A lot of photographers are afraid of photographing boys.

They struggle with posing ideas and think that there are not enough styling options available to create a complete portrait gallery. 

In this blog, I will share with you my posing workflow guide, together with my styling suggestions for a perfect photoshoot.

In general, poses for boys should manifest strength, confidence, and coolness.

The three most important elements that you should focus on are facial expressions, perfect body angles, and correct hand positioning.

If you are new to portrait photography, this posing guide will hopefully bring you a variety to your client’s gallery.


‘ What should I do ‘? – That is the most common question that we photographers hear during the photoshoot. 

When our clients are not professional models, we cannot expect them to know how to pose. They usually come to the session feeling nervous, anxious, and not knowing what to do. 

Our job is to make them feel relaxed and comfortable and guide them so they will look the best self. 

Classic, standing portraits are the best to start with because the only thing our little clients need to do is to stand still and look into the camera.

Firstly, make sure that you choose your client’s best side profile and focus on showing the best jawline angles. Try to avoid posing the body straight to the camera as it makes it look wider and, in most cases, it is not very flattering.

Secondly, remember to never crop at the joints, wrists, and finger joints, and when shooting a close up, crop mid-way between joints.

Finally, by choosing the correct lighting techniques, you can bring a dramatic and masculine feeling into the pictures.

teenage boy in black high neck top posing for his headshot
African American teenage boy with curly black hair and freckles wearing black velvet high neck top


Sitting poses always work well. Using props like sofa, chair, or ladder helps you to bring diversity into the gallery. 

Remember to photograph both full-body images as well as close-ups.

black and white fine art portrait of a boy with long curly hair


Make sure you do not crop out the hands as they are vital in a boy’s portraiture.

Avoid placing them closer to the camera than the rest of the body as they will appear larger than they are in reality.

When posing a boy, we need to make sure we give his hands a purpose. A reason for being where they are. The best way to do it is to provide the hands with something to do or to touch. Best examples are:

• hands placed on the knees

• hands placed in the pockets

• give hands something to touch 

• give hands something to hold

Extra Tip – you can create a stronger pose if you place hands asymmetrically e.g.

• one hand in a pocket and one out

• one hand higher and the other lower


Siblings often have one of the most complex dynamics within the family.

They are simultaneously best friends and companions, as well as rivals for their parents’ attention.

The connection between brothers and sisters is often the longest-lasting relationship in our lives. Therefore the composition of the photographs is a key element in allowing this connection to show on the camera.

  • when photographing brothers, we focus on showing cool, strong,  dynamic, and confident poses
  • on the other hand, when posing brother with sister, we should try creating a more gentle, warm, sweet, emotional feelings, and protective approach 


A father plays an essential role in a son’s life and can teach him valuable life lessons. We can capture the bond between father and son in various ways

• if posing baby boy or young boy with a father, we should focus on strong closeness and firm hugs 

• when photographing fathers with teenage boys, we can show friendship and more relaxed posing

The relationship between mothers and their sons is a special one. This powerful bond is established in early childhood when mother becomes the little boy’s object of tremendous feelings of love and affection

• while posing a baby boy or young boy with a mother, we should try to show love and tenderness, whereas, with older boys, we can show the protective feelings towards their mothers 

Classic Portrait Photography - Kettering, Northamptonshire - Paulina Duczman Photography


The right choice of clothing is crucial for the final effect of the images. It reflects the session style and impacts the mood. As a result, It can make or break the photoshoot. 

Some of my styling suggestions

• It is best to wear long sleeves, tops, and long trousers. Covering the skin allows the face to be the main focus of the image.

• Limit the number of colours and avoid the bright ones as they take away viewers attention from the clients’ faces

• Avoid logos busy patterns as they are very distracting and will not create a timeless feeling on the image  

• For a simpler look, use jeans or chinos and a plain long sleeve tops or shirts

• To create more variety, use layered clothing and add extras like a jacket, coat, braces, hat, or scarf

• Use a velvet high neck top and corduroy trousers for an extra arty feeling,

• Go for the suit if the session is formal or with a more vanity fair look

• It is important that the shoes match the rest of the clothing and create the same feeling for the session. 

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