And you thought photographing kids was hard… Try men. In my guest post, 5 Foolproof Tips for Photographing Children, there were a lot of inquiries about photographing grown men. So here we have some great ideas on photographing men from a woman’s point of view.
In my experience, it’s been a little harder to photograph men. Unlike women, it’s harder to get certain men to loosen up in front of the camera. I’m not saying ALL men are like this, just some.
In the last couple years I’ve had some great success photographing men. Hopefully some of my techniques might help you out. Keep in mind that everyone is different.
1. Get Acquainted.
When I do a family session in a client’s home, more chances than not I am greeted by the dad because mom and kids are still frantically getting ready. These few minutes give me a little window to get to know him before all the craziness occurs. I usually take this time to introduce myself and get to know him.
Some easy icebreakers:
1. So did you grow up here? If yes, usually you can ask about where they went to high school, college, that sort thing. If no you can ask questions about where they grew up, how they ended up here, and which they like better.
2. If the television is on, you can ask questions about the show and if he watches it often.
3. If you’re photographing a newborn session you can ask him how life as a new dad is.
4. If I like the decor of the room, I’ll usually comment or ask questions.
5. Look for any familiar books or magazines around the house, sometimes you’ll find a common interest.
You’d be surprised how little questions like these can help him relax a little bit.
2. Give Him a Job
Make him be the workhorse. By giving him a “job”, it gives him something to keep his mind off the awkwardness of getting his photo done. If you need help moving props, or moving equipment, guys are happy to help.
3. Keep Him Moving
Often I’ll have him pick up his bride-to-be and give her a big smooch on the lips, or chase her down and give her a huge hug. These photos might not always be in focus, but they are creating a comfortable atmosphere for future relaxed photos.
4. Shoot Photo Journalist Style
Instead of the same stuffy poses, change it up and photograph him doing a hobby he loves. You’re bound to capture some great real-life expressions.
5. Ask for Suggestions
Oddly enough, these shy men actually have great ideas for poses. I’ll always ask them if they have any photo suggestions and usually they do. This always gets them excited and their brain starts thinking about other ideas
6. Make them Comfortable
If you were to take home only ONE idea out of all these, take this one. Make him comfortable. The more comfortable you make him, the more relaxed he will look in the photos and the better your photos will look.