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Posing 101: Men

Lesson 4 of 5

Posing Male High School Seniors

Lindsay Adler

Posing 101: Men

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

4. Posing Male High School Seniors

Lesson Info

Posing Male High School Seniors

<v Woman's Voice>High School Senior Male Guidelines: Alright, so, here would be my tips if you've never photographed a high school senior guy before, the guidelines to getting a great shot. So, my tip number one would be, remember that the shoulders control their broadness. So when a guy walks in the studio, high school senior guys wanna look tough and they wanna look big. (laughter) Usually, but it's going to depend on their body shape. So if a guy walks in to the space and he is very narrow and less than muscular, which tends to happen for high school guys, you don't want to have him pose to the side. Because now I've reduced. All you see is the elbow, the foreshortening makes him look really narrow. Instead in this case, you would have the guy broader to the camera and leaning towards the camera. Makes everything here look bigger. If you happened to have a guy that maybe was a little bit broader, or perhaps a little bit heavier, and you wanna reduce that, then you would back that of...

f a little bit. And turn him to the side. So just remember, shoulders are an important part for high school guys. The next thing. Girls, their main goal in their photos is to look pretty. Guys for high school senior photos, their main goal is to look cool. And if they're doing a pose they don't perceive is cool, you will see it in their face and every part of their body. Their hands, they could barely not roll their eyes in the photo. So you want them to feel cool, which is why I try to have them participate. Me, personally, in the posing process, which is why I say, okay, take a seat. Pretend like you are watching a TV show. And then I tweak it. Or go lean up on the wall. I said go give me your GQ look. And they might think that I'm nerdy, and that's fine, cause then I can get funnier expressions. But I let them participate. I let them be comfortable and then I tweak. I don't try to do anything extravagant with guys, cause usually they think it's over the top. But, this kind of works in here. The difference between high school seniors and mature men, like posing, the difference between the two, is generally for high school seniors, if you want to lay them on the ground or involve more movement, that would be much more common. I don't usually have an adult guy laying on the ground, or sprawled out. But I would definitely do that for a high school senior guy, which is actually what we're gonna do with the basketball. For a high school senior guy, I found as you can see, look at the crazy ones, you know you can tell. The ones that are performers. They're out to look good and if you can involve movement, a lot of times they love it. So if you read that off of a personality, I have guys jump. I have them whatever it may be, to add a little bit of movement. I'll actually have them walk towards the camera. Whatever prop they may be, they may have. They can interact with it. I'll actually have them move with that piece. I don't do that with mature men. It doesn't exactly line up. Which brings me to number three. For high school senior guys, to get that cool factor, and also to have them be comfortable, if you can indeed get a prop, do it. Get a prop because they have something to hold onto. The part that's most stressful is what do I do with my hands? If they play Lacrosse, they can hold the Lacrosse stick. Whatever it may be. If it's basketball, they can sit with it. So find something to interact with, which is what brings you to number four. Which is occupy their hands and arms. That's the big one. Cause they don't quite know, basically the go to pose for guys because they're unsure is just cross their arms. Which honestly, I always get a crossed arm shot. Especially since for the smaller guys, it bulks them up a little bit. If a guys is really small, I do the cross arm shot like almost instantly cause everything looks bigger. I have them lean towards the camera. But that's kind of boring. So if I can, occupy their hands with those props. Or have them put their hand in their pocket. It makes them look cool, more confident versus I just kind of let my hands fall cause I didn't know where they went. And number five is much more commonly would be sitting or laying or leaning. Versus a lot of times with mature men, I will do sitting, but it's not as much, it's not as dramatic. High school senior guys are dramatic. This guy's dramatic. I like it though. Good dramatic! (laughter from the crowd) You may say he's like uh huh. See posing is gonna be easy. See, I don't want you to think, I specifically told Creative Live that I wanted people that don't know how to pose. No experience. And then I get these, he's over there posing for me already. Awesome, so, those are the tips that I would keep in mind. And the biggest difference with high school senior guys is that I can involve more movement and I can have them laying out on the floor, that kind of thing. Wouldn't do that with someone who's a bit older. So, let's photograph you, okay? Perfect. Right now? Yeah, sure we can start with that, awesome. Let