For models, posing is critical. It can be the difference from taking an average photo to making a compelling and engaging work of art.
Posing also helps set the tone and mood of your surroundings. Next time you’re posing for a picture, ask yourself what kind of impression you are trying to portray.
This is the first of two articles we’ve put together on posing for models. This post covers the best poses for male models. Click here to view the post with the best poses for female models.
Contrapposto, or “counterpose”, is one of the first mannerisms male models should learn and feel comfortable with. This pose should feel comfortable because it is a relaxed, mellow pose which shows the model as calm and not stiff, but natural. The key component of this pose is the natural essence to it.
One thing to remember when creating this pose is that it can always be unique depending on the model. Not only because models will vary and have different body shapes, but also because your models will all act differently and therefore all have their own ‘natural’ or ‘neutral’ poses.
Check out Khan Academy’s tutorial and lessons on the Contrapposto pose.
Strolling is also a very natural pose; however, the model may work with this pose more. To some, strolling may just simply look like walking, but to male models, it is something different. Something that they can flash, or work with.
While strolling, some male models will tend to strut and walk in a straight line with tense posture, while others may walk with a loose, relaxed feel – this is based solely on the model and that is the beauty in it.
Make sure that you know the difference between this moving pose and just regular walking though. Walking can be relaxing too, but when you stroll, you show.
3. Hands in Pockets
Having your hands in your pockets can help display confidence and class. You can vary with having your whole hand in your pocket or leaving your thumb out.
These depict two different emotions and can be used to display them in the image. Whether you’re trying to show leisure or business confidence, having your hands in your pockets is always a great look.
4. Arching Arm
The arching arm pose is a great way to show a fierce look with power. Sort of a James Bondish pose in my eyes, it is an excellent pose for modeling suits or jackets. Having your arm arched out helps stretch your body to cover more area and show more detail.
While stretching out to cover more area, you give yourself a wiser look and emit power. Don’t be the one getting questioned, be the one asking the questions.
5. One Leg Up
A “one leg up” pose can be performed while sitting down or standing up and is the perfect way to show complexion in a pose, rather than a straight-bodied pose. While standing up, this pose is perfect for when leaning against a wall.
This pose can be composed in a relaxed way like in the picture or in a more solid configuration where you might be standing up-right against the wall. Regardless of how you style this pose, you are sure to capture an emotion.
6. Leaning Pose
Leaning with your back, shoulder, or arm against any wall can help change the look of your style and pose. Leaning may help to go with the leading lines in a picture, or it can help to contrast lines and create a non-parallel look.
However you decide to construct this pose, you will need to match your facial expressions with your body to make sure that you give off a direct message.
7. Hand and Face Pose
Photo via Matthew Moloney.
This pose is great for posing emotion. Using your hand to help show what your facial expressions may not be able to is a great way to emanate a feeling.
Utilizing your hand to cover your face in any way can end up looking unique and interesting. It is just another prop or effect to help set the stage for the image. Try different approaches with your hand and you’ll find some really fun looks can be created. The options are endless and all look unique in their own way, so create your own style.
All of these poses will help you to become a better model over time. Keep practicing and experimenting to find what’s best for you and you will be on the right track.