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6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men


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Photographing Men

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.

1 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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

2 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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

3 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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

4 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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

5 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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

6 6 Easy Tips for Photographing Grown Men Guest Bloggers Photography Tips

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.

This guest post was written by Tamara Kenyon of Tamara Kenyon Photography. You can read her blog, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.


No Comments

  1. Mom2my10 on August 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    This is such a great post! I have my first family shoot coming up and the dad IS NOT looking forward to it. I’ll have to try these tips to see if I can get him relaxed! Love this blog!

  2. Judith on August 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU! This was a great post & came at the perfect time.

  3. Mariah B, Baseman Studios on August 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve actually used a few of these a time or two without thinking about it… It’s great to have some ideas in place though.My husband is a gear-head, and I claim to know nothing about cars. BUT, I usually make it a point to ask them about their vehicle… works for some, not for others.

  4. jacqui on August 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Great post ,loved reading it. Thanks for the tips!

  5. gary miller on August 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Men are harder to photograph than women because you can’t bs them. They have no patience for fumbling and want their picture to be done fast and done correct. They don’t mind paying for expertise and results. We specialize in ceos and heads of companies that want the proper image.

  6. TexasTammy on September 15, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Great tips! Dads are tough! Most are not very comfortable in front of the camera. I had that recently with a family shoot and I finally got him to loosen up a bit when he took the kids on the dock and started fishing with them. You can definitely tell the difference between the early photos of that shoot, and the photos after the fishing! I like “give him a job”… that’s a great one that I will remember in my head from now on! Thank you!

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