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Men's Portrait Photography

Lesson 3 of 26

Defining Strong Male Image: Pulling it all Together

Jeff Rojas

Men's Portrait Photography

Jeff Rojas

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Lesson Info

3. Defining Strong Male Image: Pulling it all Together

Lesson Info

Defining Strong Male Image: Pulling it all Together

Supposing go to pose what makes a good a good post I person like natural posing you know we did something on during photo week where we had a break and somebody was sitting down yeah it wass somebody was sitting down in chair they naturally sat they sat down they just crossed one leg over the other they just kind of settling down like this is this a bad post like what what do I need to modify if I said you know can you extend your legs? Can you do this can't do that I like mento look more naturally I'd like them to look comfortable that every man is not going to feel comfortable doing this like I start analyzing the way that people positioned themselves on where they feel comfortable just looking at your client as you guys are having your your preliminary meetings like where do people feel comfortable naturally you can really tell that imposing I don't tryto over pose uh if you guys have you guys read f stoppers just out of curiosity just the article on f stop is posing versus directin...

g like I don't pose people I direct them I asked him to do certain things I don't tell them to do certain things we'll discuss that a tiny bit later but just pose like where's your client look the most comfortable like a look at stoney he's kind of just like lay spread arm over like how what poses can I go what's the go to post for that? Like what can I make him do to feel comfortable? It's look natural and look his best there's all considerations I have I mean, move this chair, I will trip over this with this what poses should I avoid how many of you have done before even click to the next slide how many of you have done really bad posing looked back and said, why would I ever do that again? I've had this moments let's have a discussion here just quickly crotch shots or not okay and dreamy hands shin temper be done I was you know, it's funny because you look at you look at things that happened like the nineties for inspiration in the eighties and things like that that happened a lot a lot more than it should have and the crotch shots we'll talk about cropping when this specific image happens you can crop this in a way where it doesn't look so bad like stoney if you're if you're giving me crotch right he's sitting there and this is all he's doing legs here and this is all he's got and this he's not comfortable posing he's not comfortable closing his legs, he looks a little awkward now I'm going to crop up, I'm going to crop here like they're I don't need to see everything I know he's sitting on something is there back to the chair I don't need to secret I don't want to see crutch like no one looks at a photo and says that's appealing like my enemy awkward hand positions um we'll talk about this a little later but quickly dive into posing I call this you know I lie I don't call this my stylist calls this lego hands guys should do this like this's it you know this is all they have and then it's like put your fingers in your pockets and I you know I start photographing man I photographed a rock band and uh that sounds like every photographers like young photographer first thing I shot a rock band but his guys hands it has photographing were literally this is their natural position and I don't know what he does for fun but this is it this is all he's got so I'm like what can you do? So I used to hide them like hide your hands like can you put them in your jacket pockets like what can you do? Hand position is important and you don't need to hide the person tends you can kind of figure out nuances worst case scenario you can but you don't have to hide them awkward hand poses so we talked about that actually has happens awkward hampers in awkward positions and awkward hand posing you know what is? What is that first one saying I have a toothache? I don't feel good my ear hurts there's so many different ways that you contar pra that left photograph where you look at the photograph on the right and that just doesn't it's very awkward that's socially offered that photo. They're like that's not okay, so avoid awkward hands in avoid awkward poses and we'll discuss posing nude on a whole thing of opposing timeless photos. While I'm doing any type of photography, I'm thinking about who my client iss like, how long is this this photograph gonna be used for? How long is is my client going to showcase that? That photograph where or where they're going before they going to showcase that photograph? How many of you? I don't know ages here, I don't really care to know how many of you taking a photo and you're like that, sir two thousand five two thousand six that's kind of where we are right now where everyone's doing you guys, I'm sure use like frequency separation to separate different layers, and we tend to over process things and that's gonna be two. So two thousand ten, two thousand fourteen in like five years like no one, no one will do that in like five, ten years is my goal. My hope, like just keeping things is timeless possible. The other thing is looking at things and shooting raw like making sure you guys shooting around, how many of you just to make sure all of your shooting wrong teo photographers in the chat rooms doesn't mean they're not shooting wrong. Keep your raw files because you never know when you're looking at something you like, I can switch it later that night ever happened find replace like that's all you care about, I photograph things in the past where I go back and re edit them just because I try to keep things as is cleaning kasay's is possible and up today, and if you like the photograph in the past and you're like, you know what I like to crop, I'd liketo angle like everything that color, though that see fia tone is not looking good in two thousand fifteen let's say see photos should be cherished for years to come. I want to see things when photographers shooting that are going to be used for years and years and years. You never want to be that like I mentioned before, you don't want to be that photographer that necessarily looks or