Senior Photography: 7 Easy Tips to Posing Guys

I recently wrote another guest post for MCP about posing seniors.  However, because most of my senior clients are girls – the only photos I showed were of girls!  Shortly after the post went up, people started asking, “What about guys? Girls are easy to pose… coming up with male poses is much harder!”  Jodi contacted me later that day and asked if I’d be interested in writing a post on posing guys.  I decided to take on the challenge!  I chose to have somebody model for me who was comfortable in front of the camera, that way I would be able to show as many examples as possible to show you the broad range of poses available to guys.

Concepts for shooting male or females are the same:

Whether you are posing a male or female for a senior photo, it’s the same basic concepts – find unique perspectives, shoot from multiple angles within the same pose, and never forget to take some “safe” simple shots (like a headshot).  A boring pose can become much more interesting from a different perspective!

How to pose and photograph senior guys:

1. When posing guys, you don’t need to focus as much on finding flattering angles like girls.   In this way, your job can be a lot easier!

2. Whatever you want to accentuate, should be closest to the camera – usually for guys that’s the chest or shoulders.

3. Don’t be afraid to have your guy slouch! This is one thing that in most cases girls cannot pull off, but guys can.

4. They can also have their chin raised or have it down with their eyes narrowed and looking into the camera.  (It usually isn’t flattering to have girls chins raised while looking into the camera) .

Used in this project and related actions:


5. As with girls – all limbs need to be accounted for.  Watch to make sure hands and shoulders look relaxed.  If their hands are relaxed, they probably won’t look feminine, if they do look slightly feminine, try putting their hands in a loose fist. Usually guys can’t pull off having their hands on their hip like a girl can – a simple remedy is to put one or both hands in their pocket(s)


6. You want to show them exactly what to do – they need the same amount, if not more direction than girls.

7. Guys can run their fingers through their hair and it can be masculine!

Cherie Hogan is primarily a high school senior and wedding photographer located in Las Vegas, NV and Salt Lake City, UT.  You can find her on her blogsite here, or “like” her on Facebook here.  She is always willing to help other photographers.


Need help with posing seniors?  Check out the MCP Senior Posing Guides, filled with tips and tricks for photographing high school seniors.

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Write for MCP! This post was written by a MCP Guest Blogger. If you would like to write a photo editing tutorial, blueprint using MCP Products, or photography tips on the MCP Actions Blog, check out our Guest Writers Wanted page for details.

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  1. 1


    Thank you so much! I’ve got a lot of Senior Guys coming up, and this was perfect! Guys are so hard to pose because, like you said, they have no clue what to do, and need TONS of direction. Thanks again!

  2. 10


    I am reading these while on my way to a beach shoot of a family with three boys…only one of them is a teenager. I am used to little ones so this is a tremendous help. Thank-you!

    • 12


      Hi Kacey!
      The plane was real. We shot at a “ghost town” outside of Las Vegas where they’ve shot quite a few films. That plane was blown up in a Nicholas Cage movie I can’t remember the name of – he is dressed up as Elvis? The owners of the ghost town took the plane and stuck it in the ground upside down! Lots of cool stuff to work with if you ever go to WPPI you need to shoot there. Its called Nelson

  3. 13


    Oh my word!!! What an awesome article and even more amazing session! Love those poses and pictures. Mom must have loved them and I’m sure he thought they were pretty cool too!

  4. 15

    Cathy says

    Found this on Pinterest. My son is a senior and we have not been happy with his shots, this will be a tremendous help. Thanks!!!

  5. 17


    Ok, I do have to comment on the belt, specifically the excess belt that is hanging. I find it unflattering and a potential embarrassment for what it mimics on a boys anatomy. Sorry but those details can distract from an otherwise great photo. Just saying.

  6. 18

    Mandy says

    Can you tell me what lens you used for these images? They turned out so crisp! And great tips, posing guys is a challenge for me.

  7. 20

    vicki hacket says

    Beginning to look for ideas…thanks. my son graduates in 2015 and hates to be photographed so looking for cool photos for ammunition

  8. 21

    Juan Antonio Dominion says

    What a stupid comment — about the belt! Apparently, you don’t know ANYTHING about this style (of belt). This is how the excess length is worn, stupid. It’s only YOUR filthy imagination that is comparing it to ‘male anatomy’! COME ON, THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!! These photos are great, and the suggestions are relevant for most guys. I don’t see how your gutter mind could have read anything else into this helpful article. ~Juan Antonio Dominion


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