Shooting models can be an interesting subject for a photography student.
One of my handsome looking friends was requesting me for a long while. I agreed to shoot him without money and took him to the railway track and instructed him to lay down on the track. Obviously not to kill him. I was inspired by a modeling photographer whose favorite modeling background was a railway track. Another reason for choosing railway track was that I didn’t have any professional equipment to shoot a model at that time. My pocket was almost empty. My model was an unemployed youngster, had nothing to spend except his sharp look. But the result was outstanding.
How to get started
Are you thinking of from where to start? Well, you can start from your friend circle. There must be one or two who are will show interest. Create a good portfolio and then contact fashion designers and garment manufacturers. They often need photographers to shoot their products with a model.
Create an online portfolio, so that newcomer modelers can see your work and contact you. If you can make one or two happy, you will get more models to shoot.
Posing is everything
Casual posture will not look good. There are hundreds of concepts of perfect body posture suited for male models. They range from casual to professional look. Sometime this might be tricky. It is your duty to make them smart at posing. Talk with them freely, make them feel easy. Make them feel confident and of course, stress-free. Avoid clumsy look. Try to motivate the model, motivational music might help well. Communicate with your model in a friendly yet professional manner.
A male model doesn’t always require makeup but a light make up can be applied. Especially those who have rough skin tone. Makeup can change a normal looking person to a fantastic one.
Bellow, I am giving some poses that could be helpful for you in shooting male models as a beginner.
Upper body (half photo)
This is the most common pose for men. It’s a sort of close up shoot. Cross arms with a touch of a smile. Teeth should not be exposed. A steady and smart look. The shoulder should be a little bit backward. Looking directly at the lens. This shot can be taken using a prime lens for better tone and sharpness. The model can be a little bare, a casual look is great. Instruct him to keep his neck straight, chin slightly up facing the camera. The abdomen should be flat otherwise everything will be messed up.
Leaning against a wall
This is a casual pose. The model will look at the lens by leaning against a wall. Putting hands in his pant’s pocket looking at the lens. Denim Jeans pant will look better than formal or casual pant. The knee should be slightly bent towards the camera. In this case, the model should be bellow 35 years. Younger is better.
This is a full length shot and be taken with a wide angle lens. The background would be architectural.
Leaning on the side
This is going to be a full shot where the model would be leaning against a wall or object directly facing the lens with a smile. This pose is suitable for a casual and professional look. It can display personality. The pose is suitable for advertising garments.
Shooting the boss
Smile is prohibited in this type of shots. The model should look like a high official, little tummy is accepted. But balloon-like tummy is a forbidden. The boss will be facing your camera by standing upright, holding an unofficial file, obviously in right hand, putting his left hand in pocket. Formal shoe and tie is a must. Confident photographer will shoot the boss using a wide lens.
Another bossy look
A pinch of a smile is allowed but teeth should not be exposed. This is going to be a half bodied shot. Wearing an official dress (Black coat and tie are the best) the boss will seat before camera staring at the lens (Not at photographer). His well-shaved chin will rest on his folded right hand. You can take this photo in monochrome. Don’t you understand? It’s black and white.
The best CEO pose
This is going to be the best pose for a very positioned official like a CEO. Mastering this style the model would seat on a chair in an attire of a high official. Well shaved, formal hair-style. Wearing a black coat and back stripped tie. Black shoe is a must again. Like a boss he will seat comfortably, crossed leg, arms will rest on thing, will stare at you. Take this photo by using a wide lens. You can also use a prime lens to shoot him. Never forget to shoot this type photo in an official environment.
Shooting muscular models
Usually, professional models are lean and muscular. If your model is muscular, then he is suitable for end-less poses. Muscular model is especially suitable for shooting garments advertisement and often sunglass also.
I usually take this kind of photograph using a prime lens. Where background should look extremely blur. Try to shoot this kind of photograph on a busy street. Wearing a sunglass, denim jeans with a matching t-shirt, the model will walk towards the camera in casual steps. He may hold a jacket on his left hand.
Shooting non-muscular models, middle-aged or elderly models
Some models become fatty as they reach their 40. I have some experience of shooting middle aged models. I can say it’s a tedious job. If your model is tall, you will face much less problem. But average height models with tummy and rounded face is sometimes difficult to shoot.
Here are some ideas.
- Do not shoot them from the front. Shoot them from an angle so that he may look average.
- Use telephoto lens.
- Models with extra-large tummy should wear a slim-look denim belt under his shirt.
- Always shoot them in standing position.
- Shoot him alone. No object smaller than your subject should be there, like chair, table etc.
How to project the positives
Shooting male model can be exciting for you. Know how to project your model’s positive body parts. Spotless beauty is rare. Most models have many lacks in their physical built. But a modeling photographer it’s your duty to find out the beauty in your model. Some have a good nose, some are with nice eyes, some may be with very good physique. It totally depends on the individual photographer how they find the positive part of a model. Model with a sharp nose and thin lip should be shot from an angle so that the parts may be exposed properly. To expose particular part you must use a close-up lens with the right exposure. When shooting a model with a close-up lens, keep attention to your model’s skin tone. Generally make up is needed before shooting any close up photo.
If you find a good physical built in your model, then try to capture is body posture in slightly twisted position, this will expose curves. And your photo will look excellent. As mentioned early that you need a stress-free mood in your model. Shooting model with a relaxed mood would potentially enhance the quality of your shots.