Day 182, 183 & 184 : Photography Tips on How to Pose Men for Better Portraits!

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July 1,2 and 3 2011

This is my birth month and would like to start it with a good self portrait. I may look like a wannabee model here so apologies viewers. No intent to overdo it but learn the style on how to master portrait photography through my self portrait project, and use the same on shooting other subjects on the best angle as possible. Actually, its fun to learn how to look best on every shot and angle. Yes! I am definitely learning.

From the basic rules of portraits, there are literally hundreds of ways to pose the human body that will result in excellent digital photos, from standing, sitting, lying on one side, lying flat on the floor, etc. The most important tip is to find those that flatters the subject. A person’s size, shape and age will determine which are the best poses. For example, you don’t want to shoot a large, or overweight, person from a low angle or tilt the head of a 50-year-old woman as much as a 18-year-old.

Most men will prefer digital photos that accentuate their masculinity, athletic prowess or profession. For younger men, that may mean posing them to show more of their body shape or even revealing their muscular torso. Other men may prefer to be dressed and posed formally, in a suit, similarly to a business or professional portrait. Others will want to be photographed in an outdoor setting to emphasize their ruggedness. While, my style is a casual get ups that focus on personality and daily lifestyle.

Day 182: Project Self Portrait

Here some specific tips for better portraits;

1. An important tip that applies to men and women is that the purpose of the portrait is to show your subject’s face, so avoid any pose or accessories that do so. This is particularly the case when shooting head-and-shoulders portraits. If you reveal other skin surfaces, even the arms, and certainly a man’s chest, then viewers’ attention will be diverted from the subject’s face. It’s my purpose for picture 1 (Day 182). Showing the angle from top view face and catch the shoulder and some chest for a casual shot.

2. Men look better with their bodies square to the camera, accentuating their broad shoulders and chest. Ask the subject to stand with his thighs half open.

3. You can pose a man either with his weight evenly distributed on either leg or both legs.

4. The best positions for a man’s arms and hands are either, as fists, with his thumbs in his front pockets or across his chest, with his hands on his forearms and his thumbs tucked under each arm. Another arm-and-hand pose to try is with the fingers flat in the back pockets and the thumbs outside the pockets. The arms and hands hanging straight from the shoulder or the hands crossed just below the belt are not pleasing.

5. Tip a man’s head towards the lower shoulder and not the higher shoulder, which is considered a feminine pose.

6. Ask your subject to drop his chin slightly.

7. In most cases, a man’s eyes should follow the direction of his nose.

8. Take notice of your male subject’s eyebrows. If they have distinctive characteristics, such as their shape, texture, thickness or color, then you don’t want to cover them. They help to define your subject.

9. If your subject is standing or sitting, then check that his back is straight.

10. If your subject is dressed in a suit or other formal attire, make sure it is not being worn for the first time. Ask him to wear a relatively new suit, but one that he has worn often enough to conform to his body better than a new suit would.

11. Focus on your subject muscle assets (biceps, triceps, chest, etc). Next is the face shapes, it will help on how to angle correctly your subject and pose them not in an awkward manner. (Day 183)

12. Connect your Lens with the Subject Eyes, and play the moods of your surroundings to have the looks sharp, curious, blank, surprised, cheerful, happy, sad, etc.

Day 183: Self Portrait Project

13. Do some post processing and texture application to make your output a perfect scene that tells a story.

Day 184: Self Portrait Project

And keep on shooting and have fun!

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