7 Manly Poses: Sending the Right Message Every Time

by Harsh Kushwah

manly poses

Looking good in photographs (and life) can be a matter of degrees.

You might not have considered which male poses would accentuate your unique features.

It’s also about what you want to convey with your manly poses – Not everyone has the (false) confidence of a George Costanza or David Brent.

So, the question is – as a man, how can you pose for pictures so you give the right message? Read on to learn from some of the best.

General Tips for Men on How to Pose for Pictures:

  • Check the Background. Although it might be cute one day, an open toilet seat in the background on your hot pic might not complement your best features. Make sure your pose is working with whatever backdrop you have.
  • Check the Light. If there is one tip you take from this article, it should be to learn all you can about optimal photographic lighting. It can make or break any photograph. No pose can outdo poor lighting.
  • Consider the Audience. Where will this photo be seen? Is it just for yourself or a friend, or will your entire office have access to this side of your “personality?” Some of your best male poses might be better suited for specific audiences.

What is your definition of manly poses? 

menPsyche recently delved into what it means to be a man.

It depends on definitions. A man might be a jockey or a weight lifter. He may be a surfer or a ballet dancer. Or he might be a couch potato.

Even though some people define men by biological markers, it might be more helpful to broaden the definition to include characteristics.

A manly pose might be one of confidence, not aggression.

More ‘Sigma Male’ than ‘Alpha Male.’

“Less about muscles and more about style.”

Of course, there is nothing wrong with accentuating your form, and if that means a muscular physique, be proud and pose to make the most of your form.

Finding a male pose that represents you is what it is all about.

1. “WINK” Pose

Pose Features:

  • A bit of an eyebrow lift
  • A slight wry smile
  • A finger across the face

Breaking Down the “WINK” Pose:

Often in life, men are told what to do. Sometimes, it’s by people who know less than them but like to lecture. 

But the men hearing this so-called “advice” don’t like to show off their intellect. Instead, they would like to send a signal across the room to any audience that they don’t need more explanation. 

How can you tell someone you understand what’s going on without resorting to harsh words?

You would want to show those around you (or those seeing your photograph one day) the signal that “you get it.”

Check out Bond himself as a good example.

image3 manly poses,male poses,how to pose for pictures men

He ignores the “noise” –

If you are gonna talk, Talk!

If you are gonna drink, Drink!

If you wanna do Both, Follow Him!

Some men are good at holding their drinks and talking. 

And some men like to enjoy their drinks in silence.

Pierce Brosnan is engaged with his surroundings while enjoying a drink.

His eyes are talking. He is enjoying his martini. 

It’s pure confidence, knowing he can talk and drink in style. 

If anyone is telling him what to do, he ain’t listening!

(You can even drink a coffee with style. It does not have to be an alcoholic beverage).

2. “MIGHT” Pose

Pose Features:

  • A ‘knowing’ smile
  • Some non-conformity e.g. No tie with the suit.
  • One hand tucked in the pocket and one just touching the thigh. The leg just protruding outside.

Breaking Down the MIGHT Pose:

How can you tell people you are friendly but unwavering?

Check this pose of our Bond man – Daniel Craig.

image5 manly poses,male poses,how to pose for pictures men

Has anyone ever called you a ‘poser’?

Maybe you were copying a particular actor, a sportsperson or a character from a movie. 

Well, if you can pull off such a pose, it might be the best compliment you can get to be a ‘poser.’

This manly pose shows a keen level of awareness.

The “MIGHT” is a non-threatening male power pose.

He is aware of his pose. He is aware of being looked at. He is aware of being on the spot. And he pulls off with the sheer class that he has developed.

He shows his confidence with rawness. 

Just as you would expect with Bond, he portrays a ruggedness, a nonchalant attitude, and a steely focus.

I think this Bond gives Jason Bourne a run for the money. You can see the influence. 

Daniel Craig paid homage to the new Sigma male character that emerged as Jason Bourne.

And did anyone like it?

We all know the answer.

Daniel Craig is an ideal template to copy for poses if you are into physical fitness, minimalist fashion, and subtle, stylish accessories.

3. “D.I.C” Pose

Get your minds out of the gutter – This pose stands for “Do I Care?”

Pose Features:

  • Keep your head steady and gaze fixed 
  • Imagine you are smiling but not actually smiling
  • Think about hand placement – tuck the finger in the back pocket or casually on your waist. 

Breaking Down the D.I.C Pose:

image4 manly poses,male poses,how to pose for pictures men

Past success can paralyse men. They may seek a new challenge to break through a life crisis

When I saw Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair, I could see that with all he has, he is not content. He has done all the daredevil stuff. But he is still looking to show his skills. 