somebody looks back at their photographs like this is terrible, like this is I joke I have glamour shots from when I was a kid they make fun of me for it like I had a little superman ring and superman pose yeah, that happened that's never going online no putting it all together. So what I do my subjects, my motion, my setting, my lighting, my lines, my texting, my positioning, my opposing my time. All those ten things are extremely, extremely important. My client brandon um and storytelling out, I'll tell you guys a little story one of recently as a matter fact, one of my clients came to me and they want us to branding, branding, being they want the images to look a certain way, a certain color, a certain tone, a certain texture on what we do is we all the ten things that we just discussed, we sit down and we discussed every single bit to those I look at, okay, who's, your subject who's, your core demographic and this for you guys that aren't fashion photographers think about shooting a lawyer, shooting ceo, shooting someone think about their story and who's going to really look at those clients and looking into total so keep that in mind with story one of discussions we had wass who their core demographic is the first thing that they mentioned wass we generally have things in japan and we have things east coast and west coast so east coast photography or east coast styles are different in west coast house, west coast and east coast sales of different japanese styles so how can we take all three to make it look like a cohesive piece shoot one day for us to be able to showcase those things? So if I look at that that's our subject thinking about our core demographic emotion, different motions and could be interpreted different areas in different ways so if I have something that looks a little angry, how does that interpreter on the east coast versus west coast versus japan like how do those three things have in common setting two people in japan want to see american settings the americans want to see things in japanese settings howto there's plain in time what we're having here lighting, lighting wise does is it cohesive with what japan's doing for their specific photography like that person goes to treasure goes to invent? How is that going to look for what they're trying to showcase? Have you guys ever seen a lincoln profile where it's like terrible campaign everybody else's like there's general like this one lincoln shot lighting style everybody does the second somebody does anything different it's very odd or out of the norm or just not okay I get line slides are important, you know we're looking at intervention those that's you guys before just lined in clothing and texture and posing, posing wise how does the subject look? We'll go to posing a bit, but how does the lines in opposing how do those looking in regards to what we're showcasing? So what I do is with the specific sections I'm doing mood boards because really with mood boards I mentioned it before, but just in case anybody out there mood boards are just inspiration board said let's on pinterest or my computer to look at different variations the different images that we want to combine to make one uh final image, which is generally used in art direction, texture. One of the questions that I had for the person was they were very young entrepreneur, you know, they've been they've been doing this about seven months and they've already launched I think to total about fifteen different countries with their specific product. So one of my questions wass do you want your photographs to look your age or do you want your photographs to match who your core demographic iss and who your core demographic isn't? What? Why they're there and I think he wanted it matching twenty five to thirty five year old male and female I said more male or more female he was obviously more their bowlers that they're they're really cool like the shot that we had before they're really cool bowlers but how is that gonna translate for younger women? Like what type of younger women are we looking for? Like who's? Your core demographic lighting is going to be important and regards sourcing. Shooting were going to shoot something that's on camera flash. So it looks like very young. Are we going to shoot something that's more dramatic and timeless like what are we doing? That specific image opposing? What is your posing like telling us? We talked about telling a story before. Are they confident? Are they still? Are there party animals like what's happening in that specific image? All these things are incorporating into the same branding exercise. Uh, time what era do you want to shoot? Do you want something that's classic and looks like it came out the thirties. You want something that came out the eighties seventies like what's happening in this final final piece and it's funny, when you, when you start thinking about those elements of photography and those different parts in the final image, how they can reflect in regards to what you're trying to showcase, because when I first started, I never considered any of that. I just literally took shot took a shot, but I'm sure you guys have done the same thing where it's like pretty photo got it done, I'm out but how many different elements does it take to actually take something that's a cohesive piece? You know, those are things that you have to think about the rest do you have any questions for first of all, I wanted to read something from the chat room d lawrence photo said jeff thanks for saying all of this people seem to have the perception that for men fat chubby etcetera doesn't faze them they feel that men don't have body image issues and I think that's one of the big things that people should take away from this course is exactly what you've been saying like body image is not a woman's problem it's a human issue does something that men faces justus much and were just a cz critical about the images that people take of us as women are potentially according to state that you were showing more so on dh that's I mean it's one of those things where we constantly air hearing like men saying, oh, I don't like to be photographed and, uh it's an interesting reaction that I see where when a woman says, oh, I don't like having my picture taken people tend to say, oh, well that's because you haven't been shown your true beauty or you haven't no one's