It might surprise you to learn that millions of people do hand modelling for a living. However, those outside the industry might not know what it takes to be one.
Read on to find out more about becoming a hand model.
Read about other body part modelling:
What is Hand Modelling?
Hand modelling is a category of commercial modelling known as body-part modelling that uses just the hands. Hand models are also required for high-fashion and editorial shoots.
Hand models are regularly required to feature in close-up photos for brands that sell things like jewellery, skincare and nail polish. They are also used for holding products like mascara or cream for makeup and skincare commercials.
They are also commonly used to replace hands that are not considered quite as beautiful close-up; for example, Christina Hendrick’s hands are featured on the stomach of another model for the movie poster American Beauty.
Anyone with an above-average body part can look into body-part modelling, so it’s a good niche for those who do not meet the strict requirements of high fashion or for those who have a particularly aesthetically pleasing body part.
Most body-part models work part-time as it is difficult to find full-time work. However, it can be a lucrative career depending on the brands and jobs booked.
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What Does it Take to Be a Hand Model?
Obviously, hand models must have beautiful hands! That means clear, unblemished skin and an even skin tone, neat and well-maintained nails and nail beds, smooth palms, straight fingers and no scars or scratches. It is preferred that hand models do not have visible moles, freckles, pores, veins, hairs, scars or other marks. You must also avoid building up the muscles in the hands.
Hand models must also be graceful with their movements and be able to replicate the same exact poses. They must also have steady hands.
There is more demand for female hand models, though male hand models are also required.
How to Look After Your Hands as a Hand Model
To be a hand model, you must make sacrifices to keep your hands in peak condition. A bruise or scratch could mean losing work and money, so hand models must make every effort to protect their hands. Many sleep with gloves on to protect the skin, and it’s a good idea to wear SPF lotion on your hands every day to protect from sun damage which leads to sunspots and wrinkles.
Hand models also tend to have excellent care routines which include constantly moisturising and oiling the hands to keep the skin and nails/cuticles healthy. Most hand models avoid getting manicures done elsewhere as these can cause damage to the cuticles and nails, so they learn to perform manicures themselves.
Hand models avoid wearing jewellery like rings as they can’t afford to have jewellery marks on their skin.
Hand models must also avoid anything that may damage their skin, particularly if it leads to permanent marks. This includes exercises like weight lifting (which can cause callouses) and boxing, or tasks that require working with the hands such as farming, woodwork and gardening. Scrapes, bruises, cuts and marks of any kind – even a tiny papercut – could stop a hand model from working.
Hand models must also eat well and drink lots of water.
Being a hand model can feel like a full-time job and it can often be cumbersome to everyday life.
Check out the video below to see what else a hand model must do:
How Much Do Hand Models Earn?
Hand models are not known for earning a lot of money like top supermodels, but they can certainly earn a lot in comparison to the hours spent working, especially if hired by a premium brand. Models can make anything between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds per photo shoot depending on the location, brand and how in-demand the model is.
How to Get into Hand Modelling
Hand modelling is a body part modelling niche, so anyone wishing to pursue hand modelling should look for a modelling agency that works specifically with body-part models.
You can apply to as many agencies as you like as many times as you like. You will need a strong portfolio showing off your hands in good lighting. If you do not have any professional modelling experience, it’s a good idea to book a photoshoot so you can get some high-quality photographs of your hands that you can then add to your modelling portfolio and z-cards. It’s also a good way to practice your posing and hand positions in front of the camera.
Don’t be disheartened if you experience rejection initially; most models are turned away at first. You need to stay determined and keep trying.
What Does it Take to be a Successful Hand Model?
To be successful as a hand model, a lot of sacrifices must be made to keep hands in peak condition at all times.
Like all models, hand models must make sure they attend any castings and interviews they are invited to. While the odd one can be missed, it’s not a good idea to make a habit out of missing interviews as you will be seen as flakey and unreliable.
Many hand models are signed to agencies, though some prefer to work as freelancers.
A typical day of work will always look different for a hand model as they could be asked to work anywhere, for anyone.
Famous Hand Models
Adele Uddo is a famous hand model known for working with top brands. She considers herself to be the supermodel of the hand modelling world. She is often a body part double for celebrities including Katy Perry, Natalie Portman and Penelope Cruz.
Nina Taylor is another well-known hand model, thought to make thousands of pounds a day through her work. Nina claims most people do not understand the amount of work that goes into hand modelling. Her biggest piece of advice for aspiring hand models is to always make yourself available when a job comes up. She says that there are definitely genetic components to being a hand model, but you also need a wide skill set.