Posing Tips for a Male Model

By Frank Luger ; Updated September 15, 2017
About 25 percent of working models are male.

Male models are not as much in demand as female models, mostly because more shopping is done by or for women. Despite this, there are still lucrative career opportunities for male models. Being able to pose in different ways will mean you will be suitable for a range of different jobs, which will enhance your chances of success.

Catalog Shoots

Work with the photographer, posing naturally, listening to the photographer's requests and making helpful suggestions. Your poses will tend to be conservative, shot against a white background. You will probably be asked to wear several different outfits during the shoot, perhaps as many as 20 or 30 outfits in a day. Change outfits quickly to give the photographer more time to get the shots required. When doing shoots to demonstrate products other than clothing, such as orbital sanders and sofas, you may be required to hold, sit on or point at objects. Pose with conviction, taking the job seriously, even if you feel self-conscious about, for example, having to point at an air filtration system in what feels like an unrealistic way.

Fashion Magazine Shoots

Fashion magazines are trying to stand out from the crowd and so tend to have models in creative, artistic and individualistic poses. The photographer will probably have a specific idea of what is required, having been briefed by the magazine. Available jobs include magazine editorials, cologne ads, calendars, sportswear and sleepwear. Model Todd Riegler suggests that you study fashion magazines and learn the classic poses. Practice these in front of a mirror until you feel confident. Work out your strongest poses so that you have a number of poses to call upon and can move naturally from one to the other in a professional way. At a GQ cover shoot, Riegler utilized an old trick used by bodybuilders to tighten his abs significantly, by exhaling as the camera snapped. The client and photographer were unaware of this trick, but it gave Riegler a definite edge.

Artists' Models

Susan Wood Gearhart, an authority on modeling careers, says you might be called upon to hold a pose for about five minutes, which does not seem too onerous, before having a break, then resuming the pose. The work can be tedious, according to Gearhart, and you need to have patience. Also, you have to be able to work for people who may be demanding and not easy to get along with. Further, you may need to be able to commit to a project over an extended period of days or weeks and be able to accurately replicate a pose you held previously.

About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.