been able to photograph you right or something like that whereas when men say I don't like to have my picture taken people say okay, and just leave it as this like, as though a man has never lied about his emotions like or the way he's feeling it's on, so I'm really glad that we're doing this. I'm glad that you're addressing not just the physical, the lighting, the texture of the style but also the psychology because that is huge. That is a big part of that and about making people out there comfortable shooting men is understanding the issues that they have. So thank you. I don't know that that's resonating with a lot of people out there, you guys, I had a crime and you were talking about how people were shooting selfies? What? Not what went exactly what you mean because I know I was shooting self in like the early nineties on yeah, it was because I was going to go into the military and I'm like, I'm getting pictures with everybody, so I'll just run up behind people and cut the shutter was on that sack I was using my son, but I didn't think anything about it, but now it's, you know, the iphone or whatever and they use either hand, but what is it now as faras? I guess trying to figure out what side a person thinks they look, the best owners that were absolutely we're saying it's a great question first you're a selfie pioneer you know, looking at people we tend to have sides that we'd prefer we have preferable sides of our faces we generally know like again, I'm not trying to self deprecate myself this is not one of those sessions but I'm verbally seeing things so that way you guys can connect with what I'm saying I know that I have one eye that's smaller than the other one naturally right? So I know that I generally either a put the side towards the camera I'm doing this not don't even think about being a photographer thinking about being a person like what you're trying to showcase I know that if I keep my camera at that angle my eye looks bigger naturally just mentally you know, I'm thinking first camera there and if you think about different layers this one looks smaller so this sorry this one looks smaller second photograph therefore it looks bigger so I'm always compensating for those things. A lot of people have issues with let's say their noses, you know, why don't they photograph at the side like, what are they trying to showcase? And they tend to move their nose and it looks a little larger, so maybe they shoot that's something it's a little more symmetrical you have some people that have something let's say with double chins no that want to photograph a little higher psychologically, I think we're in tune to kind of photographing things that make us look their best, you know? We don't take bad photos of ourselves unless we're trying for other reasons we don't take forbade photos of ourselves, you know, generally speaking way tend to know what look what we prefer and if you look at that as a photographer and you do a little research like if I look at stony so you just never I don't think you've ever had a portrait shot of you when I went on facebook and I was like where you'll see sonny's face portrait shot later, but he doesn't have any portrait ce, and if I asked him why, you know, as my client, I couldn't really tell based off his facebook photos why he doesn't take any photos. I know he takes photos with people I know usually his first go to is a person photograph, but he doesn't have any of himself like he generally hide his face. Why, like those considerations that I have those the things that I think about, I don't think anybody realised I don't think you realize that I did that much research to think about that like, you know things that you you consider like you want to know, there's things I know when we photographs when I photograph for us, and I was mentioned before russ doesn't really care with that position of the camera is he's happy with who he is? You can tell a lot about a person when they have, when they most certain things like he feels his face very, very symmetrical. Yes, but it's funny because you mention eyes. And I remember when I was very young or well, at least in high school, I started noticing that when I just did a natural smile, one of my eyes doesn't open all the way on dh. So I started doing this like legs, so that my eyes were both very open, which made them look symmetrical and so it's funny, let like the if you look through my facebook, you see a ton of pictures of me, like doing, like, really big expressions, that's not necessarily because that's my natural thing, that's a defense mechanism that I developed, and so you can see the issues that people have by looking at how they take their pictures? Absolutely, really, I mean, it's the same thing with women. I mean, you guys think many selfies, you know, and I've seen selfies, and I was mentioned to us said, listen, look, you look exactly the same way that you do in person, you know, that that replicates itself, like what do I see about your photographs and she's comfortable with who she is and she's come to like she tends to be naturally comfortable in front of you can tell a lot about a person with how they photographed themselves and it doesn't man it doesn't have anything to do with lighting, it doesn't have anything to do attacks for anything, just focus on the way that person's looking at themselves and how they want to portray themselves like that's. What that's, what I'm trying to say is, look at what they're trying to showcase their best assets. Are they? Are they scared about their body? What what? How do they crop their body? What are they doing? The photograph? I mean, we've seen joke photos where it's like somebody's face and the rest of it it's a larger person. He has a scene in there cruel but it's, generally larger person in just that crop for their face, that person's insecure about who they are physically like you to tell that lot. But here's something I don't want want you guys to do. We'll discuss this a little later, which is asking about those things. It's, extremely rude you never want to say you know what, sir, you have very little hair, do you want me to go ahead and not highlight those things like you don't want to do that you have a double chin can we can we do something about that? Like I've seen photographers do that and that's not okay like you don't you don't ever want to ask said so I'm saying