me push this aside. See, he's into it. If you do a lot of high school senior photos, you know that's not generally the case. Specifically with guys. Sometimes girls get into it. Cause they want really hot Facebook photos. (crowd laughing) You know what, I'm not gonna lie, the guys do too, now. And this is totally a business aside. But marketing to that is okay. I would always say, I love that shot. Your friends are gonna love it on Facebook. I would totally say that because then they're like, oh yeah, they are, all right. Let's pose this up, let's look good. All right, awesome. So, first of all he's already comfortable. But, he's already more comfortable because he has something to interact with. So let's say that it's a basketball in this case. For posing a guy, I actually didn't usually bring out the prop as the first shot. It was maybe my second or third. My first shot is always just sitting. Super plain, super boring, sitting, leaning towards the camera, arms crossing. Nothing complicated, we're like this isn't too bad. But then I would introduce a prop because then it's giving them something to hold on to and interact with. Anything that was more complicated I saved till the end. So in this case, or you're fine. No, you're fine. So in this case, you could actually have him hold the ball in front as long as his elbows are popped out to the side. More generally, you'd kind of tuck it under an arm. You would just hold it. Something like that. He's just tucking it under his arm. The reason I'm doing that is here, even when he has his elbows popped up, it's an up and down pose. Like there's no, put it back in front for me, it's just up and down. Hold it to the side now. Now I've got a little bit of movement for my eye. So that's what I'm looking for. Symmetry is a little bit too static. So he puts the ball to the side, I'm gonna take a couple photos. It's good, it looks good. All right, perfect, just like that. Let me test my light first. (camera flashing) Good, easy peasy. Okay, for angle, just real quick, can you turn to your right just a little bit? Good, this is okay. But notice when I photograph this, and let me know if the tether's looking okay. It's okay here because I can see his wrist. But you start to get the hand coming out of nowhere thing. So I do prefer when it comes back towards camera just a little bit, so I can see where his arm is, just a little bit. It's not a big deal. I wouldn't tell you the photo's terrible if I couldn't see the arm. [Female Audience Member]. I'm kind of on the shorter side. Okay. Like 5'4 maybe, like the same height as you. But normally just like the guys, What are you calling me? (laughter) But normally when you photograph a gentleman, normally everyone is higher than me. Yes. And there, my solution is just always if I'm doing them and I don't have my step ladder or something to step on, I normally sit down people but just like you're comfortable shooting from your flat foot up to here. How do you do that? No that's perfect. That's a great question. So here's an important part of that. Let's say I'm taking this picture and he's taller than me but even taller. The most important part is that I back up and zoom in because that height is less emphasized, versus if I'm shooting a little bit wider closer, I will be shooting up at him. So the further back I go, I could shoot with a longer lens and it kind of compresses it. It's not up the nose shot. If however, I really want a standing shot of him, but he is really that much taller than me. My go to is a step towards camera, because this step, the height difference in this step, and it might be a little more exaggerated. So if you'll do that, and just take a step towards camera, and kind of lean a little bit. Okay, so I'm gonna hold hand here, now stand up straight. And put your feet together. Yeah, so it's like maybe three inches shorter. So, I mean, you can go more exaggerated than that. But the step and the lean makes them shorter. Thank you. Yeah, definitely. What do you think? Look good, right? Gorgeous. (laughter from crowd) Are you miked? He said gorgeous, just so you guys know. Cause I wasn't sure if he was miked. Awesome. So while I have this prop, again, it makes him feel, he knows what to do with his hands, and he kind of naturally has a stance. But I would also photograph when anyone has a prop also on the ground. So, I'm just gonna have you naturally, why don't you just sit down and put the basketball in front of you. Let's see what he does. Okay, so, for that right now, everything is straight on. Doesn't work. So I'm going to have you tilt towards your left, your whole body to your left. Yeah, rotate, perfect, rotate. Okay, so now, he naturally actually poses, without getting rid of the basketball. That's actually fine, how he did it there. That's fine. (laughter) This kid's awesome. So he's actually fine there. The only thing I would maybe say is just sit up a little straighter, and then relax your shoulders. And put your elbow back up. Cause before he was just slouching a little bit, but it's true, if you notice, this was something I had in my slides yesterday. When you tell someone to stand up straight, or to sit up straight, they do this and their shoulders get tense. Tense shoulders does not look comfortable, which is one of the key