Guys, 4 Tips for Posing you at Your Next Portrait Session

You’ve booked your photographer for your professional high school senior photo shoot, and you are very excited. You begin to practice your poses in front of the bathroom mirror and some poses are hits and some are misses. Whilst your photographer is there to guide you through your photo session, it still helps you and builds your confidence by practicing some poses, and seeing what does and does not work for you.

As a previous wedding photographer and one who still helps other wedding photographers by photographing the groomsmen, tI have a lot of experience with taking male portraits. Helping them look confident and feel comfortable is always key. Here are some simple tips to help get you started to presenting the best and most dapper you.

1. Consider Your Best Features.

Given the choice, what would you say is your best feature? What facial feature or bodily feature would you like to accentuate? Features such as your eyes, smile, height, jawline or shoulders can be considered. What ever constitutes towards your “best side”, I would suggest you share it with your photographer prior to your photo shoot so that they can prepare and plan accordingly.

Young man portrait headshot. 2. Natural is Better.

As a high school senior photographer, I understand that some students are not used to being in front of a professional camera for more than 2 minutes and are being shot from the chest up. The best poses are the more natural and fluid ones. This means that you, the subject, are slowly moving from one pose to the next seamlessly. For example, practice looking at your watch on your wrist to looking at what would be your photographer and then put your thumbs in your pocket, all while thinking of something funny, remembering the smell of your favorite dessert or something pleasant. This is just one example of moving seamlessly and naturally.

Young man sitting on bench and leaning forward

3. Don’t Worry about Your Hands.

“What am I doing with my hands?”. You don’t realize that your hands are idol in solo photos until you really think about your pose. When taking pictures with friends, your arms are usually on or across their shoulders, arms are linked or your standing back to back looking towards the camera. In any case, you don’t really think about your hands.

Allow me to provide you with 3 places to put your hands when “posing”.

  1. Your pockets. Placing your thumbs in your pocket and leaving your fingers or vice versa is always a good place to start. You may want to try placing one hand in your pocket and the other on your belt buckle, or placing one hand in your pocket and the other on the your lapel or just under your collar.
  2. One hand on your wrist /hands together. Placing a hand on the opposite wrist or at the base of your hand in a relaxed manner when sitting down,  is a go to. The other option is to clasp your hands together instead. You naturally do it anyway when sitting down, you just may not know it
  3. Hold a prop. Holding a prop can help you feel less awkward. This can range from sunglasses, cell phone to holding your instrument. Whatever the prop is, make sure your holding the object loosely. If you hold it too tight, your hand wont be  relaxed and it will communicate nerves and tension in your photo.


4. Have Fun.

This is the most important part. Have Fun. Build a rapport with your photographer before hand. Having that relationship with them prior to the shoot will build the confidence you will need to trust their direction. As a result, you will be present in the moment and have fun. You are here to celebrate your milestone, so have fun. Your portraits are meant to highlight your personality after all.

Orange smoke bomb behind young man

At JLondon Images, I walk you through the whole process of thoroughly preparing you for your session, whilst encouraging to share your ideas and vision for your photo experience. I celebrate you and your accomplishment in a way that captures your authentic self. It all starts with a discovery call.  I would love to be considered for your high school portraits. Click here to hear what others had to say.