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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  1. August 8, 2011 at 9:40 am — Reply

    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. August 8, 2011 at 10:12 am — Reply

    FANTASTIC!!! Can’t wait to show these to my son and have him pose for me!

  3. August 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm — Reply

    Love these, and think these can be used for younger boys, too. Thank you for sharing.

  4. August 9, 2011 at 1:54 am — Reply

    Wow very nice collection brilliant photography i like this post very much thanks a lot for sharing this awesome post : )

  5. August 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    This is so true! I’ve been struggling with the whole guy pose thing too! This is great – thanks so much!

    Photoshop Template Designer

  6. August 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm — Reply

    Great post! Loved it!

  7. August 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm — Reply

    […] from this little girl:) Awhile back, I assisted my friend Cherie Hogan on her photo shoot for the MCP actions blog. She did a tutorial on posing guys, and as always, I learned great things from her. I basically took […]

  8. August 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm — Reply

    Great photos and advice! Thanks.

  9. August 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    Timely post! I’ll have to get my senior boy to practice before he heads off to the photographer!

  10. Julie H
    August 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm — Reply

    There are so many posts for senior girls, thanks for a post about senior boys!

  11. August 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm — Reply

    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. September 2, 2011 at 7:59 am — Reply

    is the plane a prop or a backdrop? added in after? or is it real?

    great shots!

    • December 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm — Reply

      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

  13. September 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm — Reply

    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!

  14. November 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm — Reply

    Great shots!!

  15. Cathy
    March 3, 2012 at 11:18 am — Reply

    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!!!

  16. April 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    Hi Cherie,

    Great posing tips…

    How do you work the light w the pose? Specifically with regards, Kind and direction of light?

  17. July 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm — Reply

    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.

  18. Mandy
    August 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm — Reply

    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.

  19. Jessica
    August 27, 2012 at 9:57 am — Reply

    It was really nice that I could Pin these! Thx

  20. vicki hacket
    October 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm — Reply

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

  21. Juan Antonio Dominion
    September 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm — Reply

    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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Senior Photography: 7 Easy Tips to Posing Guys