How to become a hand model

All Modeling – Tips, Help & Advice

How to become a hand modelThere are different types of models; including, hand and foot models. Yes, hands can be the stars of the photo shoot. Do you know what makes a pair of hands photo-shoot-worthy? Like any type of model, your hands must meet certain criteria in order to be considered for hand modeling. There are certain things model companies look for in hands, that help them determine if a pair of hands are photo worthy.

If you are interested in becoming a hand model, the first thing you will want to do is find a modeling company to assess your assets. Like a super model, either you have it, or you don’t. If you know ahead of time what agents look for in a hand model, you may save yourself some time before you attempt to get your hands noticed.

First, look at your hands; literally, study them. Take note of your skin tone. You need nice, even toned skin in order to be a hand model. Your skin tone needs to be so that your hands don’t require more than about a dot, (literally) of cover-up make-up. Next, make sure your nails are shaped nicely and are all even. They need to be uniform in shape and the length of each nail should match the next. You should not have a mix-match of shapes and lengths. You will also want to be sure all of your fingers are straight. It is hard to land a hand modeling job with crooked fingers; even just one. Take a look at this page to learn more about hand modeling. Speaking of fingers; one of the most crucial fingers for a modeling job is your thumb. Typically, the thumb will show in most shots, so it better be a nice looking thumb.

You may not think that hands are so important; but they are, especially when they are being taped or photographed for the world to see. You don’t want to show off hard-working hands that have seen their better days many years ago – rough and calloused. You want your hands to be as soft-looking and pampered as you can get them. As a hand model, you should get regular manicures to keep your nails professionally groomed. When you are not needing them, keeping them inside mitts with lotion on them to moisturize, is also recommended. This will help to keep them young and beautiful.

If you are considering being a hand model for promotional products, start now with taking care of your hands. The sooner you start pampering and grooming your hands, the better your chances are of getting your first hand modeling job.

How to become a hand model

6 thoughts on “ How to become a Hand Model ”

My names Hafsa Omar, a lot of people told me to be a hand modeling, they told I great hands,

The search for the “$100,000 fist” is on.

On Tuesday (March 23), whiskey brand Fistful of Bourbon sent out a call on Twitter to find its “spokesfist”—aka a hand model—for their latest ad campaign. The person with the right hand for the job will earn $100,000 for their work.

“Think you have a special hand? An itchy trigger finger, a green thumb, a stinky pinky? Well, now it’s time to make them work together to earn you a cool $100,000! You ready? Head on over to that link to apply — must be 25+ to land this gig,” the tweet reads.

On the brand’s website, a posting for the ‘spokesfist’ position reads: “We are seeking to find the new (and first-ever) Spokesfist to represent our brand and appear in future campaigns in print, video, across social media and more. No horsing around—we’re totally serious, this is REAL—one lucky fist will appear in upcoming campaigns for the brand and sign a $100,000 contract.”

As their tweet mentioned, all applicants must be 25 years or older to enter the competition. Applicants must also be authorized to work in the United States. Fistful of Bourbon is looking for applicants with the following requirements, as well: “one helluva fist, ability to clench on cue, a steady hand, creative and outgoing.”

In order to apply, interested parties must fill out the application here, as well as send in audition photos and videos. “A simple photograph of your fist from the front, from the top and from both sides” will do, according to the site. Fistful of Bourbonwants to see a “more creative video starring your fist,” as well. “Enthusiasm and creativity matter so don’t hold back,” the ad concludes.

Will you be applying to be Fistful of Bourbon’s first-ever “spokesfist?”

Models Are More Than Just Pretty Faces

How to become a hand model

Tawatchai Prakobkit/Getty Images

What do Adele Uddo, Ellen Sirot, Kimbra Hickey and James Furino have in common? They’re all incredibly successful models. You may not know their faces, but you have seen their body parts across a wide spectrum of advertisements.

You’ve seen them everywhere: wiping up spills in paper towel commercials, strapping on designer footwear, gracing the cover of a magazine, or hand doubling for A-list stars. They’re what the modeling industry calls parts models, and they prove that sometimes all it takes is one great body part to open the door to a modeling career.

