How to Pose Men for Natural-Looking Portraits: A Detailed Tutorial

Portrait photographer Jerry Ghionis has published a detailed video that gives advice on how to pose men in front of a camera in such a way as to create more relaxed and natural-looking portraits that accentuate the subject and bring out their features.

Based in Las Vegas, USA, and Melbourne, Australia, Ghionis is a widely experienced wedding and portrait photographer and educator whose photography style can be best described as “vintage glamour meets contemporary fashion.” Recognizing that many photographers struggle to pose their subjects, especially male models and clients, Ghionis demonstrates the techniques he uses to pose his subjects.

This particular tutorial follows his previous video that explains how he poses couples.

In contrast to how he poses women, Ghionis creates a “V” shape for his male clients by turning the subject’s body to an angle that creates a stronger shape than would be visible if he merely had them face the camera straight-on. He also notes that it is important to take into account how the light falls and use that in conjunction with posing guidance to create a more dynamic yet still relaxed pose.

Gionis reminds viewers of the importance of remembering the position of hands, which is a frequently asked question from subjects who don’t have a lot of experience in front of the camera. Ghionis sees them as just an expressive part of the body — akin to eyes — and makes a note of how to use them for a more aesthetically pleasing shot, which comes in handy for wedding photos when the groom and his party are photographed for the formals. Just a slight change in the hand and finger placement can take an image to a more sophisticated result.

Ghionis also demonstrates how creating portraits take a lot more consideration than just placing subjects in front of the camera and letting them pose without any guidance. He explains that body language is a major player in crafting both a traditionally “manly” or “feminine” portrait.

Positioning of the subject can be as important as their facial expression, and when successfully combined, the two can help create a powerful shot that shows off the photographer’s portrait skills and sets them aside from their competition.

More of Ghionis’s tutorials and in-person training can be found on his photography tutorial website and his own portrait and wedding work can be viewed on his portfolio.

Image credits: Photos by Jerry Ghionis and used with permission.