5 Things Not to do When Posing Hands and How to Fix Them

In this video, NY based fashion photographer Lindsay Adler talks about five different common mistakes when shooting a model with visible hands in the shot and how to resolve or avoid them.

Hands can be an important part of an image but they need to look natural and flattering (especially when shooting female subjects which are the topic of this video). In this video Adler shows how to avoid the hands from creating a distraction and helping you get the perfect shot.

  1. Palm turned too much toward the camera – Having the palm turned too much towards the camera can be distracting. According to Adler, the general rule when posing hands is to have the pinky side of the hand towards the camera so to solve this just have the model rotate her hand away.
  2.  Avoid tense fingers – When people are stressed, they tend to display tension in their hands which is something you don’t want to see in your photograph as it can look very robotic. The solution is simple – tell the model to relax2 those fingers and it gives a much more confident, relaxed look to the entire photograph.
  3. Pressure on the Face – The next thing you want to avoid while posing is hands digging into the body too much. Digging the hand into the hip too much it’s flattering, so suggest to the model to touch her hip much more softly. A model might also put too much weight on their hand when she is holding it close to her face and her fingers start to dig into the skin. Instead suggest that she only barely touch the side of her face with the hand.
  4. Stray Fingers – You typically don’t want a thumb jutting out or a pinky. What Adler suggests, in this case, is to tuck her thumb beside the index finger (the same goes for the pinky). It is all about relaxing your model and letting her feel comfortable with her hands.
  5. Abrupt wrists or foreshortening – Finally what you want to avoid while posing hands is ill-posed wrists. If the model’s wrist is too much at the right angle, it looks awkward. Bending the wrist up is usually more elegant, but you can also bend the wrist down slightly just to avoid those right angles, and then you usually want the pinky side of the hand towards the camera instead of having the fingers pointed back towards the subject.

You can find many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section as well as lighting techniques here on LensVid. You can find all of Adler’s other videos we have published here in the past on this link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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