Why is it so difficult to pose hands:
- Posing Hands for most photographers including me is by far the most challenging task.
- When I work with my subjects the most common question I get and I am sure you all get it as well and that is "what do you want me to do with my hands?"
- And my general response, for the most part, just leaves it there, don't worry I will take care of it.
- The reason I say that is because at the time I really don't know what I want to do with their hands.
- Posing for me starts with the foundation, which I will explain in more detail in another BLOG but basically, I want to come up with the core pose first and then build on top of that.
- The reason posing hands was challenging for me is because I was trying to pose the hands first and not getting my foundation right.
- Basically, I was putting the cart before the horse.
So let's go through some of my elegant hand posing examples:
- Palm to face not so good. It looks like you are smooching the face.
- Bending the fingers ever so generally, creates a beautiful gap, exposing the jawline.
Backhands to the camera example:
- Having a female backhand/fist facing the camera is too much of a distraction especially with a crop to the face.
- Having the subject turn there hands so the narrower part is facing the camera is much more elegant.
- Back of the hand/fist facing the camera is appropriate for a man as it projects strength.
Hand under the chin example:
- Hand holding up the face, it gives the impression the subject is bored or the head is so heavy that they need to hold it up.
- By having the subject place their index finger generally under the chin so it connects ever so slightly creates a beautiful elegant image.
Bending the joints:
- This is a small thing but it makes the world of difference.
- For example, if your subject had their hands straight up and it was close to their face.
- If their hands were straight, the image would look weird, but if they simply bend the joint it makes the world of difference.
No pockets example:
- Most folks face this problem, the subject has no pockets what can you do with the hands.
- Put the hands on the hips, ensuring the joints are bent.
- One hand on the hips the other could be bent 90 degrees in the air with joints bent.
- Crossing the subject's arms.
- One hand in their hair the other could be on the hip.
- Form shapes with their hands, by creating a triangle for their face.
- Lean them against a wall and now you are open to even more hand positioning or you repeat everything we just did.
- Posing hands is not so much about posing them, it's more about ensuring it's in harmony with the core of your pose and messaging.
- If I tell you that everyone should pose their hands in a certain way and you followed my instructions.
- Here's what will happen, you will begin to see images with elegant hands but with the wrong message which is a distraction.
- Basically, there's no hard or fast rule, they are guidelines but you as the photographer must have the courage to know when you see a disconnect that you must get in there and fix it.
- If you remember anything from this BLOG, just remember posing hands has to live in harmony with your core pose.
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