When the word “model” comes up in conversation, most people think of famous, traditional models like Gigi Hadid. Not many people will automatically think of hand models.
However, hand models are constantly called upon in the modeling industry. Celebrities often use hand models for close-ups of their hands in photoshoots or productions rather than their own hands.
We see hand models daily without realizing it. They’re used in a commercial where a hand is pouring coffee into a mug, in a magazine wearing fine jewelry, and even on social media in ads using hands that are typing on a keyboard. The question is, how does one become a hand model?
There's a way to fast track your hand modeling career (join a modeling agency that specializes in hand modeling).
We recommend John Casablancas Modeling Centers - they have a proven track record of helping aspiring hand models.
Fill out the form below to see if you might be a good fit for their agency:
What Is a Hand Model?
A hand model is precisely what it sounds like - a person who models their hands for advertisements and commercials. Most people think of hand models working with jewelry like rings and bracelets, but there are plenty of other types of gigs that also require hand models.
Hand modeling is not as common as other types of modeling like traditional modeling and tattoo modeling, but there is work to be found.
The majority of hand models find their careers in commercial modeling. For example, they may be needed for a commercial featuring bakeware. A hand model is required to break an egg into a new mixing bowl for the shoot.
How Much Can a Hand Model Make?
On average, hand models make just over $60k per year. Hand models living in San Francisco appear to make the most out of the country, earning almost 50% more than the rest of the US states.
However, it’s essential to remember that hand modeling work is harder to come across than typical modeling gigs. Finding consistent work isn’t easy when first starting.
Two of the biggest hand modeling agencies are located on the opposite sides of the US - one in New York, the other in Los Angeles. Where you reside plays a heavy hand (no pun intended) in what your earnings can look like.
Tips on How To Become a Hand Model
Now that we’ve covered what a hand model is and their salary let’s talk about how to begin your modeling journey.
Pamper Your Hands
The standard for hand models is high, which means you have to take extra care of your hands at all times. This special attention means keeping them moisturized, avoiding cuts and bruises, and trimming your nails habitually.
Agencies prefer unmarked hands, which means avoiding tattoos or other permanent markings. Most makeup can cover any spots if you have a freckle or small scar here or there.
Modeling agencies typically look for narrow hands and slender fingers in women’s hand models. They also make it a point to evaluate thumbs.
In many cases, the model’s hand and fingers are perfect, but their thumb doesn’t match the rest of the hand. Agencies prefer hands with straight fingers and well-shaped nails, without prominent veins.
Successful hand models also protect their hands. They often don’t wear colored nail polish or jewelry to avoid stains and marks. Hand models also wear gloves nearly everywhere they go to protect from scrapes or cuts.
Create a Portfolio
Like any modeling career, you’ll need a portfolio to showcase what your hands are capable of. Start with standard hand poses you see in magazines and commercials.
Hold a variety of objects from jewelry to household items. You’ll also want to include pictures showing off different angles of your hands and a candid photo of the back of your hands.
We recommend including at least one photo with your hand and your face. This photo allows the agency to recognize you if you’re called to work with them but also helps them decide if they’d like to include more than just your hands in the photoshoot.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Being a hand model isn’t as easy of a gig as most people think. Even if it’s just your hand, you’re still holding the same position for hours, waiting for the photographer to get the perfect shot.
That’s why you should practice as much as possible at home. Learning to control your hand’s movements makes you look experienced and professional. Practice pouring liquids and turning your hands slowly and smoothly.
Spend time training your hand and arm muscles as well. You don’t want your arms to start shaking halfway through your first photo shoot! There are a variety of hand strengthening exercises that you can do to increase your hands’ endurance for long photo sessions.
Use Social Media
While most of us have seen Instagram models in our feed, we don’t often see hand models. However, there is still a community of hand models on social media that aspiring models can join.
Many of these models use hashtags like #handmodel and #prettyhands to boost their following on social media and gain attention from agencies looking for hand models.
It’s also necessary to network in the modeling industry. Meeting new people allows you to create more opportunities for success in any business!
Find a Hand Modeling Agency
There appears to be a modeling agency specializing in every area you can think of. Hand modeling is no exception, as a few big names in the modeling agency hire hand models.
You can use casting sites if you’re not interested in working with an agency. This is also an excellent option for hand models looking to build their resumes before applying for agencies.
So, how to become a hand model? Most people assume that hand modeling is an easy paycheck. Little do they know hand modeling can be just as rigorous as traditional modeling.
You can still spend hours in a studio under bright lights, being told to move your hands this way or that way. It can be exhausting work. Thankfully, that hard work could put your hands on a Times Square billboard!