20 Male Model Poses for a Great Photoshoot (2023)

If you are a male model or someone who wants to break into male modeling then this article will definitely come in handy! Let us take a look at these 20 unique and flattering male model poses that you can use for your next modeling portfolio shoot!

Taking wonderful images of men is easy–except when it isn't. Some guys are terrible in front of the camera, and it's often far harder to get natural-looking photos of men versus images of women. Most of the study of posing comes from female models, and as a result, most of the tips and tricks you find will fall flat when working with men.

There are undoubtedly inherent differences, regardless of what type of photography you are producing. The best male model poses generally need a masculine look, so there are a few things you can do to make that happen. But in the end, the same skillset is required no matter who your subjects are. You've got to be proficient with your camera and a master of the soft skills necessary to make people feel comfortable in front of your lens.

A guide to poses is a useful tool to have in your back pocket. Here is an article on best model poses to help you get started. When faced with challenging scenarios and a string of uncomfortable and stodgy looking portraits, you need something to fall back on. Having some great poses that work reliably is a good strategy to get started. Start with these basics, and then branch out on whatever creative roads the photoshoot leads you down.

Tips for Posing Males

Posing men can be a challenge. While the general poses may look the same as those used with female models, there are some significant differences that the photographer needs to keep in mind. All photography is about capturing the essence of a person, or the vision of the photographer. In capturing images of models, we're also capturing what makes a person unique. And along with that, we use society's lens and aim it at a person. Are we looking to reinforce stereotypes or shatter them? The answer probably changes daily with each photoshoot. It's a natural part of the creative process.

Stereotypical male model poses all involve making the man look fierce. Anything that can be done to convey power and dominance should be included in the pose. While females are always looking for ways to emphasize curves, men are looking for hard angles and straight lines. Females are looking for relaxed, and sultry gazes, and men are expected to have bold expressions.

No matter what look you're going for in your male model poses, one of the most critical elements is good posture. Posture can make or break an image, and bad posture is one of the main reasons for a pose not working. Models must stand straight, square their shoulders, and flex their muscles. Leaning slightly in towards the camera helps build a powerful look to the pose.

(Video) How To POSE A MALE Model For Portrait Or Fashion Photography

No tutorial on the best male model poses would be complete without addressing the smize. Model poses nearly always come down to a captivating facial expression, and smiling with the eyes is how it's done. It doesn't matter if the photos are simple headshots or nude male model poses–the eyes are what sets the mood. In most male model poses for photography, the man has a nearly neutral facial expression–except for in the eyes. This simple element sets the mood for the whole photo, from fierce sexy eyes to relaxed or emotional eyes.

None of these rules are set in stone; if anything, they are made to be broken. Part of the creative process, for both the photographer and the model, needs to be figuring out the goals and message of an image. In some cases, it may be a project curated by a creative director, like a fashion shoot. In other cases, it just might be someone wanting honest portraits. Photos should share a vision, and it's up to the photographer to figure out what that vision is.

As an aspiring model, you need an amazing modeling portfolio to kickstart your career. It’s your chance to make a great first impression on agencies and clients. It is important for you to put in the effort to get all aspects of your modeling portfolio right. It’s not only about shooting your portfolio, there’s a lot more planning that goes into creating a great portfolio.Pixpa enables models to easily create and manage amodeling website. Try it out with a15-day free trial.

Do check out these articles on modeling

  • How to Become a Model - 12 Modeling Tips for Aspiring Fashion Models.
  • How to Create a Model Portfolio - A Complete Guide.
  • 20 Male Model Poses and Ideas.
  • The Top 60+ Modeling Agencies in America.
  • What is the Average Model Salary in 2022?

20 Male Model Poses and Ideas

Like all other posing, the typical male model poses for photoshoot settings are divided into three primary categories: standing, sitting, and reclined. But within this basic framework, there is plenty of room for variation. Modifications can be added with different leg, arm, and hand placement. The photographer can frame poses differently, depending on if they want a full-length, three-quarters, or headshot image. Here are some best tips for mastering headshot photography.

Standing Poses

Classic standing poses all apply to men as well as women. The difference is that with men, you must find a balance between too rigid and too soft. Motion is a great way to soften an image while maintaining the chiseled features and dominant look you may be going for. The best male model poses for photoshoot use are usually ones taken while moving.

(Video) Tips on How to Pose Men

20 Male Model Poses for a Great Photoshoot (1)

Classic Contrapposto

A little study of the work of the masters is always a good place to start. In art, especially regarding the human body and poses, it has likely been done before. Contrapposto is an Italian word that describes the way a model puts their weight on only one leg, which makes their shoulders and arms turn off-center ever so slightly. This posture leads to a visually pleasing asymmetry in the body's shape. Probably the most famous example is Michaelangelo's statue of David.

