When it comes to taking pictures of people, hands can say A LOT about what your subject is feeling. Clenched fists say they are angry or tense while opened fingers look more relaxed and approachable. Where hands are placed and how they are positioned can either distract from your main subject’s face or add an interesting compositional element to your image. Follow the tips below to make sure you are posing hands in your portraits correctly!
- If it bends, then bend it. Like arms, fingers should always be slightly bent so they don’t appear stiff and rigid. Slightly curled fingers look more natural and have more shape than a flat hand.
- Avoid turning the back of a hand or palm toward the camera. When a hand is shot straight on to the camera, it will appear bulky and more dominant within your shot and will distract from the subject’s face.
- Separate the fingers. Make sure there is a little bit of space between your fingers so the hand doesn’t look like one heavy blob.
- Never cover the jawline with a hand as it will break the natural shape of a person’s face. For the same reason, keep hands on the far side of a face to not cover any features.