Posing with confidence and style is crucial for any aspiring male model. Whether preparing for a photoshoot, editorial campaign or walking the runway – how you position your body and convey subtle emotions through expressions makes all the difference.
Master these insider techniques to pose like a pro. Here are 30+ must-try poses for male models.
What is Posing and Why It Matters for Male Models
Posing refers to how you position your body and orient different limbs and muscles in specific alignments to achieve a stunning photo. It enables models to showcase their most attractive assets, create appealing lines and angles, and connect with viewers.
For male models, poses should:
- Accentuate height, muscle tone, and masculine features
- Complement different body shapes and silhouettes
- Convey intriguing moods from thoughtful to mysterious
- Draw attention to the face, physique, or styling details
Posing requires strategies for hand placement, strong body postures, angled stances, and facial
expressions that pull the entire look together.
Mastering the art helps you own any photoshoot, campaign, or runway. Let’s uncover techniques to pose like a pro!
30+ Must-Know Model Poses for Men
Standing Poses to Highlight Physique
For male models, standing full-body poses are great. On top of that, if you are sharing your portfolio headshots, full-body poses are a must. Standing full-body poses show off muscle definition and your best silhouettes. They convey confidence and work in nearly any setting.
Hands on Hips
This hands-on pose has been around since the dawn of time. Here’s how to do it:
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart
- Anchor hands firmly on hips, thumbs backward, and elbows angled out
- Engage core muscles and keep shoulders relaxed
- Look straight into the camera
This powerful pose communicates control and composure.
- Evenly distribute weight on both feet
- Cross arms just below chest level
- Allow hands to lightly grip biceps near shoulders without squeezing
- Lean subtly onto the back foot
- Hands in Pockets
Natural poses and looks are also important in modeling. This relaxed look keeps hands occupied very naturally. Make sure you do it right.
- Stand upright and slide both hands casually into your pants pockets
- Allow arms to bend without forcing
- Look into the camera lens or off into the distance
Strategic Hand Positions to Add Flair
Hand positions can say a lot about a photo and the subject in it. Especially for someone in the modeling industry, learning poses with certain positions is important. There is a high chance that the pictures can look boring when you simply sit or stand. Deliberate hand placements improve standing poses and make them interesting:
Hand on Face
This is a highly improvisable pose. You can change the positioning based on the theme and backdrop.
- Gently place fingers along the jawline or cheekbone
- Vary angles – near mouth or temple – convey different moods, from pensive to mysterious
Hands Over Mouth
Poses like this focus on the upper body, making it perfect for face portraits. This can also be improvised as per the surroundings.
- Partially cover the mouth with fingertips in a graceful curve
- Intense eye contact adds intrigue or a smile and makes it fun!
- Or, you can shush and make it really fun!!!
A very casual power pose. It can look candid too! Do it with a bit of confidence.
- Pretend to subtly fix the collar, cuffs, tie knot, or switch jacket button
- Continue shooting as you lift your hand to capture authentic movement
This is a great way to spotlight your personal style.
Intriguing Facial Expressions
Facial expressions are also a part of adding a little bit of your personality to the photo. It can make a lot of difference and can change the whole setting regardless of the hand gesture or position. Craft subtle facial cues to draw focus to your best features:
We all squint our eyes on a regular basis, but that is not enough. In front of the camera, you need to do it with intention and style.
- Relax all muscles
- Look upward past the camera lens
- Allow eyes to narrow slightly from overhead lighting
This is the best way to create an aura of mystery and intrigue.
Jawline is a major feature that agencies look for. Even if your jawline is not very evident, this pose will make it look great!
- Elongate neck and tilt chin down slightly
- If clean-shaven, angled lighting sculpts the jawline further
- Frame jaw with hand for added dimension
On top of that, stroking facial hair also spotlights this area.
Glancing Over Shoulder
You might have seen these poses on magazine covers or famous photo shoots. Well, do you know how to do this pose effectively?
