How to Become a Hand Model
Have you ever been told you have elegant, photogenic hands? Being a hand model can be as grueling and intense as being a traditional model, but if you have what it takes, then you may be ready to start an amazing career. If you think that being a hand model is within reach of your perfectly-manicured hands, then follow these steps.
Meeting the Requirements
Have camera-ready hands.Are your fingers long, your hands narrow? Do you have perfect cuticles and nicely-shaped nails? Small knuckles? Those are wonderful signs that you have good looking hands. Make sure you have a smooth, even complexion. Don't assume makeup will, well, make up for your imperfections. Birthmarks, freckles, moles, scars, crooked fingers, and irregularly shaped nails will severely limit your progress as a hand model. Pay special attention to your thumb; it'll play a huge role in many hand shots, so it needs to be good-looking.Here are some other things to consider:
- Inspect the back of your hand. If you're a woman, it needs to be narrow.
- Though women are more often hand models than men, men can be hand models too. Just make sure you don't have hairy knuckles.
- Don't get discouraged, though. There are a number of different types of hand modeling looks such as beauty, mommy, product, and older hands.
Have steady hands.This is just as important as having nice-looking hands. Can you hold an object for an extended period of time without leaning on anything and without shaking? Any movement will translate into blurry pictures, so if you find that you can't keep your hands steady, modeling might not be the best use for them.
- Shooting TV commercials or ads for your hands can take several hours. A 30 second spot can take upwards of 12 hours to shoot and you have to be ready at all times and prepared to do take after take of small actions.
Have patience.If you want to be a hand model, then you have to prepare to hold your hands in the exact same position for hours on end. This means that you have to deal well with boredom and have really, really steady hands. If you're addicted to caffeine or chocolate, you may have to curb your addiction, because these things will only make your hands shake more. You can even practice holding your hands steady for long periods of time so you'll be more comfortable when the time comes.
- Patience and the ability to always hit your mark can be the most important thing. Once the camera and lights are set, you have to be able to set the product down in the exact same place over and over.
Part 1 Quiz
Why do you need to hold your hands steady when hand modeling?
Create a portfolio.If you have the money to spare for a portfolio for your hands, then find a photographer you trust to get you started. If you find a photographer who is just starting out too, then they may work with you for a small price, or no price at all, since you'll be helping them build their portfolio too. Make sure you get a professional manicure before you take those photos. Here are some other things to consider as you put your portfolio together:
- Learn common hand poses. Study magazine ads and commercials to see how hands pose and move. Mimic those poses and movements for your portfolio.
- Include at least one photo showing your face so that if they need a shot that includes someone's face, they'll consider you (and also so they can recognize you when they meet you).
- Include a straight on shot of the back of your hands and the palms of your hands.
Send your portfolio to reputable modeling agencies.Tell them that your are specifically interested in hand modeling and request an interview. Some agencies may have a separate department for hand modeling, or some agencies will be parts agencies specifically. Tell them that you have a portfolio and if they ask whether it's professional, be honest but specify that they simulate professional ads.Be politely persistent until you get an interview.
Sign with an agent.If an agent thinks your hands have the look they want, then congratulations! You have made it through a tough hurdle on the hand modeling trajectory. Once you've got the offer from the agent, however, you have to make sure that it's the right for you. First of all, the agent has to be legitimate. A legitimate agent won't charge for money up front and will only get paid ifyouget paid. Agents typically receive a percentage of your pay, so they are motivated to find you work. Make sure to meet the agent or speak to them at length before you make a decision.
- Look good for the meeting with the agent. Even though you're modeling your hands, you still want to give off a professional impression, and that means looking neat and nice. They might send you out on calls (more interviews) eventually, and they'll want you to represent them well.If all goes well, they'll send you to do test shots with a local photographer to see if you've got what it takes.
- Once you've met with the agent and have gotten a positive vibe from them, as well as proof of the agent's legitimacy (names and samples of the work of other clients, for example), then carefully study the contract you are given and sign it when you're ready.
Go to go-sees to find work.Once you've signed with the agent, they will provide you with some places to go to look for work. These are called go-sees, just like in the world of traditional modeling. You will have to go from place to place, show off your hands, and see if you've got what they're looking for. Your agent won't be able to say, "Hey, I found you a great gig" -- they can get you to the gig, but you'll still have to work for it.
- Once you've found some work, you'll be able to add it to your resume. And the more experience you have, the more luck you'll have in future go-sees.
- Be persistent. You may have to go to a number of go-sees before you find work. But if your agent thinks you've got the look, then you should be able to find work eventually.
Part 2 Quiz
What types of photos should you include in your portfolio?
Succeeding in Your Career
Take incredible care of your hands.If you think your hands have got what it takes, treat them like assets. You should be careful not to do anything that could damage your hands, from cutting vegetables to handling a bouquet of thorny roses. Here are some things you may have to do on a regular basis:
- Visit a manicurist to make your hands look their best. If you become really prominent in your field, you'll be getting regular manicures for free before your shoots.Andyou'll be able to expense any manicures you get on your own. Sound good?
