In The Portrait Studio No.1 - Where To Put The Hands
In the first of this series of helpful posts from Camera Electronic, we call upon Uncle Dick from the Hazel Leaf Studio to tell us how to deal with the hands.
" Well, the first thing to decide is whether they will be required. If the image is being taken for a passport application, you needn't concern yourself with them at all. Getting the client to keep their eyes open and their head still while you try to size the image to satisfy the Department of Bureaucracy will be difficult enough.
Secondly, if you feel that the hands will improve the portrait, ask yourself if this is because you need them to support the face, distract from it, or hide it completely.
The sitter can chuck themselves under the chin, place their finger alongside their cheek, or curl it around their upper lip. This will look lame, but at least it will be traditionally lame. They can go for the Johnny Rotten look by sticking the finger up their nose. This also works for federal politicians, but for different reasons...
If they insist on covering their eyes with their hand just go ahead and shoot. Eventually the Department of Corrections will get a clear picture.
Photographs of legal practitioners and real estate salesmen will also present the problem that their hands may not be in their own pockets.
Dancers and artist's models are really the easiest to pose in respect to their hands as they have a good body sense and know where their arms end. They can generally accept direction except when a squirrel runs through the studio, and then all hell breaks loose.
In the end, as long as the only hands appearing in the portrait belong to the sitter, things generally work out. If you add gloves, gauntlets, jewellery, or handcuffs it takes the image into a different category. "