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Another way to loosen the frame and make an image appear more natural is to have the model lean on something. Walls are good, and you can have them stand on one leg while bending the other. The shot can be taken from any angle. Leaning adds a relaxed flair to photos, and when combined with other techniques outlined below, it can be the perfect look for male models.

Crossed Arms

Including body language in your photos is a great way to send a message. Crossed arms immediately give the idea of someone who is closed off or lost in their own thoughts. It gives a powerful independent look to your models. Use it carefully because it can disconnect your model from the message you're trying to send in the wrong setting.

Just as important as knowing when to use cross arms is knowing when it's not appropriate. If an image comes out looking uptight or closed off, try opening the model up by having them put their hands on their hips or in a pocket. Have him lean towards the camera and see how these things change the appearance of the image composition.

Jacket Over Shoulder

Accessories aren't just for the ladies. A classic, cool, yet professional look is the dapper "jacket on the shoulder" move. It says, "I'm professional with this jacket here, but I've taken it off to relax a little." And, of course, the jacket in question is worth some thought to. Is it a business suit because this executive just got out of the boardroom? Or is it wetsuit because this surfer just got out of the water? A leather bomber jacket because this ace pilot's just back from the war? You get the idea–tell a story.

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Walking or Strutting?

Movement loosens a model up and makes the shot look more natural and fluid. But when a professional model starts walking, it is anything but relaxing from the job. Walking is an opportunity to strut their stuff, to work it. Sometimes it's stiff and awkward, but it works on camera.

Also Read: Best Fitness Websites To Check Out

(Video) How to Pose Men for Pictures - Photographer's Guide

Sitting Poses

The next major group of poses is taken sitting down. The object being sat on adds to the photograph as well, so don't assume it has to be a chair. Musicians could sit on a guitar case, skaters on the rails at the skatepark, bikers on their Hogs.

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The Thinker

For another take from classic art, check out the famous sculpture of this name by Auguste Rodin. The pose is the classic sitting pose, with the chin resting on an inward-turned hand. Modifications of this pose are always fabulous with male models.

Crossed Legs

Another powerful look with a laid-back vibe is to have the model cross their legs.

20 Male Model Poses for a Great Photoshoot (5)

Backwards Chair

Star Trek fans will know this look as the Riker Maneuver. Have your model approach the chair backward, and straddle the chair back. Shoot from behind the chair, and have the model cross their arms or put their chin on their hand.

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Stairs offer a lot of photographic possibilities. First off, the pattern and repetition can be used to make the composition more appealing. They are a nice neutral background that feels familiar, yet offers a lot of interest for the eye. Railings can be used for leaning shots. The stairs are useful for doing sitting and reclining poses. Try having the model lean towards the camera with a straight-back posture, and hang the arms over the knees.

Reclined Poses

Reclined poses are good for looking more informal and relaxed, but they need not look less manly. All of the same rules of posture and posing apply–look for sharp angles and avoid curves.

Use Your Hands

Our eyes are drawn to what the hands of others are doing. Our hand gestures are part of our human-to-human communication, so we look for cues from what people are doing with them. This suggestion isn't to say that a model's hands must always be communicating something, it's just to underscore the importance of them in the photo. They are one of the things people notice and take away.

(Video) 20 Pose Ideas for Men Who Aren't Models

Hands In Pockets

Hands in the jean's pockets is a classic hip look for photos. The key is to make sure that you don't make it look like the model has no hands, which is glaring and catches the eye for all the wrong reasons.

20 Male Model Poses for a Great Photoshoot (7)

Hair Swipe

Another common look in regular and nude male model poses is the hair swipe. The model runs his fingers through his hair while looking at the camera. Depending on the facial expression, it can be anything from a sultry playful look to a simple candid moment.

Hand Gestures

Candid looking gestures aren't limited to the hair swipe. The model can pose with their hand on their chest, hips, or face. The best practice is to find a position that doesn't look too contrived; a good pose should be natural and fluid. Wardrobe adjustments are another excellent option, like playing with a belt buckle, adjusting a shirt collar, or holding the lapels of a sport coat. And of course, these shots can be used for fashion shoots to draw attention to the accessories in question. Here is our Guide to Hand modeling and everything you want to know about this sub genre of the modelling profession.

Clasped Hands, Bent Arms

Finally, the model can clasp their hands together as a slight modification to crossed arms. The symmetry and pose are similar, but the attitude of the model looks more welcoming.


