There are jobs that children immediately say when asked, “What do you want to be in the future?” Doctor, lawyer, firefighter, astronaut, etc. Then, there are jobs that one would often forget existed but are undeniably everywhere. One of them is being a hand model.
About the Job
Hand models are the people whose hands you see in ads. The hands are holding a phone, for example, or drawing on a newly released tablet. The apple on the Twilight book cover is most probably held by a hand model. When you start paying attention to magazines, billboards, videos, etc., you’ll begin to notice how many hands you’ll see.
It’s not just that. These models also do hand doubles. Sometimes, the people you see in ads—even celebrities—don’t use their own hands. Sometimes, a hand model is crouching beside the person’s armpit reaching out to their face or doing whatever activity the shoot requires.
Brands hire hand models to feature their jewelry, nail polish, gadgets, and everything else that needs to be held. Like all other modeling jobs, they make these little things look good on camera. These people are also known as “parts models” because only certain body parts are captured. It could be legs, feet, chest, neck, lips, etc. but rarely the whole body.
What You Need to be a Hand Model
As you might have guessed, these people have nice hands, but it’s not just that. Take, for example, RayMartell Moore, a hand model for ten years whose hands have modeled for Samsung, Starbucks, and other big brands. His hands are “the perfect size” or “big but not too big.” They can hold anything and without drowning out the object or completely hide his hands. His skin color can also be altered in post. The editor can lighten or darken it, complementing the object that RayMartell Moore is holding.
Adele Uddo is also a hand model and known for being a “high-end hand.” She has modeled for Dior and Christian Louboutin. For her, brands usually want models with long fingers, thin wrists, and a good complexion. That works best with jewelry because having these features make the pieces look more luxurious. It also helps the team editing jewelry photos because they can focus on retouching pieces themselves rather than the hands.
Another hand model, Ellen Sirot, is the “supermodel of hands.” Like every hand model out there, she needs to pay extra care and attention to her hands to make them picture-perfect all day as well as to keep her job. Like every other job, hand modeling is serious, so much so that Ellen Sirot’s hands are insured, and it would only take a paper cut for her to lose multiple gigs. She wears gloves all the time, so her hands don’t get into minor injuries that would show imperfections on camera.
What They Do
Full body models incorporate different styles and techniques to look good on camera. They have angles and go-to poses to highlight the products. Essentially, they know what to do to make the product look good and sell.
The same goes for hand modeling. Shoots, for every model, aren’t done after one snap of the camera. They take hours and days to wrap up. In these shoots, hand models have to endure the photoshoot to hold the same position for several minutes.
For example, they’re modeling hand jewelry, and they need to hold a position where they have to lift their arms halfway. It’s a simple gesture, and if someone does it for a few seconds to a minute, it’s okay. The arm, though, will begin to strain if they hold the position for ten to 15 minutes. They might also need to make the same gestures over and over while remaining graceful and precise.
Hand models should also know how to hold things that look good on camera. So, the standard way to pick up a pen, for example, typically might not look good on camera. Remember that models have to highlight the product and make it look good. Hand models need to be graceful and interact with an object without their hands overpowering the frame.
Taking care of their hands is also paramount. Ordinary things like handwashing or gardening can risk cuts, aging, wrinkles, and other damages on the skin. Therefore, hand models have a full skincare routine, and some moisturize 30 times a day or more.
Hand modeling is no easy job. Hands could be the most overworked and useful body part, so people often neglect them. Hand models, on the other hand, bring so much attention to them, as it’s what’s keeping the bills paid.