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11/07/2024

How to Pose for a Picture—Men’s Guide & 16 Male Poses

Photographing men can be a challenge, especially when many feel they aren't photogenic.This guide will provide essential posing tips for men, ensuring they look both masculine and stylish in every shot. From mastering model poses to shining at the wedding shoot, these tips will elevate any photo session.

When photographing male subjects, there’s a huge range of sitting poses, natural poses, photoshoot poses—the list goes on. However, concerning the average man, a general rule of thumb applies: we just want to look cool!

Before we get to some great poses for a more professional context, we’ll explore the best posing tips to help you look cool and masculine in pictures.

Table of contents

  1. How can men look more attractive in photos?
    1. Feet apart, toes out
    2. Stand tall – Head, shoulders, spine, and chest
    3. Chin forward
    4. Prioritise your left side
    5. Hands can make or break
    6. Things not to do with your hands
    7. Be yourself
    8. Don’t forget to be playful
    9. Trust your photographer
  2. 16 Male Poses
    1. Arms crossed
    2. Hands in pockets
    3. Hand on chin
    4. Playing with hair
    5. Leaning against a wall
    6. One leg up
    7. Standing with one foot in front
    8. Sitting with a crossed Leg
    9. Sitting, leaning forward
    10. Adjusting clothes
    11. The Thinker
    12. Holding one arm
    13. Looking over the shoulder
    14. Backward chair
    15. Strolling pose
    16. Hand-on-chin pose
  3. Flexibility in posing: Guidelines, not rules
  4. Final Words
  5. TYX London Photography Studio

How can men look more attractive in photos?

Capturing the perfect photo requires more than just a smile—it’s about projecting confidence and natural charm. Here are some insightful tips to help men enhance their appeal in front of the camera.

Feet apart, toes out

side profile of male model standing straight

Start with a solid foundation. Keep your stance wide, about shoulder-width apart, to project strength and confidence. Unlike female poses which often resemble an “S” shape, male poses should resemble an “A”.

Avoid pointing toes inward as it creates unwanted curves, making the pose look less masculine. Shift your weight onto the foot furthest from the camera, slightly bend the front knee, and keep the back leg straight.

Stand tall – Head, shoulders, spine, and chest

Man standing straight with hand on chin

Curves are typically associated with feminine poses. For men, maintain a straight spine which naturally pushes the chest forward and pulls the shoulders back, conveying strength.

However, keep the shoulders relaxed to avoid looking stiff. Head and chin placement is crucial: keep the head upright or slightly tilted towards the lower shoulder to avoid looking feminine or childlike.

Chin forward

Profile shot of smiling model

Move the chin forward, not up, to avoid showing the underside of your jaw and nostrils. This is especially important for taller men or those on higher ground. Imagine being a turtle extending its neck—this may feel awkward but it helps define the jawline and extend the neck for a more flattering look.

Prioritise your left side

Portrait of fashionable boy in front of white curtain

Recent research suggests that the left side of your face is often perceived as more attractive than the right. This phenomenon is thought to be linked to the left cheek displaying more emotion, making it appear more expressive and engaging.

Although it might seem like a dubious claim, there is scientific backing for it.

Young hispanic cool man gazing left, sideways pose

Beyond the studies, many people will tell you that angling your face is generally more flattering than looking straight ahead, which means choosing a side is essential.

Given the supporting data, opting to highlight your left side could enhance your appearance in photos, aligning with the general preference for angled poses and making the most of your naturally expressive features.

Hands can make or break

Hands significantly impact the mood of a photo. Stiff hands look awkward, so keep them busy: rest one hand on a railing, put one hand in a pocket, or hold the lapel of your jacket.

If posing with a partner, hold hands or place a hand around their waist or back for a natural and connected look.

Things not to do with your hands

Avoid holding your hands together over your crotch—a common groomsmen pose that makes you look defensive and vulnerable. When placing hands in or around pockets, be mindful of what you’re “framing”.

Ensure any exposed thumbs point downward to keep the viewer’s eyes on your face, not elsewhere.

Be yourself

Urban portrait of young man with orange hair

Authenticity is key. Avoid presenting a forced or artificial persona to the camera. Instead, relax and be yourself, allowing the camera to capture your genuine and expressive self. Aim to be the best version of you, not an imitation of someone else.

If you’re working with a professional photographer, don’t hesitate to chat and engage with them. This interaction can help you loosen up and act more naturally, resulting in better, more authentic photos.

Don’t forget to be playful

Waist-up shot of funny and playful curly-haired male with tattooed arm

Imagine someone seeing your photo for the first time and laughing warmly. Sounds promising, right? That’s why (unless you’re posing for a model photoshoot) don’t forget to playful and have fun.

Research shows that 69% of attractiveness is down to the smile, so loosen up, enjoy the moment, and let your playful side shine through in your photos.

Trust your photographer

Man preparing the studio for a shooting

While these tips can help you look your best, remember that posing is the photographer’s job. They will adjust your positioning to highlight your best features and create great photos.

Trusting a professional photographer can make a significant difference in the quality of your pictures.