- Have a proper diet and drink enough water so your skin is healthy. Also, some vitamin imbalances can show up as undesirable white spots on your nails.
- Moisturize your hands on a regular basis. Some hand models even sleep with gloves on at night.You can apply lotion and then wear latex gloves to make your hands extra soft.
- Keep your nails trimmed and clean. Ideally, you should always file them and never clip them.
- Avoid scratching, burning, or creating any marks on your hands.
Keep your day job (at least at first).Sure, if you're a top hand model, you'll be making enough to live on, but most hand models do the work to supplement their income, or even for the fun experience. Be prepared to have an additional income as you grow more prominent in your hand-modeling career. Don't be discouraged by this; it's simply a reality of this job and all other modeling jobs.
Move to a big media city.You don't have to move to New York to be a hand model. But if you're really serious about the work you do, then you should move to a big media city to have an edge. You shouldn't drop everything and move hundreds of miles away to a big city before you even take your portfolio shots, but if you've already gotten some gigs and want more opportunities to grow in your career, then consider moving to one of the following cities: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, or Chicago.
Treat any object you hold like it's made of crystal.Even if you're holding a book or a cutting board, you should treat it like it's the most delicate object in the world if you want to succeed. You should treat every item gingerly and with the utmost caution. This will make the object look even more desirable and special in the photographs or advertisements. If you grip anything too hard, then your hands won't look as delicate, either.
Prepare to be a contortionist.Don't think that all of hand modeling requires you to just hold a purse or another simple object. You may have to hold a book open for hours, or even lie on your back holding a camera for a long stretch of time. You should be flexible and be prepared to hold your hands in unusual positions for a number of hours. This may get exhausting and will require you to have both mental and physical strength, but it will lead to some unbelievable photos.
Enjoy the perks.If you've really made it as a hand model, then the perks of the job are endless. You may end up being a hand double for a celebrity, for example; Julia Roberts used a hand double duringThe Pelican Briefbecause she simply didn't have time to shoot a scene with just her hands. This will lead you to meet celebrities, directors, and other interesting people.
- Kimbra Hickey, the hand model for the world-famousTwilightcover, has become famous in her own right. She tours withTwilightconventions, re-creates her cover pose for fans, and signs thousands of autographs. Though this type of fame is hard to come by, if you're lucky enough to find yourself in this position, live it up!
Part 3 Quiz
Why should you hold an object like it's fragile when product modeling?
QuestionI have a scar the size of a sesame seed on one of my hands. Will this prevent me from becoming a hand model?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThese things can usually be covered with make-up, so you don't have to give up being a hand model.Thanks!
QuestionI have a side tattoo on my ring finger. Will that have any effect or anything?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it's visible during a shoot, they will have to Photoshop your body art. This will probably make it difficult to find work. The best way to know for certain, however, would be to contact an agent.Thanks!
QuestionWhich companies should I approach if I'm interested in becoming a hand model?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLook online for a modeling agency near you. Do your research and make sure it's a trusted, credible agency. If you book an appointment, it would be wise to take a friend or family member with you.Thanks!
QuestionCould I become a hand model if I am 46 years old?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes! If your hands are in good condition, with no visible scars, cracks, or callouses, then you would be a great candidate.Thanks!
QuestionHow old do I need to be to become a hand model?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerModeling does not correspond to a certain age, however, if you are under the age of 18, parents' permission is necessary.Thanks!
QuestionI have uneven skin complexion especially on my knuckles. Will that have a major effect on this career path?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, if you want to be a hand model.Thanks!
QuestionAre there ear models?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGood ears can be used for earrings and jewellery. However, most of models do campaigns and photos for many products, without a certain specialization and ears really aren't a known modeling field.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to just use one hand as a hand model?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. The client changes their mind all the time as you shoot. They will want you to do things with your left even if at first they said they only want to see you hold the product with the right. Rarely do you ever shoot jobs with just one hand. At the casting, they always ask to see both hands.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use a press-on nail if my regular nail is damaged?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerProbably, but it will depend on who's doing the modeling shots (and how realistic the fake nail looks).Thanks!
QuestionI'm afraid only a minimal amount of clients would be looking for someone with a tattoo. Sadly it is seen as an imperfection these days. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome companies look for people who are advertising products through tattoos, but that occurs very rarely. But for hand modeling jobs, tattoos will minimize the chances of getting a hand model job if it covers the hand. You could cover it with makeup but that would be evident under various lights and most models must be seen makeup free to show the "blank canvas". Keep trying, as many people have tattoos these days, so make that point when going for jobs, to cover all possible clients.Thanks!
I have a prominent vein on the back of each hand. Is that a deterrent?
Can you be hand model using fake nails?
- Don't get discouraged if you are told you don't "fit the bill".
Sources and Citations
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