when you're doing research about a client doesn't need to be very long you can take five, ten minutes, take a couple shots and figure out more or less okay that person's once you start obviously developing that process takes about five minutes to figure out where a person looks their best in regards to what they're trying to photograph but also again just avoid trying toe push body image issues like it's very very, very insecure ing for even a man or a woman and we talked about this before like I said, guys like you take my photo whatever I don't care but I'll show you guys a little later where two guys were posing on guy was reading where one guy didn't know where where he was going places hand he's like I'm going to go pose it somebody and I don't want to do but it was too high up is back to be his friend and it was too low on his back and it kind of looked awkward for what we were trying to showcase, so I kind of had something weird in the middle like what what like all those things come into factor do you have any other questions I do definitely actually something I would love to do here well first of all apparently the idea the issue of figuring out what side of someone's best side is kind of a hot button issue because a lot of people are asking questions about it on westbourne jeff and five other people also wanted to know this I just lost jeff do you have any tips to quickly find a person's best angle for example if you do a corporate shot where you only have a few minutes per a person is there any way that you have found to just look at someone move them anything like that to get that that information really quickly here's uh here's a quick tip you guys gonna laugh of this one things have done again we talked about if somebody has a photograph already you guys really like celebrity face matches is going to sound really weird but like where it's like what celebrity do you look at looks like it matches your face structure in your face type I've used that a lot to figure out what's that person's best angle where that person's best lighting is to fit because it will tell your face shape it'll tell you like where your eyes are level I use that that's the first tip like celebrity face matches use them for you that will not you your clients um the next thing is when somebody sitting down right during the conversation that I have this is gonna be awkward sitting in front of you guys like this show, I'll turn to the side so you guys don't see my crotch go that way I'm gonna cover this way so as I'm looking at my clients and I'm talking to them during the consultation face I'm really, really in tuned to what they look like and what they're what we're having a conversation about only because I mean, we've we've sat together where I'm speaking to him and I'm also analyzing him thankyou multipurpose ing what you're trying to do, what I like about that person, what don't I like that about that person? What kind of showcase, what can issue? I'm looking at them that way, so saving yourself time during the consultation face if you're sitting down, you've never met the client before and it's like, okay, we're gonna photograph this person I've never seen before I would just say moving the light around them, you know, that's that's, easy way like using your modifier to specific okay one too. Okay, how is that working in that position like that's, generally an easy kind of go to I have my crutch completely blocked any questions, just kind of generally about what we're doing so far I really love what we're doing now what I want to do. I think we're about ready to take a break here first morning break, but what I want to do beforehand when we opened up the questions in the morning, I love seeing the questions that come in because I know a lot of them are things that were already going to cover during the rest of the course. So what I would love to do is just kind of read through a few of them really quickly and just kind of have you say yes or no, I'm going to talk about this or I don't currently have it planned lighting is one type of lighting, such a split or butterfly more flattering for men. We'll talk about that. Do you think you could give some examples of how you give direction? Yes, absolutely. I seem to always have men who do not want to take photos, but then care about what they look like afterwards. How do you get the mento work with you so you can get a good end result? We'll discuss that. Perfect. How do you integrate these principles when shooting an uptight business guy who only has patients for straight on pr images? That sounds like my background. I'm a big fan of leaving the male portrait's I've shot sort of rugged. How do you deal with the male that is older than fifty years of age with deep lines or turkey chin or anything like that, as they say then, using those words that way, we'll discuss that in a bit for someone with a heavier built. Is there a particular pose you like to use to maximize their positive assets while avoiding the cliches from above? You consciously pose and photograph men of different gender identities differently? Um, honestly, now we'll discuss that, but no, I don't think differently. I don't see a reason to perfect. What about men who don't take photos and don't like their picture taken that's a good one? That's actually, we'll discuss that. Not today. We'll discuss that tomorrow. That's one of ten reasons men don't like having their photo taken love it. What is the primary lens jeff uses? We gotta talk about year. We'll discuss it. I can I can tell you right now, you guys will see a lot of about three or four lenses that actually use that. I generally go to my go to hundreds. Perfect, what modifiers do use soft boxes, hard lights, etcetera can talk about that, absolutely. Great point of view, and are we going to talk about shine in a man's face and how to deal with that? Oh, yes, nextag matter, full enhancing texture and post processing, we don't talk about that, and let's, see, how do you communicate with how do you get someone to communicate a great expression on their face? You can talk about that? Absolutely, you know, it's funny, I'm listening to this, and you guys see me staring offenses face. What I'm thinking about is there's, no one to look at, who has those questions. I could look at you guys, but it's like it's, awkward, like, if I'm looking at you like, yeah, I got that.