- Twist upper body away from the camera
- Peer back over one shoulder
- Allow shoulders to remain loose
- Subtly angled torso to make eye contact
This pose intends to build drama and allure.
The classic reclining pose!! We all wanted to look cool like the models by doing this pose. Well, it is easy, actually!
- Lean back, propping yourself up with one arm
- Keep back straight, legs extended or crossed at ankles
While this sounds like the easiest pose, it needs some effort.
- Find a soft surface to fully support your body
- Extend your legs and stretch them slightly apart
- Arms at the sides or crossed overhead or over the chest
Stretching is a casual yet powerful pose in my eyes. It focuses on your physique and faces alike. Add a little personality, and voila! Here is how to do it.
- Reach arms overhead, elongating your frame
- Can grip a prop like a pole or a wall for added effect
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Knee Up (Standing or Sitting)
The ultimate power pose that is meant to be intimidating. This can be done standing or sitting. Basically, it’s a must-have for a portfolio. So, do it right!
- Weight on one leg, other knee bent up
- Can add a hand in a pocket for a casual pose
Leaning poses are very important when it comes to modeling. It focuses on the physique control and the outfit. It is important to master the leaning pose. There are many types of leaning poses, and here are some for you to practice.
Leaning Against Wall
We’ve all seen the “leaning-against-the-wall” pose on hundreds of GQ shoots. The models and actors in there do it so effortlessly, and you can too!
- Press back or shoulders to the wall, front foot forward
- Keep shoulders relaxed, exude cool confidence
Leaning forward in the photograph adds a lot of style and attitude, making you look way more professional. Well, it is not that hard!
- Seated, hinge forward from hips with a straight back
- Extend one arm out in front for balance
Leaning Into Arm
The “leaning into the arm” pose can add all the difference to a portrait. This pose adds a bit of an attitude and flair all at the same time.
- Stand with a bent arm resting on the surface
- Opposite hand on hip, shift weight for a relaxed look
Tired of all the standing and leaning? Let’s go sit! Just kidding. But sitting poses are very important for portfolios. There is a lot that can be done in sitting poses. There is room for creativity!
Keep it simple with an attitude.
- Upright posture.
- Back straight.
- Legs relaxed.
Leg-Crossed, Hands-on Chin
A very popular pose in business magazines. Why? It adds power.
- Cross one leg over the other
- Rest elbow on the chair or knee, chin in hand
Sitting with Clasped Hands
A very casual yet powerful pose that is applicable to all genders and ages. It looks great on a portfolio.
- Maintain good posture, join hands loosely
- Can rest elbows on knees
“The thinker” is another power pose that is highly seen in business magazines. This can be done by professionals as well as for pictures you take for the office wall.
- Rest elbow on knee, chin in hand
- Pensive mood like Rodin’s famed statue
Props & Subjects
Adding props and other subjects will reduce the awkwardness while taking pictures. Especially if the main subject is shy, add a prop and some flair!!
The intellectual pose will never go out of style. Add it to your next portrait. This will be great to show off some personality.
- Hold the book up, partially covering the face
- Focused gaze showcases intellect
The best way to add some fun elements is to include a pet or an animal. But keep them safe and truly enjoy the laughter!
- Natural interaction, like petting or holding
- Creates warm, lighthearted portraits
An automobile enthusiast? Well, try this pose. You’ll love it.
- Posing with/in/on a car, bike, motorcycle
- Shows off interests and cool factor
This can be flexibly made into a casual or formal picture. If you master the pose, the backdrop is what sets the tone.
- Hold a beverage, cocktail, or food item
- Captures you in a relaxed, social environment
Models are often fitness-focused. Did you work hard for that body? Well, model or not, try these poses and feel proud of yourself!
Weightlifting with Barbell
The classic pose is often seen in gym posters. It never goes out of style, and it brings power and strength to the picture.
- Proper deadlift or bench press form
- Use caution with heavy weights!
