Let’s say that you’d like to take some photos of a relative, friend or partner, and you’d like a look that’s masculine, comfortable yet strong, confident and cool. How do you do this? Where do you start?
Here are a few ideas to get you going.
As your subject to
- Push their chin out and down just a little (to define and highlight the jawline, making it as angular and sharp as possible) (Yes, it feels unnatural, but it works:)
- ‘Squinch’ or ‘half squint’ – i.e., raise their lower eyelids just a tad, while not moving their upper ones (to show mischievousness, playfulness and character)
- Tilt their head away from the camera just a bit (to convey … Well, what do you think this conveys?)
- Turn their waist and hips away from the camera (to slim the body) while squaring their upper body to it (to show broad shoulders and create a pleasing V-shape)
- Stand tall, with good posture, with relaxed shoulders and a tight core
- Stand with one leg bent at the knee and a bit forward while keeping their weight on the back leg
- Alternatively, stand with one foot on a step or stool to create a natural, relaxed pose
- Sit with the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other
Give your subject something to do with their hands:
- Fix their tie, watch, or coat collar without – or while – looking at it
- Hold a newspaper in one hand
- Hook a jacket over their shoulder
- Hold a prop – e.g., a book, a guitar, a basketball
- Rest their hands – one or both – on a tall chair or desk
- Put the fingers (but not thumb) of one hand (not both) in a pocket or belt loop (go for asymmetrical)
If you try some of the suggestions above, I’d love to hear what you think of the results.
But remember, please, that a ‘pose’ is just a beginning; while it can lead to a great photo, it’s also a jumping off point and it’s often the authentic ‘pics between poses’ that we cherish the most.
Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
What you have caught on film is captured forever.Aaron Siskind