Portrait Shoot – How to Pose Hands
One of the great dilemma’s when posing a portrait subject is where to put their hands. Now who would have thought that something so marvellous and useful as hands can become a problem in a photo. Us photographers are constantly asking ourselves what should we do with them?
Hands are the give-away when someone is uncomfortable, often we ball them into fists, splay them or hold them in ways that show our nerves.
Asking your subject to wrap their hands around themselves can create a wonderful portrait shape.
I recently shot this beautiful girl who instinctively had no fear of constantly changing and moving her hands. In the simplest of settings, with no props (only a chair), no backdrop and no movement she brilliantly created numerous different emotions with a turn of her body, by changing her facial expressions and using creative hand poses.
As it seems to be the challenge of so many photographers and their subjects I thought it would be fun to share these pics and hand poses with you to give you a little inspiration on your next shoot.
The important thing is to make sure the hands are never rigid, balled or open in a claw-like fashion or too close to the camera – they will look huge.
This chair gave her something to lean on and gives a totally different feel to this portrait.
Thanks to the lovely Anissa..All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson
And don’t forget to have fun!
TIPS WHEN POSING HANDS:
1. Ask your subject not to lean on their hands especially if underneath their chin.
2. Give your subject something to hold like a glass, a flower, an old fashioned telephone, a feather or a straw. Anything that will allow them to hold their hands naturally.
3. In photo 3 the way the model is holding her arms creates a beautiful shape.
4. In photos 2, 4, 5, 6 you will notice all hand placements are soft and the model is just lightly touching her face not leaning, pressing or pushing her skin.
5. If your subject is having difficulty or the hands are looking unnatural ask them to drop the pose and do it again.
6. Many women of a certain age tend to want to cover their neck with their hands. If this is the case I always prefer a beautiful scarf or a high collar instead of a hand pose that looks like ‘you are covering the neck’.
I hope you enjoyed this little visual hand posing moment!
“Hold a true friend with both hands.” African Proverb
PS: If you know anyone who might like this post please feel free to share..