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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 20 of 61

Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 20 of 61

Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model


Lesson Info

Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model

Now let's try another one. What I like is when they're leaning. So either you can just do it while they're leaning against something, and usually when they're leaning against something like that and you're shooting forward, I still had this subject lean forward a little bit. Because I don't like to shoot where they are feeling like they're posing like this. Because it just conveys a little bit of confidence when their head is towards that camera. So let's say I'm looking at the camera, right? And I'm like this versus this, that's just more confidence that way. And so just a slight leaning forward. If you are shooting them this way, if I'm using side light, I have them leaning looking off to the side, relaxed. In general, I'm just gonna tell you right now, full-length shots of guys are not really, they're kind of hard to do. Why? We don't have any shape. So it's like if you're gonna do a shot, you know, not unless you're a body builder or something, we look like a stick out there. So in...

general, I'm just saying in general now, waist-up usually is the ticket for guys. And if I do full length, a lot of times it's when I have a female with them to give me the shape. So I have a stick, and then I have some curves, and then it works. But in general, I'm not super excited about full-length shots for guys, but sometimes you gotta do it, and you know what, this one looks okay. I mean what do you want to see? That, or do you want to see something like this? I think that looks a lot stronger this way. And so this is what I do when I lean somebody. I have their shoulder leaning against the side, and I have the opposite hip all the way shifted out there, so it creates this diagonal feel to it. So go for the diagonal. And I'll get into the little mechanics of this. I don't know if they could ... I can use this area over here, too? Is that right? You can see me? Okay, I can demonstrate a little bit. And using props for guys. Guys just love sitting and leaning. And so if you see things, whatever they are, chairs or cars, just use it, because we love that. We don't like standing there with nothing, because we don't know what to do or whatever, but if we're leaning or sitting on something, that's our natural habitat, to feel lazy. And we love that. So just wherever it is, you sit over there, you lean over there. That's what I love doing with guys, and it works. So let's demonstrate the typical leaning pose. We're gonna use this area over here, because this is the only area that we have. I'm gonna demonstrate this leaning pose. Ryan, that's okay, you can just watch me for a second. I'm gonna tell you what's gonna happen, and you think this is easy, but it's not, and so you really have to break it down. You have a wall here, okay? And so when you say lean up against this wall, some people do this, right? And it looks awkward, right. So what you have to do, and if they're having trouble with this, you go oh, okay. Stand back up. Get like a foot from the wall and I say, "Act like a tree and fall down against the wall." And then you do the hip. (audience laughs) Because literally, you'll get guys lean against the wall, "Okay." Do that, and it's just not good. And you're like, something doesn't look right here. But if you tell them to stand up straight, act like a tree, fall down and then do this hip, and then a lot of times they just cross this leg here, then you're good and golden. So that's just a little bit of a tip. All right, so let's shoot Ryan. And we're gonna do this, but we're gonna use some side light. So why don't you go ahead and lean up against there. Yeah, perfect. And so look to the side, and I'm gonna use the side light right here, because that's what we're going with. That looks great. And let me get that, perfect. And can you... hold on a second. Yeah, look at me. There you go. One, two, three. Turn your head just a little bit more towards me. Right there, good. All right, and then just tilt your head just a bit. Yeah, there you go. Right there, see how I'm kind of doing some micro-adjustments? I mean, this guy has got good body control, too, because when I tell him to do that he just like locks in there and just doesn't move. And he's like awesome. Now, because I'm short, I do this just in case. But I gotta lock in my focus here. This is great on this camera. It's called eye focus, it hunts for the eye, but I don't have it programmed in the right position. Okay, here we go. And so I'm taking a little bit higher angle, and that's what I do just in case. My eyesight is so bad, it's just a blur when it's this close to my eyes, but I'm just shooting it anyways. And what's great about it is I have, on my camera, it tells me, it locks in on the eye. So I can just push it. That circle will hunt the eye, lock on it, and shoot it, so I have confidence that I'm in focus. All right, so great. So that's the leaning shot. Thank you very much, Ryan. And look at that. This guy looks good, man. I mean, like every shot is like damn, right on. And it's a very simple technique, but it just works. And it makes people relaxed. I could have his hands, I could have it in his pocket, I wasn't really paying too much about that. But I wouldn't necessarily have the hands like that, I'd maybe have it in his pocket there, and I think it would look a little bit better. But anyways, that's the look of it that you want, right in there. He could also bring the hand up and maybe touch this collar here, or something like that, if you want to get more of his hands involved. But in general, you just like that look right there.

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.