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Men's Portrait Photography

Lesson 13 of 26

Shoot: Getting a Natural Pose

Jeff Rojas

Men's Portrait Photography

Jeff Rojas

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Lesson Info

13. Shoot: Getting a Natural Pose

Lesson Info

Shoot: Getting a Natural Pose

First and foremost I'm using the cause I'm going to get questioned I'm lying about this amusing two segments twenty four one oh five as my camera and so you guys know I'm using a little spider holster just little grip that they have on the side I don't can't drop my camera anymore it's nice this thank you sir so I was asked how I use is like to illuminate the subject's body what can I do to illuminate the whole body because this is very very very beautiful light with the fall office quite dramatic it falls off in a certain way and we don't take a beginning photo urine to go to pose that's a ghost compose that I like you perfect triggers on battery we're good here john if you could move that light in the background light just bring it back and just lower the power tiny bit for me thank you sir and learns I'm gonna move you away from the background thank you sir perfect note to self don't get tied up in these perfect subject is posing so let's look at that image that's john no yeah I don...

't know you're wearing a hat I don't know how you got the head on again he's a pastor I think that's it's all the women are going to his church like that's e think it's still tender nonetheless okay we're starting nowhere is your hands in your pockets actually perfect perfect and they were starting hand in your pockets do me a favour john can I have a b flat on the right hand side or you know a reflector whatever's easier whites please perfect go to pose off a heavy model quite a bit huh now thank you sir I sincerely appreciate your help perfect thank you okay that should be a little easier on the eyes either way we'll do that momentarily I'm actually gonna do that on ly to uh showcase the pose a little better that's perfect let's see one more time ok go to pose once again just hands in your pockets awesome okay what's that doing move this forward stay there love lorenzo from what's that doing couple things it's doing one of two things I'm his thumbs are already moving towards his crotch that's when my eyes were pointed too right that's like the first thing he's like yep I know right that's the first thing the next thing is I mean what is that communicating like what where's the subject what are they doing? Is lorenzo just a random guy that I found on a corner I'm like hey put your hands in pockets let me photograph you like what's the context of what we're trying to showcase so if I'm shooting what am I shooting lorenzo for if I was shooting lorenzo as a groom no snap in two seconds if I shouldn't learn their lorenzo's a groom how do I want him to showcase himself so I feel regaled I want him to look happy what am I trying even the difference of moving him slightly towards the side can you move? You know what? Decide because we'll have the camera on that side perfect chin up I'm gonna have camera there okay, so as I'm doing this hand's just behind your back just tiny bit perfect he's like yep I'm gonna beat you up that's we're going perfect just hand in your pockets five on the different hand in your in your front pockets fine that's kind of weird stroking just a hand this way just for me just like that thumb out perfect so here's another thing as you guys moving if you don't turn that way move we're somewhere it was before no thumb no found just paying attention to things that are actually happening again little nuances, little differences what is that communicating if I saw that I'm still looking at his crotch like that's what's happening so I need to kind of like okay keep moving from a tiny bits don't have to like see you crash this this here is wrong this here not so bad because I don't have to see this is pointing to nothing this is so it's a little better can you point where you're pointing before that's not what I want to say so just a little little nuances of how that position's coursework next howto I if I'm looking to thin lorenzo out, how could I do that? We're gonna go back to eclipse. I'm gonna put some clips on your lorenzo. You're gonna enjoy this by enjoy. So lets him out. So he's obviously fit your shirt is going to kill me after this it's just going to stay in that same position for us over again. Very expensive shirt on. Lee used clips with little plastic bits at the end. Okay, perfect. You know, I know that you like your jeans. I do, but I'm just going to move him over slightly so we don't have as much. You're gonna hate me after this, I will always have that one person perfect. So you see the difference? Can you do that? Same post handing pockets. Same one perfect one. Do me a favor and pull down on your, uh, your sweater. Okay, okay, just hands at your sides with that and just relax. You're comfortable. You're kind of perfect, just like that. Perfect let's. See what we're we're seeing here in frame it's, difficult for you guys to see me move this forward. What my noticing about the post go back the pot's itself is starting to lift his shirt right, just bringing in bring his hands to his sides to go to pose lorenzo you have what what my style's calls lego hands like that's just how they stay we'll talk about hands in a bit and how they act more naturally guys tend to do a lot of lego poses with their hands again like this for this you know what can you do that oh he's in flight things other thing you do put your thumbs in your pockets just said perfect fingers now okay I'm gonna show the front of this this is what we're talking about before perfect he has athlete hands exactly perfect I'm actually just gonna see what it looks like a camera for two seconds perfect I know there's no light on it I'm quite aware of that I thought I ended up quite a bit he's ghostly stickin spring this back bring it bring it bring it back bring it back you know that song no one else does is awesome so even though he feels like he's grabbing his crotch can you show this one and the pointed thumbs difference I would say it less less uh if you can close your fingers a tiny bit just relax just like that I would say like like do this just softer just relax your fingers okay watch this he went from pointing his crotch to effectively