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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 19 of 61

Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 19 of 61

Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model


Lesson Info

Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model

So, now let's get into, that's kind of like a headshot, let's get into some poses that I do with the male. Okay, and so here's some tips on posing a male, and like I said, here's the number one thing we want to look like, relaxed and confident. I know a lot of people ask me this, especially a lot of women, I just don't know how to pose a guy, and I'm thinking, guys are so easy, right? Maybe it's because as a guy, I know how we like to feel, but we like to feel relaxed, but confident. So, weight shifted, relaxed, but there's an extreme confidence. That's gonna be a great shot but guess what? Sometimes your client's not gonna feel confident, kay? So, if you get that situation, which happens a lot, because, ah, this is the first time I've ever taken pictures before and I'm so nervous and I don't know, I just don't think I look good today, or whatever, right? You're going to have to carry that confidence for them. Because a lot of times, they're gonna come into the session not feeling conf...

ident at all, but you've gotta carry that confidence for them. And once they start, whatever emotion that you have, they will mirror it. So, if you come into the session, okay, um, I'm not sure what to do, but can you put your, wait, I don't know, not that, put uh. How do you think a client's gonna feel if you come in there like that? But if you come in there, okay, man, you look great, we're gonna do this shot, turn your head this way, they're gonna start feeling good about you. You don't what ruins confidence and I teach hundreds and thousands of students a year, and I watch them and see how they operate. They don't talk enough to their subject. So, what helps with this confidence is continually talking to them. Tell 'em they look great. I don't care if they don't look great, just keep telling them that they do, and then they will look great. But you have to keep on emotionally feeding them with positivity and then you'll get that out of them, but that's very, very important. Now, this is amazing with guys, you can use either hard light or soft light and it looks great. So, you have certain versatility and so that's why sometimes when I'm shooting a guy session, I feel a lot more freed with my lighting because I can try some new dramatic things and I can just use flashes alone and creating hard light, which I don't necessarily do with females, and so it can give you some more options. It can kind of actually release some creativity, that you might not otherwise do when you shoot a woman. Start with sitting and leaning. What did I do? Came here, he sat. When a person is sitting or leaning, they are relaxed. The hardest pose for a person to do right off the bat is standing free form like this. Actually, this is simple. If you're a guy, you're standing like this. And relax my weight on one leg, turn it, look straight at the camera. That's actually really hard to do. Most guys can't do it. I mean, it looks simple, but most people cannot free form and stand and pose while they're taking a picture, because it's a lot of coordination. And I notice that if I'm shooting athletes, like they're very athletic, it's easier for them to pose, but if I'm posing a person, who's not used to a lot of physical activity and movement and coordination, it's gonna be extremely hard for them, so I usually start with sitting or leaning against the wall. Shadows equal strength. I talked about that. And split lighting, I talked about that. So, for a guy, you're doing a symmetrical look, you just bring that light in from the side or wherever, maybe it's window light, you turn that face so half of the face is in shadow, it looks really, really strong and it's a very typical shot of a guy. So, one, let's get into a sitting pose. So, what I do is have 'em sitting down. What I'm going to do is have one shoulder towards the camera a little bit because I don't typically like to shoot a guy, for a traditional shot, straight on, because they're going to look thinner if I hit them at an angle. So, especially if you get a subject that's a little heavier set, you don't want to tried up, to shoot them straight on, with shoulders squared to you, really that looks good with skinny dudes, but if you get someone that's just normal, and maybe they're just not have a thin frame, usually you want to hit 'em on a side, so they look thinner. So, that case, instead of standing and do it, I have 'em sitting and do it. So, now the shoulders are not square at me. One shoulder is toward the camera, the knee is toward the camera, and now I'm slimming their body down automatically. And also, the head tilt is towards the lower shoulder. That equals strength. So, watch. I'm gonna do a shot here and I'm gonna do my head tilt towards the higher shoulder. Hi. That doesn't look good, right, for a guy? But, my lower shoulder is this one here, so if I tilt the head to the lower shoulder, it's gonna look stronger versus tilting up here like this, which is great for females, but for guys, not necessarily. So, this automatically allows one lower shoulder because that's away from the camera. If I tilt his head towards that, it's gonna feel very masculine. And notice I'm using the same headshot techniques here, where I'm defining the line, keeping the eye right there, nose towards the light, and in this particular case, I have front light and back light. So, I love getting that strip of shadow right at the cheek there, because that defines the face still, but then gives you some highlight there. This is the same headshot techniques there, but I'm doing it sitting down and that's how I usually do it. Square shoulders are good for thin frame, and Ryan's a fit dude, so it was okay. He's passable. This guy looks really great. He has a thin frame. I'm gonna lean him. And this actually, for a person who's really skinny, and you want to give him some weight, this is excellent technique, because now, when he's leaning forward, aren't his shoulders going to be larger than his waist, and so he's going to get that cut, more. And so, leaning forward is gonna be great for a super thin person, and straight ahead, because now you want to create more bulk for that person. It's gonna look good. And so, then, you have chairs, but if you don't have chairs, you can have them sitting down, also, too. It helps to have nice arms like that, also, (laughs) which I don't have, so that's why I always wear long sleeves, but anyways, it's good here. And so you can have them sitting down, doesn't necessarily work for heavier set guys, but for thin guys, no problem, and that's another option for you to do and that can have a cool look to it, also. So, let's do that. So, let's try to do that sitting demo, right now. Should be pretty straightforward. Okay, so Ryan, I'm gonna have you sitting, and I want you to turn your legs a little bit, facing this way, right? Okay, good. If you could just spread your legs out a little bit. Relax. Yeah, there. good. So, now, that shoulder. Actually, the way he's sitting in his position, when you're looking this way. Can you look this way? Tilt your head this way a bit. Right there. Good. So, here's the typical pose. His body is this way, his head is that way. He's got this leaning forward, and I'm gonna have his head tilt that way. And then, I'm gonna get this light on. Actually, can you just actually turn your legs toward me a little bit more? Yeah, so it's not obvious. And then, if you could just spread your legs just a little bit more. Yeah, there you go! Now, you're looking relaxed right there. Good. Okay, so he's gonna tilt his head just a little bit this way, right? And if I could get some light right into his eyes, so I can see that catch light. Right there. Looks great. Okay, look how easy this is. Well, he makes it look easy, but I guarantee you this technique works well. Okay, I'm just gonna drop my. Perfect. (camera clicks) Then, I can also just have him look straight at the light there. And that way, and just for a different look, right? (camera clicks) And then I can have him look back at me, and then smile. Just trying to change. Okay, a little bit less smile. Yeah, there you go. Right there. (camera clicks) Very strong. Let me get that centered more. (camera clicks) Great. Okay, so that's the sitting pose. Pretty straightforward. Look it looks great! Look how easy that was. So, thank you very much, Ryan. So, I want you to have a lot of confidence. That works because they're relaxed when they're sitting. And it usually works like a charm, right? Because they're just relaxed and you can do it.

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.