Parts models are in huge demand from companies who want the perfect hands, legs, feet or other body parts to advertise their product. You may not be able to become a high-fashion model, but you may still be able to break into the modeling industry.

Other Modeling Parts in Demand

Hands, feet, and legs are the most requested body parts for both men and women, but there’s also a demand for beautiful eyes, lips, teeth, hair, stomachs, backs, and even earlobes. If you have an attractive feature, you may be able to make it as a parts model.

Don’t forget, though, that this specialized division of modeling is just that—modeling. Even if you have gorgeous hands, for example, you still need to be able to work them for the camera. You have to know how to hold your hands so they look beautiful (while showing off the product) and you have to be able to hold them still for hours on end.

And no matter what body part you’re modeling, you have to take great care to protect it. For some top parts models, that means living in Ugg boots 24/7, moisturizing up to 20 times a day, and wearing gloves at all times. You should avoid housework and cooking also (an added benefit).

The Basic Requirements

On top of looking great and protecting your best assets, there are also some basic requirements that every parts model must meet:

  • Hand Models: Hand models have to have perfect hands. Both male and female hand models should be able to fit sample glove or jewelry sizes and should have long slender hands, straight fingers, uniform nail beds, and a nice even skin tone. For men, hands shouldn’t be too hairy.
  • Foot Models: Models should be able to fit sample shoe sizes and should have slender feet, straight toes, attractive ankles, clean and uniform nails, and no calluses or blemishes of any kind. Men’s feet shouldn’t be overly hairy.
  • Leg Models: For female leg models, legs should be long and slender and free of blemishes and varicose veins. They also need to be waxed and well moisturized. Male leg models shouldn’t be overly muscular, and like their female counterparts, their legs should be long, shapely and free of blemishes (and again, not too hairy).

Parts Model Earnings

According to Forbes.com, premiere parts models earn around $1,000 a day for TV commercials and between $2,000-$5,000 a day for print work. A top female parts model—a hand model with good legs and feet—can make around $75,000 a year. That number jumps substantially if the model lives in a print-centric market such as New York.

Becoming a Parts Model

As with any other type of modeling, it’s essential that you get your potential evaluated by an experienced model agent or scout. It’s not enough to have “pretty” hands or feet—modeling agencies are looking for nothing but the most exceptional parts for editorial, advertising, and catalog work.

To increase your chances of making it in the parts modeling industry, it’s best to work with people who have experience and direct connections in this specialized market.

Nina Taylor has spent the last two decades modeling her hands for some of the biggest brands in the world.

The UK-based model got her start while enrolled in university, and has since earned a top spot in the competitive industry, working alongside celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, and Karlie Kloss. She’s even know by her peers as “one-take Nina,” as she’s able to get the job done with only one shot of the camera.

Insider recently spoke with Taylor about her career, what it takes to enter the industry, and the artistry of hand modeling.

Nina Taylor began hand modeling more than 20 years ago

Speaking to Insider, Taylor said she “never realized” she could make a career out of her hands, but was one day inspired by her cousin.

“She’s only a few years older than me — she was not in the business,” Taylor said of her cousin. “I don’t know how she heard about it. She basically just complimented me on my hands and said, ‘I wish I had your hands! Straight fingers, even skin tone, those nail beds.'”

“She kept saying it over and over again,” she continued. “Eventually I thought to myself, ‘Well hang on a minute, maybe there’s something in this.'”

At the time, Taylor was enrolled in university, where she’d obtained a photocopied list of top modeling agencies from other students.

“Nobody would ever dream of calling them ever — it was just a dream — but I had this list,” Taylor said. “I remember fourth down the list, I came across an agency, which happened to be the top agency at the time. I made a call from my parent’s bedroom phone, and they invited me into an interview at their central London offices.”

The interview went far better than Taylor anticipated. She left with an embossed portfolio, and confirmation that the agency was willing to work with her.

“I walked out of there thinking, ‘I’m a model! It’s amazing!'” she said. “But of course, I didn’t work for ages because other models were so much more established than me.”