grabbing his crotch okay bringing thumbs back in your pockets perfect just like that awesome differences of what not to do. I always loved photographing bad things first. Okay, I'm starting to take away attention from his crotch. Let me move this away. I was trying to draw attention away from his crotch more into his formality and his pose, and and what I'm trying to see, um, I'm no longer where's my attention to its no wonder his crotch area. Like now, I'm starting to look at his face because it's a contrast is part. So I know I know that as I'm photographing my subject in this case, lorenzo, how is contrast, helping me in the image, and I'm thinking about the pose and regards the concepts of what's happening. He has a darker skin tone, right? So I can use contrast to pose correctly. So I know that what I want to do is show triangles, because we discussed that before lines and shit, and I also want to show contrast in order to help lead my eye. So the darkest part of the subject in this case is lorenzo, because you have a very, very light light shirt. So put your hand towards your center there. Can I use his hands to start leading my eye upwards? That's what I'm thinking, considering, so is there a way that I can have? Just lorenzo if you can put your arm towards your elbow just like that is there a way that I can have him turn over to the side and this is the difference between much us d'oh d'oh forward again one more time I see a lot of this job if I could have you I'll be there I promise not to kill anybody perfect I'm talking about crotch shots here again with guys this is what you have to worry about perfect time one two three perfect awesome this is a little easier to see what is he doing he's grabbing right turn over to your side that way from a right there perfect relax and put the hand down toward your side perfect let's see that hand over okay so length of arms is another thing we'll worry about the clips in a bit by the way I know that's gonna be another question okay perfect perfect can you raise that arm a tiny bit um just ever so slightly bring your elbow down perfect watch this okay she was last to me just crotch elbow down length of arms what what happens again I'm not worried about his head I'm worried about his arms right now he's grabbing his crotch and over one more the second he moved his hand under his elbow don't lie that's not what happened there was one on elba where's my hand where is it leading it's no longer his crotch I'm infected leading his my eyes somewhere different amusing triangles to do that look at that first photograph again the nuances of moving one arm about four inches because he has his arms if they know this side it makes you look awkward sorry if he's on this side it makes you look awkward moving over he's not looking his crotch any longer he's moving over to his forearm there in the forearm makes it so it shortens out in that way I can see the the angle's not focused around his crotch area we're not gonna worry about the clips for now, but we'll focus on moving forward so if I had to pose a subject that would be like my first go to post something more comfortable and confident next thing is if I was going to crop this if I wanted to let say thin the subject out I crop it so it's not so wide so lauren's to do me a favor cross one foot over the open like this it's comfortable you feel perfect turns forward towards may perfect awesome and turned slightly that way. Um I would say probably two thirds something like that perfect so lorenzo has he has brought her thighs so this is another subject with difficult features you don't have difficult features but you know what I mean difference in nuances let's go back one photo and forward one so the first thing we tend to do is photographers were like okay, it turned them and make them look skinnier but how is that affecting the image? He has wider thighs, right? So and if he mentioned it's because he's athletic like he's naturally gonna have bigger quants let's see that photo and let's see him straight on moving him over the side. What is that doing to my subject? I thought it was fitting them out meaning that's your first perception I'm going to get him out but it's actually making his way his legs look even whiter because their wider then they are sorry there they're wider on the sides and they are in the front so if I was trying to make him look thinner that's what I would have to consider as I'm looking at my image or turn him over to the side isn't always the best so I can still start leading him to take a photograph of him without necessarily looking in his crotch that's the first thing shortening his thighs out so they don't look is wide now we talked about the face how do I photograph them said his face looked accentuated so I'm gonna think about can I have that reflector in there please in the same post one over the other perfect awesome perfect legs together facing me perfect legs together together perfect and legs one crossed over the perfect different ways that you guys can crop the same photograph in order to shape different things gonna move this over to make a little easier can't sing the last four images thank you uh two three four thank you like positioning hand positions always has been the same leg position and body structure what do we see that's happening spreading his legs I get a bit more contrast he's starting to thin out again the first thing I think about what I'm trying to think people are like oh it likes together turn over to the side it makes you kind of feel okay but not every subject has the same features I'm looking him seok triangles of their face shaped face shape is fine I can see triangles that shows a bit of structure depending on what I'm trying to photograph their looks uncomfortable no one really stands that way which one looks the most comfortable aside from his face it's probably this one looks the most comfortable I'm looking position of hands comfortable legs a comfortable he doesn't look so what? He's obviously not line in person that's not what I want to showcase so just a slight nuances between body structure and being about a photograph something where it's it's complementary to the person's physique I'm gonna do the same thing stoney do you guys wanna switch spots? Thank you and he has clips all over him for a few seconds so what's the first thing we need to do with this image he's getting