It is common knowledge that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but then again, it doesn’t. To become a model, it is important to know ahead of time what kind of model you want to be. There are many kinds of job offers out there, with hand modelling being one of them. It refers to a person whose hands get pictured for promotional purposes. Nina Taylor, daughter of a German model and a British musician, is one of the most famous hand models. Working as an advertising model for Chanel, Fendi, Dior and Gucci has been her international breakthrough, while she gets employed for a number of other jobs as well. She too had to start somewhere at some point though. In this article, we will answer the most important questions for you and give you some valuable pointers.
To become a hand model, you have to be at least 18 years old and you need certain motor skills as well as the ability to portray yourself. It is important you understand instructions correctly and follow them over an extended period of time. That’s why endurance and great fine motor skills are crucial for hand models. When a photographer describes a specific pose, for example, you have to hold this pose without shaking or moving at all. Any ever so slight movement will be visible in a close-up picture, which might impair the final product. In certain poses, hands too can express different thoughts and emotions. Several hours of time on one job might be required to accomplish that.
There are numerous assignments for hand models. Photoshoots to present a product, like ad campaigns for jewelry such as expensive watches, bracelets, or rings, are the most popular ones. These are displayed at drugstores, in public plazas, at bus stops, or online. Sometimes there are openings for hand models in tv ads, because hands can be pasted into the image of a body model and retouched. These kinds of jobs are called hand doubling. The salary for hand models can vary quite a bit and is dependant on a number of factors. As a newcomer, you can expect about 400 euros per day of work. Experienced models typically make between 800 and 1,500 euros. Assignments can be very infrequent though, which is why it is not recommended to pursue hand modelling as a full-time career.
A successful application as a hand model requires two essential steps. First, you should create a professional portfolio with pictures of you in traditional poses. Look for a qualified photographer, and take into consideration reviews and testimonials. Additionally, you need to create a setcard. It’s like a business card for models that includes your pictures in different poses. A setcard should also have your ring and glove sizes, the length of your fingers, and some general information such as your height, hip and waist measurements, shoe, bra, and dress sizes. If you are curious about why anyone needs all that data, remember the potential jobs as a hand double. The sizes of hand and body models have to be a close match. You might also want to look into hiring an agent who will be responsible for finding and managing contracts for you. But that won’t be necessary until you have realistic prospects of success.
If you get an offer or an invite for an interview or casting, punctuality is your highest precept. Plan your day in advance, allow for plenty of time to get there and make your arrival as stress-free as possible. They typically like to see you prepared with questions for the agency. These can be about the procedures or future training. Enquiries about the distribution of jobs, image copyrights and commissions are also great talking points. As with any other employer, thorough research will be the best basis for good communication. Look up their success storeys and scour through their homepage to be well-prepared.
Tips and Tricks
TIP 1: Features of a successful hand and body
In this sector, your hands are your capital, and as customary in the modelling world, there are rules and guidelines for the right shape. First of all, they should be symmetrical, which means that both hands should have similar or exactly the same measurements. Make sure that your skin tone is consistent. Long fingernails in a crescent shape are very highly valued. They should be as long as they can possibly be and cared for every day. Scars, tattoos, or noticeable birthmarks are undesirable, and your body proportions should be pretty standard because they have to match those of body models. This is where the importance of your dress size comes in; the average typically varies between a size 36 or 38 (EUR). Male hand models also have to take their growth of hair into consideration. The importance of the nails differs and strongly depends on the modelling category. In spots for household items, shorter nails are preferred for pragmatic reasons, while long nails are desirable in ads for fashion items and jewelry.
TIP 2: It all comes down to care
Care is the be-all and end-all for a successful career as a hand model. Neither chapped nor oily hands are beautiful to look at. You should always have some lotion on you; just add it to your mental checklist of keys, wallet, and phone. The best hand models use it about 20 to 30 times a day on average. Peelings and manicures by a professional you trust are also popular. Another pro tip: buy a pair of cotton cloves and wear them to bed. That way your products will stay exactly where they are supposed to be, which is on your hands. Famous people like Victoria Beckham have owned up to using this method. You might get a sceptical look from your partner, but it will be a dream for your hands. Hand models also wear gloves for any task that might cause their skin to break or harm their hands in any way. That includes chores like gardening, washing dishes or chopping vegetables. To wash your hands, a fragrance-free, pH-adjusted soap will be your best choice.
TIP 3: Be flexible and open-minded
Jobs can vary a lot by category, which is why you should always remain flexible and open to new perspectives and requests. A willingness to try new things will only have advantages for you. Don’t take jobs that make you uncomfortable though; faking it for the sake of a job won’t be beneficial for either side. It will also show in the hours spent on site and you will come across as unnatural. But if you get an offer that sounds interesting to you, it very likely will turn into valuable experience. It’s best to just stay flexible. Also, if you have small children, you should always have someone on call to watch your kids spontaneously.
TIP 4: Nutrition
It is generally known that beauty starts on the inside which is why nutrition is crucial for the health of your skin and nails. Many body models have brittle fingernails and rough hands because of constant malnutrition. They miss a lot of essential nutrients and minerals, vital elements of a balanced nutrition. Drinking plenty of water is also a good idea because it encourages blood flow in your skin and activates your metabolism. The largest human organ needs the support that water provides for the protective and defence mechanisms; over an extended period of time, this will also have visible effects on the outside. Zinc and biotin are important nutrients for your skin, too. You need zinc for your immune system and metabolism, but it is also essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. Biotin promotes a healthy metabolism as well, and it boosts the growth of hair, which is why it is included in many hair growth stimulants. That’s why it is advisable to eat plenty of shellfish and giblets. For vegetarians and vegans, legumes like pumpkin seeds or wheat bran are recommended. Your body can’t process plant-based products as well as animal products. For that reason, soak them in water first to help with the digestion. You can also take silica as an inexpensive supplement in combination with zinc and biotin. The high silicon content will support the strong structure of your hair and nails.
If you are rolling around the idea of becoming a hand model, you should start by working your way through the requirements. If most of those apply to you, you might want to look up an expert who can evaluate your hands and assess your chances of a successful career. While this typically isn’t a full-time job, the revenue per day is relatively high and makes for a nice side income. And don’t forget, a hand model’s daily mantra is: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!