Headshots are an essential part of any model portfolio and any photographer's shot list. They are a great place to warm up before a shoot. For the model, they're a great way to practice their smize.

Male model poses for photography usually focus on masculinity, and in the face and head, the signature looks lie in a chiseled jawline and broad shoulders. Even in headshots, body posture is essential to show power in the shoulders. Leaning slightly in also helps keep the framing square. Headshots look great taken straight on, in a half-turn, and shot over the shoulder looking towards the camera. Remember to include arms and hands when applicable. Use the "hair swipe" shot listed above as a starting point.

20 Male Model Poses for a Great Photoshoot (8)

Use a Prop

Props are always a great way to bring out more natural poses. Keep props simple and avoid things that will distract the viewer. Whether it is a musical instrument or football, it should always match your composition's mood and theme.

(Video) Top 20 Photo Poses For Men | New Best Pose For Boys | Male Model Poses

Candid Movements and Poses

Most photographers know this trick well. Some of the best images come not from the poses, but from candid shots between poses. Look for moments when the model is distracted and just being themselves. This tip may be more applicable to retail photographers working with the public. Commercial photographers working with professional models won't need to resort to this trick quite as often.


Male model poses for photography don't need to be complicated or extensively laid out. But for the working photographer, it helps to have a guide and have a few examples ready to go. When working with new models, you can analyze their previous work and look at idea boards together. This way, you can feel out their strengths and plan for a great shoot together. It also helps you as a photographer to have a plan for when you are inevitably confronted with a problematic posing situation and need some quick ideas.

Build your Online Modeling Portfolio

Now that you are aware of various modeling poses, you can showcase them on an online portfolio and get the dream job at amodeling agency. Having a great modeling portfolio is a force multiplier and increases your chances of getting the right assignments. Have a look at our article ontop tips to be successful as a model. Pixpa offers a 15 day free trial to get you started with your online modeling portfolio.Sign up today!


How should a male model pose for a picture? ›

Male model poses for photography usually focus on masculinity, and in the face and head, the signature looks lie in a chiseled jawline and broad shoulders. Even in headshots, body posture is essential to show power in the shoulders. Leaning slightly in also helps keep the framing square.

How do male models pose like their face? ›

You don't seem too angry or pissed. So go through different stages. Maybe tone it down a little bit.

What do male models do before a photoshoot? ›

Do regular Cardio, Zumba, Aerobics for the need and texture of your body. A toned and healthy body is worth the sweat before the camera. Let's start by getting a great physique, first. All we're taking is 7 Days work out the challenge to achieve a healthy, fit body ready for the photo-shoot.

How do male models stand? ›

Tips on How to Pose Men - YouTube

How can I smile like a model? ›

How to Smile in Modeling Photos | Modeling - YouTube

What makes a top male model? ›

Being tall helps, with male runway models being at least 6′ tall. Commercial models are usually around 5'11 and 6'2 and must fit into a 40R jacket. Male hand and foot models must have straight fingers and toes, and an even skin tone. A model must feel confident in their skin.

What is important for a male model? ›

The physique should always be athletic, but slim and also the minimum body height is often 1.80 meters. Many agencies recommend measurements around 100-80-100. The weight says less about the suitability as a male model. It is better if the proportions are right, and you have a body fat percentage of about 15%.

How do male models get lips? ›

Whistling 3 to 5 times per day will build the muscles in your lips. Smile: Practice your model faces in the mirror, remembering to keep the mouth closed. Smiling as broadly as you can and holding it for five seconds will help to strengthen and tone the lip muscles.

Do models eat before a photoshoot? ›

Though some stars may skip liquids a few hours before a shoot to look extra cut, the rookies advocated the opposite, with many saying that constantly drinking water was key for them. "Drink water and keep eating to keep your metabolic rate up, but just eat the right things," Kang said.

What models do before a photoshoot? ›

How MODELS Prepare for a Photoshoot - YouTube

What height should a male model be? ›

According to the New York Better Business Career Services website, the preferred dimensions for a male model are a height of 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) to 6 ft 2 in (188 cm), a waist of 26–32 in (66.04–81.28 cm) and a chest measurement of 39–40 in (99.06–101.60 cm). Male runway models are notably skinny and well toned.

Why do male models rub their hands together? ›

One of the best tips for posing a male model is asking him to rub his hands together. This takes the pressure off of him to pose perfectly, and the pose comes across as natural and suave. You can also ask your model to play with his rings or watch, or with cufflinks or his cuff, or even with the zip of his jacket.

What makes a photogenic face? ›

People with highly angular faces (sharp cheekbones, square jaw, etc.) naturally look good in pictures because these shapes capture light well. This is as opposed to rounder faces, which the light bounces off of in all directions. It's not that people with angular faces are always better-looking.

