KARINA LYBURN | Personal Branding Photographer

7 things to do with your hands on a photo-shoot

When it comes to personal branding photo-shoots, one question I’m frequently asked is, “what should I do with my hands?” Why is it that most of the time we can move through life without worrying about what our arms and hands look like, but stick us in front of a camera and it’s a completely different story! Suddenly it feels like we have about six arms and we have no idea what to do with them!

I have good news for you, it doesn’t have to be this way! I’m sharing 7 things you can do with your arms and hands the next time you’re on a photo-shoot to help you pull natural-looking poses that pack a punch!

1. Hands in pockets

It’s a classic! Bending your arm at the elbow creates a triangle shape which is super flattering and immediately adds more interest. Make sure to relax into it and keep your elbows back, so it doesn’t look like you’re clinging onto your pockets for dear life! Try a variation of hands in front pockets as well as back pockets and mixing it up between having both hands in your pockets, or just one and letting the other hand drop in front of your thigh.

2. Hands across lap / resting on the thigh

This casual pose is great for illustrating approachability and openness. If you’re draping your arms across your lap, allow your hands to relax and drop freely. If you’re placing a hand on your thigh, be sure not to grip your leg, just rest it gently and allow your fingers to open slightly to create a more relaxed feel.

3. Arms crossed

Some people want to steer well clear of this particular pose as they feel it can look pushy, intimidating and closed off. But, there are ways to make this pose work really well, friends! Instead of tucking one hand underneath the opposite arm, try keeping both hands on each bicep for a more open look. You can also try loosely crossing your arms on a table. With any folded arms pose, make sure not to cross your arms too tightly (you don’t want to look like a child having a strop!), and try to maintain a relaxed and open energy.

4. Hand to waist / on hip

Another classic, and yet, it’s often another pose some people want to stay away from. However, once again, there are ways to make it work really well. Try a combination of both hands on hips, as well as just one at the waist while letting the other drop in front of the thigh, or hold onto a railing or doorframe. Bringing your hands to your waist adds beautiful definition to your arms and brings the eye to the narrowest part of the body = win!⁠

5. Gather hands / interlace fingers

This is great if you’re sat at, or leaning against a table. Bringing your hands together and interlacing your fingers gives a sense of being alert and engagement and with the camera, like you’re ready to interact with whoever’s seeing your images. Keep your hands relaxed, elbows slightly bent and shoulders down.

6. Rest arm on the back of a chair

One of my favourites! This is such a versatile pose that can be worked and reworked to suit you. Try resting your forearm on the back of your chair and letting your hand drop with your fingers open. Alternatively, rest your tricep on the back of the chair and bring your hand to the side of your neck, under your chin or as if you’re tucking your hair behind an ear.

7. Hold something with your hands

Props are such an easy way to help you feel more relaxed about your hands. Whether it’s your phone, a mug, or a notebook and pen, keep your grip relaxed and make sure to hold the item in a way that you would naturally.⁣

So there it is! 7 top posing tips for your arms and hands. I’m intrigued to know which one you’re most looking forward to trying out on your next shoot. Drop me a message on Instagram and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

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