Sometimes people in front of our cameras ask us what to do with their hands before we even say “smile.”  Even when you know the photo is cropped tight enough to not even see your hands in the picture, it can feel SO awkward to stand there and smile at big tube of glass with lights pointed at you from all angles.  Awkward enough to make it impossible not to be suddenly aware of every single body part and where it should or should not be placed so you don’t look like a sack of potatoes with a mouth.

And it’s not unreasonable to want to know what to do with your hands for a photo of your head.  Where we place our hands can actually have a huge impact on the look of a portrait.  If you haven’t noticed, your hands are connected to your arms, which are connected to your shoulders; and if your shoulders are in a weird position it will instantly make you look far less relaxed, casual, and confident as you want to look.

So what do you do with your hands in a photo?

Instead of just telling you, let’s show you with this video:

What we learned from the video is that the studio dog is adorable.  But also some great tips on hand posing for portraits:

  1. Hands can look too big and draw attention away from your face if they’re not minimized with posing.
  2. If you cross your arms, tuck your hands under instead of on top.
  3. Curve your hands instead of keeping your fingers straight.
  4. Keep your thumb in your pocket.
  5. Stagger your hands.
  6. Roll the boogie.

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