Male Fashion Photography / by Renee Farias

When you think of fashion and advertorial photography, you usually assume it involves female models. For instance, in a previous blog I discussed the topic of editorial photography. The examples all referred back to a female subject. Upon realizing that male photography is rarely discussed, I am dedicating this blog to designers with a male demographic who would like a few photography guidelines to help with their campaign.    


If you have read my previous blogs, then you know how often I discuss lighting at a photoshoot. It is very important! It is key to experiment with different lighting angles to decide what is best. Lighting can affect the mood of the image. Depending on what emotion you want to evoke, it is important to choose lighting that is conducive to that atmosphere.

Here are some quick tips:

Fitness: Fitness photography is one of the most common among male models. The lighting and shadows should complement the model’s physique and accent the muscles. Lighting from above often does the trick.

Fashion: Of course, in fashion photography, the clothes are the focus. The lighting needs to show off the uniqueness and colors of the outfit. It is important that it positively portray how the clothing fits and hangs off of the model.

Note: It is good to make use of the outdoors and use natural lighting! Just remember it is best to shoot during the “magic hours,” which are the hours just before and during sunrise and the hours during sunset.


Posing is often more limited for male models. However, like with a female model, it is important that they mesh well with the photographer. The photographer should be open to giving some direction but still allow the model to have creative freedom. This compromise will often result in a more creative and natural shot. A natural shot is the ultimate goal, as it will more likely be relatable and engaging to the consumer. 


Retouching is necessary for any editorial shoot. However, specifically for males, it is important to not overdue it. Most male-targeted brands aim to convey a masculine ruggedness. This in part can be achieved through showing more skin detail, which requires less retouching.

It is important to provide male-targeted brands with guidelines that will hopefully help them get the ideal advertising image. These guidelines, plus bringing on the right photographer and model, will take your campaign to the next level! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please contact me!