1. Very simple pose for a man’s portrait: An upper body shot with
crossed arms. Two things to take care of: Shoulders should be pulled
back a little, stomach muscles kept in check.
2. Crossed arms works very well in full height shots as well. In
addition, ask him to cross one leg in front of the other. But make sure
the body weight is not supported equal on both legs, otherwise that
would look just awkward!
3. A recurring question from your subject might be “Where shall I put
my hands?” The solutions is actually quite simple. There are four
places to keep in mind (mixed in any combination utilizing both hands).
#1. Loosely by the side. #2. On the hips. #3. In the pockets. #4. Both
hands crossed on the chest. And in addition – hands should always be
relaxed, which means no muscle pressure, except you are photographing a
4. A casual pose for an uprightly standing man. Men indeed have a
problem with placing their hands, by keeping them fully or partly in the
side pockets, you have a sure way to achieve natural and relaxed pose.
5. Just a slight variation to the previous pose. Some piece of
clothing over the shoulder, merely a thumb in the pocket, and legs
crossed work very well.
6. For a sitting pose, putting the ankle of one leg onto the knee of
the other looks relaxed and natural. Shoot slightly from above.
7. Leaning against a wall is just another variant for upright posing.
8. The sideways way of leaning against the same wall. Works very well for both casual and formal shots.
9. Very simple pose for a formal portrait. Items held in the hand
(e.g. a laptop, books, or even tools) can work as insignia that point at
the subject’s occupation.
10. Against common belief, it is absolutely fine to make shots of a
man sitting partly on a desk. For formal portraits such a pose might
11. Very simple pose for a portrait with a man sitting at a desk. To
reveal the subject’s profession place work related items on the desk
that can function as insignia.
12. A slight variation of the previous pose. Very appropriate for formal portraits.
13. To show the work environment while removing the distance created
by a foreground object like a desk, take your shot from the back side.
The result will be formal but inviting at the same time.
14. A man supporting himself on a desk with arms crossed. Again you
could place work related items on the desk to point to the subject’s
15. Using a chair as a prop can make a portrait more engaging and
interesting. Very suitable when introducing creative people in their
16. Sitting comfortably in a chair usually works for a corporate and formal portraits.
17. Easy and natural pose with a man sitting on the ground. Try different shooting directions and angles.
18. Another variant of a man’s pose while sitting on the ground. Suitable for outdoor locations.
19. An easy and relaxed looking pose for a sitting man.
20. Informal pose. The man is sitting on the ground resting his back against the wall or some object.
21. Finally, let your subject be the protagonist of your picture. Never be afraid to crop tightly around the model’s face.
That should be at least something to use as a starting point. Again,
remember that there are no absolutes, each sample pose might and should
be adjusted depending on your shooting environment and scenario. There
is no need to overdo anything. Actually, all you need for good people
portraits is simplicity. Simple backgrounds, simple clothing, simple
poses and natural expressions.