He never forgets to show off his style.

In this pose, he is leaning on a wall or pole, holding it with his hand tucked into the pocket.

Now, if you are travelling on a tram or just standing somewhere and want to do it style – this is a good pose.

Your pose can show the strength and depth of your character.

His eyes reflect that confident smile that he is having inside.

Posing is about Body language. It’s one of our primary forms of communication. 

A man can always learn to communicate better.

Check out – A Communication Guide For Men – menPsyche

4. “Signature Style” Pose

Pose Features:

  • Tilted head
  • Weight on the back leg
  • Open, relaxed hands

Breaking Down the Signature Style Pose:

hrithik roshan offering hand for a shake

This one is my personal inspiration. 

Growing up, wearing prescription glasses meant a lot of challenges.

It did not matter if I knew about colours, style, or fashion.

Growing up, “nerds” were nowhere near the style quotient.

Enter Indian film star, style icon and noted dancer Hrithik Roshan.

  • He wore his prescription glasses with a style. 
  • He offered his hand with a style. 
  • He danced with a style.
  • He let his style do the talking. 
  • He became the symbol for “nerds” like me. 

“Keep focusing on your style, be consistent and let it emerge.”- Harsh Kushwah

Observing some of Hrithik’s best male poses is a great starting point to create your signature style.

Trauma Behind the Style:

– Hrithik Roshan thought he would never walk and would remain bedridden his life.

– He was told he would never walk properly, let alone be able to dance.

– After a big success, he faced years of failure.

What impressed me, and millions of fans, was his comeback.

Resilience became his signature. 

5. “Sitting Bull” Pose

Pose Features:

  • Eyes are directly looking into the camera
  • Hands are firmly holding a book
  • Legs crossed (Sharon Stone has a competition!).

Breaking Down the Sitting Bull Pose:

Sitting across a table or talking to someone is often a face-off. Sometimes, you may have a good conversation or a passionate discussion.

And sometimes, people will wave red flags at you!

You might need to have the aggression of a bull, but the calmness of a cow.

Or you might be in a profession that requires you to show a little ‘muscle’ and demonstrate your expertise occasionally. Think doctors, lawyers, therapists etc. 

The ‘Sitting Bull’ pose of Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal shows his confidence and clarity.

This pose is a great one when you are taking a solo portrait shot for yourself.

I mean, if you aspire to have grand photographs of yourself in your mansion or office, this is the pose!

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6.  “E-STEEM” Pose

‘Low Tea and High Esteem’.

Pose Features:

  • Clam hands
  • Looking intently
  • Gaze at the other person with high esteem

Breaking Down the E-Steem Pose:

This pose is about holding your drink ‘low’ and holding your esteem high.

If you enjoy a cup of tea or a coffee, you can drink it with the same class James Bond drinks his martini.

Continuing the ‘steam’ theme – a bull exhales his aggression before he charges. “Steam” coming out of the nostril.

This silent aggression, if channelled, can give a great impression to the person in front.

Let the hot tea or coffee’s heat and aroma rise in front of your eyes.

Keep focus on the conversation with the person in front.

And keep the pose steady. Hold the hands calmly. Sip with confidence.

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7. “Look Like You Mean It” Pose

Pose Features:

  • Chin rested on the clasped hands
  • Elbows on the table
  • A “smile with the eyes” on the face (Smile with the Eyes- Imagine you are smiling but keep your mouth still).

Breaking Down the Look Like You Mean It Pose:

No matter how confident you are, what achievement you have made, or what challenges you have faced, you will one day sit across someone you like a lot.

Your first date with the woman you love (or are falling in love with).

You will feel weak in your body and watery in your eyes. 

That’s your eyes dilating. Boy, you are infatuated!

And when you are on a date with her, there’s no place for aggression or chest-beating. Throw out any such thoughts and look into her eyes.

Listen to what she says, even though she knows you can’t concentrate.

Don’t stare at her clothes or her jewellery. (Don’t stare at all).

Genuinely look into her eyes – like you want to know more about her.

There is nothing more manly than a man who is genuinely interested in what his girlfriend wants to say.

Hugo Weaving, the highly accomplished Australian actor, is a master of expressive faces and poses.

If you want to express yourself emphatically, without showing your face – Check him out in V for Vendetta.

The speech, the tone and the actions speak about his psyche.

Challenging, unassuming and undeterred.

A manly pose is a reflection of a man’s psyche.

Does Your Pose reflect your Psyche? Whatever it is, let it be a Stylish One!

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