Pull-up or hanging poses are amazing for portraits, and if you do it right, it can set you apart! It shows discipline, fitness, and personality. It can also be made into a pun picture too!
- Grip the bar overhead with one hand
- Extend opposite arm and leg for lines
Push Up Position
Push-up positions are great for fitness possesses; if you add an additional element to make it unique, you’ll shine!! But make sure you get the basics right first!
- Low to the ground in a pushup stance
- Hands shoulder-width, chest close to the floor
Styling & Details
Adding some additional styling and details can make a lot of difference. Be it part of the outfit of your personality, express it, and be yourself!
Jacket Over Shoulder
The very popular jacket over shoulder pose. It has been on the magazine covers for decades. We all love it. So, make it well!
- Casual jacket draped over one shoulder
- Projects stylish nonchalance
Laughing and Smiling
Add some fun, color, and lights with your smiles and laughter. Show your bright personality in the photo. Make it genuine, too!
- Loosen up and prepare for laughter.
- Look upward past the camera lens to create a natural smile.
- Capture spontaneity and keep the camera ready for genuine moments.
Hair Swipe Technique
The sexy pose that never goes out of style. The hair swipe techniques combined with some smoldering facial expressions are gonna kill it. It adds confidence and a flirtatious energy to the photo.
- Highlight good hair with a swipe.
- Add style to the portrait with dynamic motion.
- Showcase features like hair to add flair and confidence.
The famous, evergreen, and age-old pose has an incredible history. This can be done in casual or professional settings, but do it right and know the pose!
- Classical pose inspired by Michelangelo’s David sculpture.
- Timeless appeal is suitable for both genders.
- Pose by shifting weight to one leg, twisting shoulders, and bending the knee.
Tips on Photographing Male Models
It is important to know how to photograph male models. They’ll need help every once in a while to get into the modeling energy! When guiding male models into stunning poses, consider the following:
Camera Distance and Lens
- Move in closer to accentuate muscular definition in shoulders, arms, and jawline
- Use longer lens for full-body standing postures
- 50mm lens connects with the model’s experience; the 85mm lens elegantly isolates the subject from the background
Providing Clear Guidance
- Demonstrate desired poses so the model understands stance and hand placement
- Share any inspirational images or examples to illustrate the vision
- Offer gentle suggestions if a pose needs slight adjusting to look its best
- Before the shoot, chat to establish rapport so the model feels comfortable
- Provide positive feedback on things working well so far
- Discuss any physical insecurities privately to minimize unflattering emphasis
Comfort leads to authentic, emotive expressions. Confidence transforms into captivating shots.
Executing Poses Flawlessly
If you pay a bit of attention, you can execute these poses flawlessly. For starters, avoid these common positioning pitfalls:
- Slouching – impacts posture. Remember to stand tall, engage your core, and keep your shoulders back
- Awkward Hand Positions – tense fingers or hands that look uncomfortably placed disrupt the flow
- Unnatural Facial Expressions – forced smiles or squints come off as fake
- Practice Posing – use a full-length mirror to finesse positioning
- Review Photos After Each Shoot – study what works for your body; improve on anything less than flattering
- Analyze Modeling Images Mindfully – consciously break down why certain poses captivate
Soon, these pro techniques for executing any pose will become second nature!
Some of the best standing poses include hands on hips, arms confidently crossed, and hands casually placed in both pockets. Experiment with shifting more weight onto one leg. Lean slightly forward or backward for some shots.
Relax all facial muscles, then look upward past the camera lens to naturally narrow your eyes for an intriguing yet mysterious aura. Lower your chin subtly and peer directly into the camera while maintaining the squint.
Try a 50mm lens up close to connect with the experience of the model himself. For full-length standing postures, use an 85mm lens or longer to elegantly isolate a subject from the background.
Posing well is one of the most important skills for male models. It enhances photoshoots and runway walks, showcasing style and personality. With practice, models can leave a lasting impression in the industry.
So, get that mirror and practice. Bring in the confidence!!!