Photographing New Male Models

Photographing male models can be a challenging but rewarding experience for a photographer. In order to create stunning and memorable images, it's essential to direct the model and guide them into confident poses that showcase their best features.

A good body or a beautiful face is not enough; the model needs to be able to convey emotion and personality in order to truly bring life to the photograph. Overall, it's typical that male models stand there and flex.

It's difficult to get a male model to try different poses and emotions. That's where your skills as a director on set are a great value. Here are three ways to photograph male models better:

  1. One important tip for photographers is to always encourage the model to think of something and express it through their facial expression. This can help to liven up the photograph and give it more depth and character. It's as easy as "think of the first time you got a puppy" or "think of the meal you would like to have again." It can be positive or negative, because both bring light and emotion to the face. 
  2. It's also important to pay attention to the model's clothing and make sure it's not wrinkled or out of place. This will not only help the model to look their best, but it will also help the photographer to create a clean portfolio. In the beginning, you may not have a stylist on set, and this is where you decide to wear one more hat on set.

    It's important because a bad shirt placement or wrinkle can add hours to post-processing or worse, scare potential paid clients away. From my experience, male models seem to bring everything in a cramped gym bag. It's your job to guide them from the start to finish, even if it means you asking them to put everything on a hanger the night before. In the end, it all comes down to the photographer. Please protect your image. 
  3. Another key aspect of photographing male models is to pay attention to the body and make sure that it's shown in the best possible light. This means looking for body parts that are out of place and adjusting them, as well as showing the clothes from multiple angles. When you see the video, the "out-of-place" body parts will make sense. 

Overall, it's important for photographers to remember that a good photograph is not just about the model's physical appearance, but also about their ability to convey emotion and personality. And sometimes, the smallest distraction in a photograph can ruin a beautiful photograph. 

Walid Azami's picture

Walid Azami is a Photographer/Director and creative consultant from Los Angeles. He got his start working with Madonna + Co by contributing to her many projects. It was then he realized his place in the creative world & began teaching himself photography. He has since shot Kanye, Mariah Carey, Usher, Bernie Sanders, JLO, amongst others

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

I've always and still feel like theres a lack of books and video tutorials that show how to light and photograph men. Quality fashion shooting techniques etc, hard and soft light, color toning etc. lighting to show show definition in muscle and various techniques. I've only seen the book by Jeff Rojas. If you guys have recommendations send away.