a home he's gonna buy a bunch of thank you didn't see that one thank you thank you I'm fine with anything I think you need some band aids I'm joking e that's okay that's usually what happens hands at your sides perfect. Okay so chat rooms band aids are necessary for this one but it's fact as we're looking at stony so it has a different body shape then lorenza right so how do we take the same pose again? What we're thinking about before turn over to your side slightly I would say a three course meal like that perfect same thing perfect where's lorenzo we discuss turn him over to the side was a bad thing because his wife dies. What are you doing with stony? Can I see before and after? How much are we really thinking about if we needed to oppose him in a certain way that's the first thing is considering wait and considering body posing as as you're looking at an image. Okay, next thing is to like his little flutter see, I'm in tune to body language and I'm still trying to figure out what he's doing and why he's doing that happens god okay, next thing is do I have a negative space to do me a favor? Can you turn over to me slightly so right foot forward tournament just like that. Perfect let's. See this? Perfect hands behind your back. The right hand just slightly behind you. Back in your back pocket. Lean forward ever so slightly perfect. Just like that. Awesome. One, two, three move over its tiny bit. Shoulder back. Awesome. Okay, different things. People do awesome. Kind of the go to pose with other people things not to do that's really bad what's happening soon is a very, very wide broad chest. Generally with women, you wanna accentuate the breast area with men sometimes not so much unless it's like an athletic photo and you're trying to make them look bigger. I want him to look thinner like I'm trying to shoot him where he looks, but he does in person. But if he's a subject that can I see the last couple foot, I would say three photographs together compared if he's a subject that's very, very cautious about his body type, or if I want him to look a certain way, I can go ahead and change that. Another thing we can do is look at these last three images. How can we use contrast in clothing and skin tone to start creating depth to start creating too narrow out the subject's body? What do we have here? I know that when I saw the photo before what was really defining his body was a contrast between skin and his clothing so I know that with armed posing we'll do the same pose that we did before just hand just under your elbow right there perfect and slightly over to the side perfect and we're going to see guitar player hands okay perfect want to perfect and just relax that hand I know you have you have an issue with your arm right your elbow that one perfect same pose different person does that look natural for stoning know how do you let's say so this is my my question's for most people if I was having conference conversation with genesis tony how was your day today how's everything going okay that sounds great what's his first go to pose as I said that arms down that's where he feels comfortable and I have to say anything I'm communicating with him I'm discussing with him I'm looking at the way he's actually doing things and I have mentioned what I'm trying to do so don't be afraid to like if you don't know what you're doing and you're like trying to get somebody to do something look at the way look they look best naturally and go from there so it's tony turn to the side again uh two thirds perfect awesome okay watch this I'm sorry one more time I think if you just leave that there for if it wanted to awesome I don't mind uh sorry perfect you can pull it back sorry that's a funny spot to be in this stony look natural what shot can I see this one compared to the one that we had before try I am perfect thank you thank you might he looks skinnier in the right one but where is he look more comfortable I think he looks more comfortable in the right hand side the left one looks a little awkward in regards supposing so as you guys and even and I'm verbally saying this because I do have opposing guy that is available to class as you guys are looking at posing it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work for every single subject look at the person look at their visual cues see if they're comfortable see what's happening in the image every single poses and work for every single person it's just the context of how everybody's shaped body sizes and when what's happening there much this I know that he's probably a little better can you cross your arms the comfortable position can you turn over three course I've never opposed him this is the first time I've actually posed him I shot his portrait I have no opposing how do I know that he's more comfortable this way it's the first thing that he did that he's okay with doing that I haven't said perfect okay we're not going to get a serial killer smile at me this time. Okay? Awesome. Perfect. Is stony comfortable doing that? So put your arms. You know what? I can do me a favor that's gonna make him feel awkward. Switch your arms, the position of arms cross opposite opposite way turned over to the side. Okay, watch this natural and hey, looks awkward again and it has a lot to do with a person's comforts as you guys are looking at posing guys and reference guys and figure out is that personal best straight toe look best aside? Are they skinny into the sign body position and with what we talked about, the small nuances of difference between somebody's what they're comfortable doing. So even before you look at oppose, look at the way that it's best fit for the person you're looking at, as well as the context of their body positioning and the relative you know what I'll say this simply about this, make sure the post fits the setting. Make sure the post looks comfortable. You go is enough. Okay, I think all your clips, we're gonna have you. Okay. So, here's, what? I want you to start from one shoulder down to your wrists, okay? And I'm going to see he's like, what am I doing?

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.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Photographer's Style Guide for Men

Men's Posing Guid

Photoshop Black and White Presets

Adorama Gear Guid

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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!!