things we're aiming for for high school guys. So then I told him to relax. So that's kind of what I'll do. I'll say, okay, pull up from the top of your head. Straighten up your spine, okay, now relax. And just improve the posture there. So I could photograph him like that. What I'm gonna do with the ball is actually have you lean out on your elbow. Just lean actually on the ground on your elbow. That would be really hard to do on the ball. Don't they have workouts like that? Like you balance on balls? Yeah, yeah exactly. Okay, perfect. What I'm gonna have you do is I'm gonna have you put your other arm in front and you're just going to lean comfortably, and just do something like that. Like I can just kind of surround the ball with his hands. That's a pretty good natural pose. I'm gonna take a shot. All right, great, perfect. I'll tell you one flaw I see, which is not in him. (camera flash) Don't worry, you're perfect. Gorgeous, that's what you said. Okay, the best one is what he said. One thing that I would change is a little foreshortening in the elbow. So can you pop your elbow out to the side? Yeah, just something like that. Just a little bit more. And right now, he's leaning back a little, can you lean towards me? Like lean your chest towards me? Good. (camera flash) Good. (camera flash) Perfect. Okay, so I'd pick a pose like this last one and actually cropped out his leg, cause I didn't really need that shot. But this is traditional. High school senior guy, I would do one standing, one sitting like that. Okay, so that would be my bring a prop. If it's a, it could be a guitar, it could be another sports thing, he said, what'd you say, you do cross country? Yeah. He's like, I didn't want to wear shorts and just like, model my shoes. I was like, yeah, totally. That probably wouldn't go over so well. Okay, so, you wanna stand back up. So this is where I would maybe say, okay, so I got those poses. Let's do the, kind of, the cool GQ sitting poses for him. You can pass that off. (laughter) That was good. Can I have one of the chairs with, well I guess I can start with that one. Yeah we can start with that one. All right. Alright, so, keep in mind, we're going for GQ. What have you got for me? Like this is, I would kind of do something like that. Let's see how, alright, it's easier, he's giving me a little GQ here, all right. So this is how I would actually interact with people. I would kind of see what they can give me and then tweak it. Okay, so that's pretty good. But the problem is he's slouching a little much. Can you put your foot goes up a little higher? Like there's one more thing. Can it go up on that? Yeah. You're gonna fall. No. Okay good. Okay do that again now. Alright, so see how he's not as slouched, he's a little higher up. Okay, so what you're gonna do is just pose just like that. Do you mind if I just kind of move? I'm gonna just do this, okay? And what I'm looking for is alright I want to see negative space. Everything was coming at camera, and lean out on that arm even more, uh, a little less. Okay, and then bring this hand up, okay. Just be comfortable, lean on it real comfortable. Alright, so I'm looking, and that stool, a little worried that he might fall, but I'll wait for that. Okay, so I could try something like this. Let's see and personally I'm thinking, doesn't do anything for me. I think it's cause the stool is a little bit off. So what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna switch stools if you don't mind. Can I have one that doesn't spin? Yeah, can you just give me the chair? Yeah, I don't want, this is not a posing stool. This is spinny stool. Okay, Derek, we're just gonna do the chair. Okay, thank you. Perfect. All right, let me move this forward just a little bit. And by default, if you place the chair forward, just take a seat, guys by default will pose forward. So when you set the chair down, they'll set it forward. So stand one more time for me. And can you rotate it just towards that light there? Okay now take a seat. Now lean out on your legs. Okay, so this is actually totally fine for high school senior guys. He's leaned out, he's comfortable, just make sure his shoulders aren't hunched over. So just kind of pull your shoulders down just a little bit. Good, and I'm gonna have you pop this elbow out a little bit more. So what I'm doing is I'm actually making him look broader. Like this, when he just kind of leans all like this. Everything's compacted. I want his muscles to show, I want him to look broader. So I pop his elbow out, and it gives me nicer negative space. Okay, so we're gonna tweak this in a second. I would start with something like that. So it looks good. (camera flashes) Perfect. Okay, but if I wanted a little more dynamic. One of the things that I said for getting more dynamic poses is to have whatever's in twos on different levels. Okay, so that's like I said, if you have your hands on your hips, it's not as dynamic as one hand higher and one hand lower. Well that doesn't work. For a guy, I'm not gonna make you do that. But, he would totally do it. I believe it. But I have an apple box. So this is something. I don't have a lot of props in my studio. Actually, I have almost none. But I do have one of these. Because now I can make his legs uneven. So will you put your back leg up on