Remember, the above are just general rules (a useful guide for weddings or similar functions). However, in some cases, you may want a male pose that conveys vulnerability, fragility, femininity, or whatever fits the shoot.

Now let’s dive into some of the popular male poses.

16 Male Poses to level up your photoshoot

1. Arms crossed

Model with arms crossed looking confident

Standing with arms crossed is the quintessential power shot for male models, embodying confidence and authority. A slight angle to the camera adds depth and interesting lines.

Male model arms crossed black background

Perfect for formal poses, this stance ensures that your body posture is on point, and your facial expression remains relaxed, avoiding the “I’m-too-serious” look. Think of it as your go-to “I mean business” pose.

2. Hands in pockets

Male model with hands in pockets with turqoise background

For a relaxed vibe, nothing beats the hands-in-pockets pose. While it may seem a conventional pose, it’s a favourite among fashion photographers (and perfect for new models). By casually placing your hands in your pockets, you convey a casual vibe; a sense of relaxed confidence and showcase your outfit effortlessly.

This pose is a staple for both full-body shots and portrait photos, making it a versatile addition to your posing repertoire.

3. Hand on chin

Male model with hand on chin

Channel your inner thinker with the hand-on-chin pose. Whether standing or sitting, this pose directs attention to your face, highlighting your facial expressions. It’s a favourite for fashion magazines and senior portraits.

 young guy in a fleece shirt, posing with hand on chin

Rest your chin on a closed fist or open hand, with the other arm supporting the elbow. It’s the ultimate “deep in thought” look—ideal for when you want to appear both intelligent and stylish.

4. Playing with hair

Young boy with curly hairstyle holding his head.

Running a hand through your hair adds a dynamic and playful touch to your photos. This pose draws attention to your face and creates interesting lines, perfect for capturing a natural and relaxed expression.

Male model sitting against wall with one hand behind head

Whether you’re aiming for a casual shot or a more polished look, this pose brings a touch of nonchalance that says, “I woke up like this.”

5. Leaning against a wall

black and white photo of male model leaning against wall

A classic pose, leaning offers a range of possibilities, from relaxed to dynamic. Have your model lean against a wall with his back, shoulder, or elbow to highlight the upper body and facial expression.

Ideal for full body shots, this pose conveys a casual yet confident look, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor photo shoots. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of male model poses—versatile and effective.

6. One leg up

One of the most stylish photo poses, having your subject put one leg up can be versatile, adding a relaxed yet confident vibe. Stand with one leg up against a wall or surface to create a casual yet confident stance.

Man with one leg up on wall indoor shot

It’s great for showcasing your legs and outfit, making it a favourite for fashion photographers aiming to capture dynamic images. Think of it as your “I’m just chilling, but I look good doing it” pose.

7. Standing with one foot in front

White polo shirt men’s casual business wear

Add dynamism to your full-body portraits by placing one foot slightly in front of the other. Shifting your body’s weight to one leg creates a natural and relaxed posture, enhancing your body form.

This pose conveys both confidence and elegance, making it ideal for various photoshoot settings. It’s like the contrapposto pose—classic yet modern.

8. Sitting with a crossed Leg

Handsome muscular young man posing

Comfortable and flattering, this pose creates a relaxed yet poised look. Sit on a chair, bench, or couch with one ankle resting on the opposite knee.

Man in black suit looking away and sitting on a chair

This position highlights your outfit and adds a sense of sophistication, perfect for both casual and formal poses. It’s the ultimate “I’m in control, even while sitting” stance.

9. Sitting, leaning forward

This engaging portrait pose involves leaning forward and resting elbows on your knees. It broadens your shoulders and enhances your upper body form, directing focus to your face.

Suitable for both professional and casual settings, this pose creates an intimate and powerful shot. It’s like saying, “I’m listening, and I look great doing it.”

10. The Thinker

Black man sitting on stool looking thorughtful

Inspired by Rodin’s famous sculpture, this pose exudes intellectual and contemplative vibes. Sit with one foot on the ground and the other leg crossed, resting an elbow on the knee and placing a hand under your chin.

The Thinker by Rodin

It highlights your facial expressions and is perfect for portrait photos aiming to convey depth and thoughtfulness. It’s the ultimate “pondering life’s mysteries” pose.

11. Adjusting clothes

Man adjsuting sleeve in apartment

Showcase your style with the adjusting clothes pose. Whether it’s fixing a jacket sleeve, collar, or tie, this pose adds a touch of sophistication and confidence.

It’s versatile, highlighting various aspects of your outfit and making it a favourite in fashion photography. It’s like saying, “Even my adjustments are stylish.”

12. Holding one arm

Add fluidity and grace to your photo by holding one arm slightly away from your body. This relaxed and natural look is perfect for highlighting your physique, adding depth and character to both full body and portrait shots. It’s a subtle pose that shows you’re comfortable in your own skin.

13. Looking over the shoulder

male model looking over shoulder

This pose adds mystery and intrigue, with the male model turning their back slightly to the camera and looking over one shoulder. Ideal for capturing different angles and creating a dynamic image, it draws attention to the model’s facial expression and upper body form.

