then fine-tune their body posture, including their hands, feet, head, and eyeline, for a cool, serene look.

man sitting backwards on a chair leaning posing for a picture

6. The Cool Hands-in-Pocket Pose

Not knowing what to do with your hands is one of the biggest concerns when capturing a natural pose. Fortunately, many hands-in-pocket poses give an approachable, casual vibe with a dash of mystery, all while making it easy to get awkward hands out of the shot. 

Man in a hat standing with one hand in his pocket posing for a picture

The hands-in-your-pocket look is impeccably versatile and can be combined with various other male model poses. Some combinations work better than others, such as the classic leaning and looking-over-the-shoulder poses.

Many of the differences between "cool" and "uncool" hands in pockets come down to the model's style, so experiment with a few different looks. Just make sure at least the thumb is poking out — otherwise, the camera may make the hand look invisible, misshapen, or cropped.

7. The Mysterious Cigarette Smoking Pose

Depending on the vibe you're going for, the smoking shot is an excellent pose for a distinct, dark, and moody image. These photos are usually close-up or medium shots, making the viewer feel like they're right there with them. The model is often smoking candidly or looking at the camera, with an essential trail of smoke covering much of the image. 

man leaning over smoking a cigarette with ropes wrapped around his shoulders posing for a picture

Consider investing in prop cigarettes with artificial smoke to keep your photoshoot healthier and give yourself more time to capture the best shot. Alternatively, consider similar looks your model can use instead, such as biting on a toothpick or posing as "The Thinker."

8. The Close-up Angled Face Pose

Close-up and extreme close-up shots include any images taken directly of a subject's face. These photos are usually highly zoomed in and don't feature any of the model's upper body except, perhaps, their shoulders. 

close up of a man posing for a picture with his head angled or tilted

Close-up angled poses give you more control over the lighting, background, and subject's facial expressions. Depending on the intended vibe, models should usually look directly at the camera. Combined with a head tilt, this up-close body language can evoke feelings of confidence, strength, and curiosity. 

9. The Popular One Leg-up Pose

This classic pose cleverly uses your model's body posture to take up more of the frame. Ideally, they should have one foot noticeably higher than the other. You can have them stand partway up a flight of stairs, or use a wall, chair, bucket, or almost any other prop you can find to elevate one leg. 

Man sitting on a ledge leaning against a wall next to a window with his leg up posing of a picture

The leg-up pose keeps your model noticeable in wide shots with distracting backgrounds. It can also help you diversify a series of standing or walking poses to keep photos from looking identical. 

10. The Powerful Arching Arm Pose

Popular on men's health equipment, the arching arm pose is usually a medium or close-up shot featuring the subject's arm bent over their head. Their arm works like a frame, allowing you to encapsulate an eye-catching visual. 

The arching pose also makes it easier to highlight certain features, such as your model's tattoos, biceps, or well-knotted bowtie. Understandably, these muscular men's poses are among the most popular male model poses for photoshoots. 

How Mastin Labs Can Give Your Men's Photography an Authentic Vibe

Trying different poses during your photoshoots will improve many of your skills as a photographer, from how you angle shots to how you direct your models. However, man picture poses are only one aspect of capturing high-quality photos.

At Mastin Labs, we empower professional photographers at every stage of the creative process. Find photoshoot pose ideas, style presets, and more by exploring our collections.