Though rare, I do actually photograph men too!
And here is a few things that I’ve learnt in the process.
- Guys are harder to photograph
Boys are all up and down! With girls its easier to create shapes due to their natural curves, their elegant limbs and they are much happier to be “vulnerable” to the gaze of a camera, especially with me, a female photographer*.
We’re used to seeing images of women, and despite male models being around since the dawn of art, there’s still a stigma attached, that it’s not a very “manly” thing to do, so to get a man to pose and open up can be very hard work!
Having said that though…
- Guys are easier to photograph
From fashion, to art nude to everyday documentary, men just get on with it and don’t mind making a fool of themselves or acting up to the camera.
Male models are usually characters to start with, and love performing for the camera. They don’t mind as much if you get their “bad side”, well most don’t, but I’m coming to that.
On the whole, guys, models or not, just don’t have the same “fear” that comes with having your photo taken, they’re also a lot more relaxed about final images. Which is often very refreshing!
- Males can also be shy and self critical
Remember how I said that guys are a lot more reluctant to being “vulnerable” with the camera?
It may come as a surprise to some, but guys can also have the same worries and hang ups that women do. They have flat days, and sometimes they really don’t like the way their hair, nose, chest, or legs appear in a photo. We can sometimes think of guys as these emotionless, macho, bravado robots, but they aren’t. Not always. They can be soft and vulnerable too.
I take pride in the fact that I have photographed some of the most camera shy men that I know.
- Men make for wonderful subjects
- Role reversal is scary, liberating and fun
The romantic notion of the brooding, (traditionally) male, making beautiful and fabulous images of women, adorned in finery or stripped bare, is such an established image that when swapping those roles, it can, at times, feel like a challenge. But as the sub-title says, it’s liberating and fun. I also think I can play the brooding artist quite well!
It’s nice as a 5ft5 female, who is actually quite shy when it comes to working, to have the “power” that comes from being the photographer and critically looking at the man, telling him where to sit. Telling him how to be. However, it’s not to be abused, definitely not. Not ever, by anyone. I can’t stress that enough.
So these are just a few of the many things that I’ve learnt so far in my photographic career. You can view more images of males (and females!) via my Flickr account.
Models; Andrew Jardine, Kevin Flee, Aaron Clapham, Drew Beckett, Stuart Bannocks, Callum S
*But in no way am I saying that their aren’t great personable male photographers, I’ve met and worked along side some really brilliant guys, who have created the same relaxed atmosphere that I do – I take pride in that I’ve managed to photograph some of the most camera shy people I know. Just in my experience and the work I’ve made, the models often say they found it much easier to pose for a female photographer.