Class Description

Learn the art of posing men in Men's Portrait Photography. Jeff Rojas will show you how to direct men so they look natural, masculine, and confident in front of the camera.

In this class you'll learn posing, lighting, shooting, and editing techniques that will compliment all shapes and sizes of men. Jeff will demonstrate your options for lighting men for portraits, fashion, and commercial images.

You’ll learn the 10 main reasons men don't feel comfortable having their picture take and how to make them feel at ease in front of the camera – which will lead to better, more natural images. Jeff will teach:

  • How to help men pick proper attire
  • Flattering male features
  • Workflow and retouching

Don’t let men’s portrait photography intimidate you. Learn the skills you need to get bold, flattering shots of your male subjects every time.


caroline ross

I watched this class for free and am saving up to buy it. First of all confirmed! Sigma lens are nothing to be ashamed of and since I love my one main lens, Sigma I immediately felt a rapport. Then listening to the fascinating insights about men and their feelings when confronted by a lens and...what to do with folks who have shaved heads or a little large. Some of the tips were great! Adding a decoration on suit front like a flower or handkerchief, and how to get the suits looking FIT! and well, I plunged into man world and it was a super education. By day two I was amazed by Jeff's generosity. Basically all his experience, all his favorite lighting techniques and painstaking attention to detail. I would have to watch Day two zillions of times to actually be able to absorb all the scenarios and effects. Im going to buy some suit clips Jeff and clip a bunch of suits in back and front to gorgeous my male subjects out. Thank you again for a wonderful, wonderful class.

Lee Crow

I've taken a lot of photography training in the last couple of years. Jeff is outstanding. I didn't realize that this content would have such an impact on me. The lighting sections were the best I've seen and the psychological impact of us men having good photos is a wonderful subject to bring to light. The class is great. Jeff is great. CL is great.


this course was worth every penny. Full of practical information and excellent demonstrations. Jeff needs to quit with the crotch comments though was like ...really AGAIN? why are you so obsessed with saying crotch crotch crotch good God. Apart from THAT (which I think was just silly nerves) I really do recommend this class. Jeff is actually very very good. I admire his work. Thanks Jeff I learned a lot!!