With the unprecedented popularity of cameras and photography, thanks partly to the proliferation of smartphones with built-in cameras and of affordable digital cameras, men are more likely to accept being photographed in casual situations. You may be asked to photograph the men in your circle of family and friends for their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, for online dating sites, and for family photos, among others, usually in a more relaxed setting than with corporate shots.
But there are certain challenges that come with taking photos of men in comparison with women, such as their general discomfort in front of the camera – unless, of course, they are professional models or avid selfie fans. Here are tips to photograph men and get better results from a single session.
Consult With Him Before the Actual Shoot
You shouldn’t assume that the women, whether it’s the wife, mother, or daughters, in the family communicated with the men, such as the husband, grandparent, or brother, about the reasons for the photo shoot. You have to include the men in the consultation process so that they have a clear idea about the what, why and how of the shoot, thus, making them more likely to cooperate during the big day. Otherwise, you will likely be faced with a reluctant, cranky, and disagreeable dad looking like he wants to be somewhere else instead of in front of the camera.
During the consultation, you will be able to gather crucial information including:
- His ideas about his most comfortable position for his shot
- His interests and hobbies, which can be reflected in the photos
- His insecurities especially about his facial and bodily features (e.g., a prominent chin, a large nose, or a protruding belly
You can even discuss the clothes he will be wearing so that his outfit can bring out the best in him. Keep in mind that you should be making suggestions, not issuing orders since the client will be the final judge of your work and he has to live with it, too.
Focus on the Positives
Your photos should tell a good story about the subject especially when it has been commissioned by the family. Keep these tips in mind:
- Minimize the appearance of physical liabilities while still making sure that the subject looks like himself in real life. Cheek jowls, double chins, and large bellies may give character to the person but these can also be distracting so seek to minimize their appearance in the photos.
- Make your subject more relaxed in his poses, such as bending the arms and legs.
- Give him something to lean on or something to do with his hands to make him feel more relaxed.
When you have the perfect shots, you can have them printed at Wal-Mart Photo before presenting the physical prints to your subject and his family.