that? Good. All right, and now lean out. Okay, so now it's a little bit more dynamic and he can lean out without hunching. And you can, he can do whatever's comfortable. Usually I will do hands together, maybe one kind of resting on his thigh. So this is going to be a more dynamic pose. Perfect. (camera flash) Good. And now I'm going to have you GQ for me. Okay, good. (crowd laughter) And put that hand up on your thigh, yeah, right there. Yeah, put it a fist behind your elbow. Okay, perfect. Just like that. (camera flash) So the whole time, what I'm looking for, like the little things I'm tweaking, he's flat-footed, and leaning forward, how do I make him not lean forward? I have him so he can actually lean less on his legs. An apple box, but that also gives me more dynamic pose. Because now his two legs are not completely even. And in GQ, when he put his hand out in front, would you move your hand out in front? Yeah, my eye goes there, because it's a light color fist against his pants. So I had him hide it. And I also had him not have a loose hand. Cause if you, spread your fingers out. Right here? Yeah, in front, or in back, I mean. I would be able depending on where I was shooting from, I'd be able to see his fingers and it's that fingers from nowhere effect, so I just had him put em in a ball there. And then whatever's comfortable. And he looks comfortable, it looks good. I would try the other leg as well. You could do it if you want. But that would be kind of my GQ ish look. [Male With bowtie] Hey Lindsay, just for our folks in other countries, could you define GQ? Ooh. (male voice laughing) It's a fashion men's magazine. And the men all look hot and debonair. So when you say it to a guy, if you say they look GQ, they're like, oh yeah, all right. [Male Voice Bow tie] Yeah, thank you, awesome. Yeah, definitely. Is there another big men's magazine internationally? I don't know. Vogue for guys. The other ones I could think of are Esquire, Yeah, you could Esquire, if you know that one, so it's basically, if I had to describe it kind of in a few words, it would be manly, confident, and calm. Cool and confident. [Male With Bow tie] Cool. That's how they want to feel. All right, so after I'd shot some things, maybe where he's doing a basic pose with his hand, I would do a basic shot. Can you just cross your arms? Perfect, and lean back in the chair. So guys, as soon as you give guys a chair with a back, a lot of times, they'll slouch and they'll lean back. Especially high school guys. So what you wanna do is have them lean forward towards the camera. Actually, let's say that you have a guy. He's fine. But like if you had a guy that's really small. You want him to look a bit older and more mature. If you lean him forward, it really will broaden out his chest. But you just don't want him to lean forward like falling. So let me take a look right here. Cause it's gonna, go ahead and drop your shoulders just a little. Good, and relax your shoulders a little bit. (camera flash) Good. (camera flash) So, I would get that shot. Notice I had him lean forward. But while I have a chair, I'm gonna have you flip the chair around and strattle it for me. Yes, ma'am. Yeah, he's agreeing with me. Yep, just leave the seat. Yes, he's already attention posing. Okay, good. I always, no that's perfect, I always do this because guys already feel like they know how to pose on the back of a chair. They cross their arms, they put their hand up. Something like that. I don't want to make it too complicated, so that's great. Also, a super manly pose, we're gonna do this for the next one. Can you pretend, oh, he did it. What the heck? Okay, so super manly pose, okay and now lean forward towards it just a little bit. So this you don't see as much, except for if it's supposed to be kind of tough and manly. If you want to know what to do with the hands, and have them in a shot, actually almost that punching, and posing next to it, will give you that same effect. Versus having to hand the hand on the face of some guys, especially high school seniors where I've said pose like this. They're like, um, I don't do hand on face poses. No really, I've heard guys say that to me. So, okay, so my alternative would be something like that. Perfect, just like that looks great. (camera flash) Good, let's check my light, perfect. I'm gonna try one more from right here. (camera flash) And tilt your head back just a little bit. Uh, to your right, good. (camera flash) Good. And do one more with your arms just crossed on the chair. Okay, just like that. Super calm, super comfortable, basic guys portrait. (camera flash) All right, so how's it going so far? Great. Good, easy. Okay, so the last thing that I would do for guys is I'd have him sitting and I would do some with or without his prop or his basketball, lying on the ground. Yesterday, we did one with hand or elbow up on his knee. The last thing I would do would pose up against the wall. So I am going to pose you up on the wall. So just go be comfortable. Pose on the wall, okay. I will try not to be hooked. Perfect, great. Okay, so I just wanna show you a couple different effects. And you can you bring it around more towards the TV? Just, perfect. Okay, let's give this a try. All right, I'm going to ask you to stand with your back on the wall. So a