One of the things I hear a lot when someone steps in front of the camera is “I don’t know what to do with me hands on a shoot”! And while I’ll guide you into flattering poses that work for you, I thought I’d share what I get my clients to do, for those occasions that you’re not in front of my camera and you’re at a bit of a loss as to what to do – so save this post!
- Give them something to hold – This is probably why you’ll see a lot of brand images with someone holding a cup of tea/coffee. If your hands are holding something they’re going to look more relaxed than if they are just dangling by your sides, starting to look like claws! So what could you hold? A book, phone, paintbrush, champagne glass – think of what works within your brand story.
- Give them something to do – This could be writing, painting, preparing food – what is it that you’re known for? Chances are your hands will be doing something.
- Play with a pea/pearl – This one may sound odd, but if you’re not holding or doing something, you don’t want your arms just loose by your side. Instead, roll a pretend pea (or pearl) between your thumbs and index fingers. I didn’t realise this had an actual name to it til I was on a shoot with Bry Penney and she called it the Commercial Pea!
- Gesture – If you’re having photos where you’re giving a speech, delivering training, etc than gesturing with your hands creates animation and helps show the viewer of the image that you are passionate and engaged with the subject you are talking about.
- Pockets – If you’re wearing an item of clothing with pockets, they’re a great place for hands on a shoot! And it creates a lovely bend in your arms for a flattering pose.
- Play with your hair – Twirl a curl, run your hands through your hair – basically creating movement and carrying out an action draws attention to you without it being too stilted.
- Lean on them – Leaning forward or to the side onto a hand is a great look, but be careful not to lean to heavily onto them as it squashes your face. You also want to make sure that the camera isn’t just seeing the flat of the back of your hand, like a big block under your chin – go to close your fist and you’ll see your fist starts to look like a wave about to curl over and crash into the sea – that’s the shape you want. Now instead of the back of your hand facing the camera, rotate your hand 90 degrees so that you then see that curve into your palm.
- Celebrate – Ok this involves the arms too, but there are still hands involved, think about doing fist pump, jazz hands, arms up in the air – show how excited you are!
- Point – Some people love and some people hate the pointing pose – this could be pointing at the camera or pointing into negative space where you will then overlay text for the message you’re pointing at.
- And if they’re not doing any of the above – Wiggle those fingers to make sure that you’re not starting to tense them…. remember – we want to avoid claw hands!
So there you have it, no need to wonder what to do with your hands on a shoot!