Top tips for nailing that hands in frame shot

A simple way to add an element of human interaction to your images is to use your hands, or someone else’s. Using hands in your shots can show the viewer the functionality of something or create an emotive response by inviting the viewer in. Here are some simple ways to get hands on!

  1. The action shot

There are so many actions you can photograph your hands doing from pouring, typing, writing, drawing, reading, eating…the list is endless! Take note of the simple actions you do everyday with your hands and see if you can style them into an image or two.

Pouring a cup of tea. Source:  @herinternest

Pouring a cup of tea. Source: @herinternest

The art of eating, flower art that is. Source:  @herinternest

The art of eating, flower art that is. Source: @herinternest

The art of old school typing conjuring a nostalgic sentiment. Source:  @herinternest

The art of old school typing conjuring a nostalgic sentiment. Source: @herinternest

Cofee anyone? Source:  @herinternest

Cofee anyone? Source: @herinternest

Tip: When photographing a pouring shot, use the continuous mode on your camera so you can capture a series of photographs of the action and choose the best one, or put them together into a stop motion. The self timer mode or a remote are handy tools here too!

2. Hold on

This may seem obvious but a simple way to get hands on is to hold something to the camera. From flowers to your coffee cup, a book to even your phone, there’s always something to hold on to.

Alexandria has taken holding flowers to a magical level. Source:  @alexandriaslens

Alexandria has taken holding flowers to a magical level. Source: @alexandriaslens

A simple grasp of a flower with morning tea. Source:  @katherinedorrington

A simple grasp of a flower with morning tea. Source: @katherinedorrington

Tip: Make sure your nails are looking good when you are getting hands on! Now you don’t have to rush out and get a manicure. I sometimes just paint one or two nails if I’m time poor and I know these will be in the frame. It’s that little attention to detail that can go a long way.

3. Playing with depth perception

Playing with the depth perception of your composition and the scale of the objects within it is a clever way to get hands on. In this technique, your hands serve a purpose as the tool to showcase the obvious ‘illusion’ you are capturing. By doing so you can make an object appear larger in the foreground in respect to the background. You can use anything from fruit to leaves, teacups to polaroids. You are only really limited by your imagination.

Make the most of fall and use autumn leaves as wings. Source:  @kutovakika

Make the most of fall and use autumn leaves as wings. Source: @kutovakika

Or perhaps an autumn leaf as a skirt. Source:  @sienna.and.i

Or perhaps an autumn leaf as a skirt. Source: @sienna.and.i

Tip: Peruse the hashtag #objectsforoutfits on Instagram or read our blog post Objects for outfits: A fun creative project for the whole family for more inspiration.

4. The artistic pose

Hands can bring a theatrical element to your image. The pose and position of your hands is important in conveying the mood of your image. Try different positions until you get the right pose, and of course a flattering one. Treat your hands as a styling object too and faff about until you get it right.

A beautiful, delicate hand shadow pose. Source:  @herinternest

A beautiful, delicate hand shadow pose. Source: @herinternest

Making shapes with your hands can add a beautiful touch. Source:  @herinternest

Making shapes with your hands can add a beautiful touch. Source: @herinternest

Hand shadows are a wonderful tool to add that theatrical element to your image. Source:  @aimeeriver

Hand shadows are a wonderful tool to add that theatrical element to your image. Source: @aimeeriver

I hope this will inspire you to get hands on in your styling and add an element of human interaction.

Happy faffing!

Marisa from @marisa.young xx

Community Manager for @creativelysquared


Please join us for our September 16 - 22 creative challenge ‘Human interaction’. Patti from @pattischmidt will be our mentor. She will be featuring her favourite entries and feedback on the @creativelysquared Instagram account. You can find Patti at @pattischmidt on Instagram. We invite you to join Patti and the rest of the Creatively Squared community to add a human element to your images. Hit the button below for entry information and full resources.