Using hands in portrait photography

Using hands in portrait photography

Portrait using hands

Hands are very expressive things and when used in portrait photography can add a different dimension.

This photo of Anne was easy to set up, we were in a restaurant on holiday and I was sat opposite her. I had the camera set to take advantage of whatever available light was available.

I didnt shoot with flash as that would have spoiled the natural warmth or the shot.

The arm leads you upwards and the hand frames the face. The focus was on the eyes. Easy Peasy . . .

What you cant see in the shot though is that although Anne looks like she’s resting her face on her hand she isn’t. It is just – and I really mean just – resting there.

If she had put her face in her hand properly there is always an upward movement of the face as it touches down in the cup of the hand.

This leads to distortion of features, the eyes get pushed up, as does the mouth and the end result is wrong.

Try it yourself in a mirror, just rest your hand on the side of your face and then cup it properly as if you were seated, you should see a very different set of results.

The settings for the photograph

For those interested the camera settings were 1/100th sec ISO 500, F1.8. The very wide aperture of F1.8 allows lots of light into the shot and nicely blurs the background so you can’t help but focus on the subject.

Happy shooting. If you want any help with your photography you only have to ask.

Nick from Footprint Photography