lot of guys will stand with their back on the wall but notice, (camera flash) how narrow it makes him look. And that is a default. A lot of people will do that because that's what's comfortable. What is less comfortable is kind of a three quarter lean. So if I'm thinking, I want to make him look broader. I can have him do a three quarter lean, that looks good. That's perfect. And cross, exactly, so, or you guys can see this. When I had him lean on the wall, when he was flat foot, that's not stable. And so I watch for stability in the legs, so I'd have him cross his leg over. Something that's a little more stable, versus anytime someone's trying to balance you see it everywhere in their face, and they get uncomfortable. So just lean, perfect, just lean on the wall. Great, perfect. And I'm gonna try to get that background cleaner, sorry. (camera flash) And now do the same thing with your arms crossed. Perfect. (camera flash) Good. (camera flash) And very very last thing that I want you to do is actually lean on the wall, arms crossed, foot up. Yeah, perfect, Okay, and so if I did want him to lean on the wall, be comfortable, then I can't shoot here. Because it has minimized him too much. So I have to change my angle. So instead of doing this, I would need to come around to a more front angle like this, that's good, I'm gonna scoot right here. Same thing, and just whatever's comfortable. And don't lean back as much, lean your chest towards me just a little bit, good. (camera flash) Perfect, that was a really cute smile. It was very happy. Oh, thank you. You looked, now be serious. And don't lean as much. No, you're fine, great. (camera flash) Okay, perfect, all right, and I'm gonna try to get untangled. All right, so that's it. That was perfect. Thank you so much. Thank you. (audience clapping) All right, so let me see. Do we have any high school senior guy questions before we just show a couple differences for photographing a mature male? Sure, I have one from a debotography, who had a question about our wonderful model, here, has a big personality. And wants to know, which is great, they wanna know how do you get those big movement personalities to stop when you get a pose instead of moving beyond the position you want to capture? Actually, I deal with that with professional models all the time. Because one of the things that they're taught is that you should never hold a pose more than three seconds. That's like a professional model thing. But what if I didn't get it? And then they're on to the next one and I loved it. So, all I do, and they say, okay, that's great, don't move, I gotta get this from a bunch of different angles. And I just let them know that they're doing a great job. And I think you can kind of tell also the way I interact with my subjects. No matter what, good, okay, but let me try something different, even if it's not working. But for getting to hold still, oh that's perfect. Don't move, don't move, hold still, hold on, hold on. And then they're usually like, okay, and then they laugh at me and get good expressions. Cool. So, profunographer asks how do you use motion or jumping pose with male seniors and what tips can you give for those types of poses? Okay, absolutely. For guys, for male seniors, it just does depend on the guy. I found a lot of them like jumping. Just like jumping and kicking. Do you like to jump and kick? He loves jumping and kicking. See, I knew it. I knew he was a jump and kicker. But the biggest thing is if they're jumping, I'll say I want you to jump off stairs at me or something. I'll just joke, this one's not serious, this is just for fun, but let's end off like a crazy Ninja Chuck Norris look. Jump off of whatever or something that I can kind of reference. And so, the big one is don't kick or jump or anything at the camera. All the movements should kind of be to the side, otherwise, you can't see it. If it's at the camera, it's not defined. And it totally depends on the guy. I think he would jump. I think he would be cool with jumping. But a quiet reserved guy would not, it wouldn't happen.

Class Description

Not getting the shots you want when posing men? Join fashion photographer and CreativeLive instructor Lindsay Adler for the basics of posing men that will allow you to expand your posing repertoire and experiment with confidence.

Lindsay will show you the basic foundations to posing and 5 easy to follow guidelines for posing men. During live photo shoots, you will learn essential males poses that you can implement in just about any situation. You’ll learn how to work with and pose high school seniors, mature men and how to get the best expression, body language and image possible.

A great portrait starts with great posing. Whether you’re a novice photographer wanting a step-by-step plan to follow in your shoots or an establish pro wanting new tricks, this course will let you walk into a shoot and pose your male subjects with confidence.

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Elena Khlystun

Excellent tutorial, Lindsay is the best teacher!

a Creativelive Student

Very good - just wish I'd realised it was actually part of the posing 101 big course by Lindsey - (which I already owned) and not a stand-alone course before buying it!


Very clear guidelines on What To Do.....thank You!