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Capturing hands in portrait photography

Sometimes the smallest omission can cause the biggest boo-boo, and this goes for photography, too – particularly when you are shooting people. In this tutorial, let’s focus on the hands of the subject. Here are a few things to keep in mind while shooting portraits…

1. Ask your subject to keep their hands away from each other. Also, tell them to keep their fingers an inch part. One way of accomplishing this is to ask your subject to hold on to something or rest their hands on something. It could be the edge of the chair or the rim of the glass they are holding. This way, the subject will be more relaxed as their hands and fingers are conveniently anchored.

2. Sometimes, the subject might be quite tense or suffering from a nervous problem. In such cases, it’s best to take the camera’s eye to the rest of the subject and avoid the hands altogether. Another way is to conceal the subjects hands inside their pockets or behind them.

3. Clenched fists can work if you want the subject to be more dramatic. But ensure that he’s punching the air when you take the picture. Otherwise, try photographing the hands from the side to make them look more elegant. Frontal shots appear more flat, and if the subject has abnormal hands and fingers, they will look worse in pictures.

~Zahid H Javali