It’s the perfect pose for when you want to add a touch of enigma to your photos. And if you’re not getting the shot you want, you can always try the opposite shoulder.

14. Backward chair

male model sitting backwards on chair

When you or your model sit in a backward chair pose, it makes for a deliciously risqué shot. This pose involves sitting on a chair turned around, so the backrest is in front. It creates a relaxed yet assertive look, perfect for showcasing confidence and personality.

The backward chair pose adds a touch of rebelliousness, making the model appear more approachable and informal. It’s a great way to break away from conventional poses and add some variety to your photo shoot.

Ensure your hands are naturally placed, either resting on the chair’s backrest or casually draped, to maintain a relaxed vibe.

15. Strolling pose

black man strollingholding phone

The strolling pose captures a sense of movement and natural confidence. Walk naturally towards the camera, away from it, or adjacent to it, as if casually strolling. This pose works wonders for creating dynamic images and can convey a story or emotion.

The key is to keep the body posture relaxed and the stride natural. A slight lean forward with a confident look can add to the effect.

This pose is versatile and can be used in various settings, from urban streets to scenic outdoors, making it perfect for adding a spontaneous, candid feel to your photos.

16. Hand-on-chin pose

Portrait of handsome confident stylish hipster

A striking choice in male modelling. Similar to “The Thinker” (but less thoughtful) the hand-on-chin pose combes a thoughtful demeanour with a sharp focus on the face. It’s ideal for emphasizing the jawline and adding a sense of depth and intelligence to the photo.

Handsome short haired man fashion clothing posing studio High quality photo

You can create a compelling visual narrative by resting the chin on a closed fist or open hand and supporting the elbow with the opposite arm. Whether standing or sitting, this pose can be adapted to various settings, making it a versatile option for different styles of photography.

Its ability to convey contemplation and sophistication makes it a popular choice for fashion magazines and professional portraits alike.

Flexibility in posing: Guidelines, not rules

Male model checkered shirt pulling it out with one hand

While these posing tips provide a strong foundation for looking confident and stylish in photos, it’s important to remember that they’re just guidelines. The key to great photography is capturing natural, genuine moments, and being too rigid with poses can sometimes stifle that authenticity.

Feel free to experiment with different angles, expressions, and positions that feel most comfortable to you.

Man in white shirt posing fashion fabric background self confidence

A professional photographer will often guide you but also encourage spontaneity and natural movements. The goal is to capture your true personality and unique style, which can sometimes mean breaking away from traditional poses.

So, while the “hand on chin” or “backward chair” poses are great starting points, don’t be afraid to adapt them to fit your personal comfort and expression. After all, the best photos are often those that reflect who you genuinely are, not just a perfect pose.

Final words

Mastering the art of posing can significantly enhance the way you look in photos, helping you convey confidence, style, and masculinity. From foundational stances like “feet apart, toes out” to expressive poses like the “hand on chin,” these tips serve as useful guidelines. However, the most important aspect is to remain flexible and natural.

Remember, these are just starting points—don’t be afraid to add your personal touch and spontaneity to each shot. A great photo captures not just a perfect pose, but your unique personality and essence. Trust your photographer, relax, and let your true self shine through the lens.

Embrace these tips, but always prioritize what feels right for you. Whether you’re preparing for a professional shoot or just looking to up your Instagram game, these guidelines will help you look your best. Happy posing!

TYX London Photography Studios

Professional photography studio

Want to level up your male portraits? TYX Photography Studios in London is the place to be. Our state-of-the-art studio is equipped with the latest cameras, lighting, and backdrops, ensuring every shot is of the highest quality.

Whether you need stunning headshots, dynamic full-body shots, or expressive portraits, our professional photographers use top-tier equipment like Canon EOS R5 cameras and Elinchrom lighting systems to bring out your best features.

TYX Studios offers a premium experience tailored to your needs, with a comfortable and creative environment. Book now.

Our most asked questions
Focus on confident and natural expressions. Stand tall, use good lighting, and find your best angle—often slightly above eye level. Relax your shoulders, engage your eyes with the camera, and experiment with subtle variations like a slight smirk or a relaxed gaze.

Using props or the environment creatively can also add interest to your selfie.
This varies depending on individual features and the context of the photo. Generally, poses that exude confidence, such as standing tall with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and hands in pockets or arms crossed, are considered appealing.

The "one leg up" or "leaning against a wall" poses are also popular for their casual yet strong appearance. Ultimately, the best pose is one that makes the subject feel comfortable and natural.
Yes, TYX Studios provides a selection of professional photography equipment for rent. Please contact us for a detailed list of available gear and rental terms.
Yes, we provide dedicated areas for makeup and wardrobe to help you prepare the style of your photo sessions.
Yes, we encourage you to visit our studio spaces to see if they fit your shooting style. Please contact us to schedule a visit and see the facilities firsthand.
Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, Composition, Lighting, White Balance, and Focusing.
Our studio offers high-resolution cameras, natural lighting setups, backdrops, and other professional photography equipment. You're also welcome to bring your own equipment to ensure you get the photograph you want.