Which type of smile is most attractive? ›

Smiles are typically considered more attractive when this line is symmetrical and curves upward from the front teeth toward the molars in the back of your mouth.

How can I get a model face? ›

Aim to look like you are wearing little to no makeup to seem more versatile.
  1. Choose a tinted moisturizer or lightweight foundation.
  2. Wear a light coat of black or brown mascara.
  3. Wear tinted lip balm or lip gloss.
  4. Go easy on the eyeliner or skip it entirely. ...
  5. Go for sheer or shimmery eye shadow. ...
  6. Go easy on the bronzer.

What color is best to wear in pictures? ›

Intense colors like black, navy blue, red, and hot pink are ideal along with lighter colors including pastels in blues, pinks, and yellows. It's always best to avoid brown earthy tones along with subdued colors like beige, orange, and gold.

How can I look amazing? ›

How to Look Beautiful Naturally?
  1. Regularly Moisturise Your Skin. Moisturisation is crucial for your hydration. ...
  2. Get Beauty Sleep. ...
  3. Drink Enough Water. ...
  4. Pluck Your Eyebrows. ...
  5. Exercise Regularly. ...
  6. Use Sunscreen Every Day. ...
  7. Drink Green Tea. ...
  8. Stick to a Skin Care Routine.
28 Mar 2022

How can I relax my face in a picture? ›

If you're smiling with your mouth but not your eyes, you may wind up looking afraid, anxious, or just uncomfortable. Master photographer Sue Bryce recommends allowing your mouth to relax, which can, as a result, relax your whole face. That way, when you smile, the tension in both your mouth and eyes will melt away.

Should guys smile in photos? ›

Women are turned off by guys who smile, according to a new study published in the American Psychological Association's journal Emotion. Men, however, were most attracted to photos of smiling women, the study found.

How can I stand like a model? ›

How to Pose Like a Model | Posing Tips for Women - YouTube

What are the 7 tips for taking good photographs? ›

7 Tips For Taking Better Photos
  • How To Compose Great Photos. Great photos start with great composition: how you frame the shot and where you position different elements within the scene. ...
  • Keep It Simple. ...
  • Change Your Perspective. ...
  • Add Depth To Your Images. ...
  • Use The Sun To Create A Silhouette. ...
  • Look For Reflections. ...
  • Find Symmetry.

What height should a male model be? ›

According to the New York Better Business Career Services website, the preferred dimensions for a male model are a height of 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) to 6 ft 2 in (188 cm), a waist of 26–32 in (66.04–81.28 cm) and a chest measurement of 39–40 in (99.06–101.60 cm). Male runway models are notably skinny and well toned.

How can a man walk like a model? ›

As you stride, your feet shouldn't cross over each other in an "X," like women's feet do when they walk the runway. Instead, the classic male runway walk is a "V" formation, in which the toes point out slightly. Try not to point your toes out too much, or you might look like you're waddling.

Is it hard to be a male model? ›

That being said, breaking into the modeling industry as a male is a bit easier than it is for women, because male models don't have to meet the same rigid physical requirements all the time and can work for many years -- some of them working well into their fifties.

What kind of body do male models have? ›

Male models in the world of fashion, runway and editorial tend to be tall and leanly built. Not bodybuilder types, either. Some may have the six-pack, washboard abs, while others have an athletic toned body, while still others don't have much of a "physique" at all and are on the slimmer side in terms of body type.

What is a good model weight? ›


87% of female models weighed between 100 and 150 pounds. Well within the healthy weight range. As for males, the healthy range was started at 121-163 pounds.

How much should a male model weight? ›

Male & Female Modeling Standards

When it comes to male models, they are typically expected to weigh between 120 and 170 pounds, which is also lower than the healthy weight for men. A man who reaches six feet tall, which is the average height for male models, should weigh somewhere between 160-196.

How do male models stay thin? ›

The top male models have workout routines that are strikingly similar to professional athletes, even though they pose for pictures for a living. Weightlifting and cardio helps them shape their chiseled torsos, while diet helps them lose unwanted lbs before a big show or photo shoot.

How can I stand like a model? ›

How to Pose Like a Model | Posing Tips for Women - YouTube

How do I look like a model? ›

How to Look Like a Model - YouTube

What makes a good model walk? ›

When walking, your back should be straight, core tight, and shoulders back and down – but in a relaxed, not a forced, way. As you walk, your arms should swing slightly and you should keep your hands relaxed. This will help you keep a strong pace. Don't move your hips too much, they should stay straight.


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