To earn a spot in the competitive hand-modeling industry, Taylor says you should always be available to work

According to Taylor, many aspiring hand models struggle with rejection and “give up at the first few hurdles.” When she started out, however, she took a much different approach.

Though she first entered casting calls with “virtually an empty book,” Taylor made sure to “make eye contact” with directors, say her name “over and over again,” and do anything she could “to be remembered.” She also made sure she was always available when trying to book her first few jobs.

“I remember I had an exam — a really important one — and a job came in for a lot of money,” Taylor said. “I ended up doing the big-money job.”

Clearly, her approach worked, as she now can earn thousands of dollars per day doing a single modeling job.

“You have to be available,” she continued. “If people cancel, you need to be available on the day. You have to take it while the opportunity is there.”

Though there are some genetic components to being a hand model, Taylor says you also need a wide-ranging skill set

According to Taylor, genetics and straight fingers play important roles in being a hand model.

“You can’t have any broken fingers, no scaring, no identifiable moles and marks, and the nail bed is key,” Taylor said. “A lot of campaigns will require you to take your nails down quite short, so you want the nails to still appear feminine and elegant.”

Still, Taylor says there’s “a whole other aspect to this industry and making a success of it,” which comes down to experience. When shooting photo campaigns, for example, Taylor says you need to be able to “hold still” and “move millimeters.” Television shoots require more movement, according to Taylor, while beauty campaigns are also complicated.

“Whatever it may be, you’ve gotta remember you have about 100 people watching you,” Taylor said. “It’s up to you to make sure that none of these people go into overtime and cost the producer tens of thousands of pounds, so you wanna get the job right.”

“People forget that as a hand model, they just want your hands,” she continued. “So what happens with the rest of the body? What happens with your head? What if your head is in reflection of a shiny object you’re modeling or interacting with?”

“Not only do you have to get into these awkward positions and make sure your body is out of the way, but you’ve got to have a smooth action of moving your arm in a controlled way,” she said. “You kind of have to become an expert about everything else that’s around you — not just putting a bit of nail polish on or whatever. There’s so much more involved in it.”

Honing these skills is what’s earned Taylor her “one-take Nina” nickname, as she’s known for getting the job done with a single shot of the camera.

Moisturizing is also key to maintaining model-worthy hands

To take care of your hands, Taylor suggests wearing gloves when doing work around the house, and avoiding intense cold or heat. She also says moisturizing is key.

“What a hand model does — what I’d do — is moisturize about twenty or thirty times a day,” Taylor said. “That’s standard. Using a nail oil is also standard.”

And while many might assume that Taylor spends much of her free time in a nail salon, that couldn’t actually be farther from the truth.

“I’ll never go into a salon and have my nails done,” she said. “I wouldn’t dream of it. I only work with the top-session nail techs on set because they understand what it’s like to work with hand models who have their nails done all the time.”

“A customer who goes into a salon hasn’t had their nails and hands touched for a week or two, and they need to have a full-blown manicure,” she continued. “I don’t because I’m maintaining every day. I’m working on my cuticles, and I use hand scrubs to slough off any dead skin cells that can sit on top of the skin and look dull and gray.”

According to Taylor, the perks of the hand-modeling industry far outweigh any negatives

Being a hand model, Taylor isn’t always recognized for her work. While some might find that a downside of the job, Taylor actually sees it as a perk.

“People always ask me, ‘Don’t you feel bad it’s not your face?'” Taylor said. “The thing is, I don’t model my face and if I did, I probably wouldn’t make a lot of money out of it. I wouldn’t be described as a supermodel, whereas I am as a hand model.”

“I’ve been so lucky to work with the crème de la crème of the photography and film worlds,” she continued. “You’re working with the top echelon of people that only do front covers and Vogue and all the major stars — and you’re in it somehow. For whatever reason, you find yourself in that zone working with these incredible people.”

Taylor believes there’s an artistry to hand modeling

Taylor says she’s “very proud” of the hand-modeling industry, and would love to “take the freak-show aspect out of it.” Instead, she prefers to focus on the artistry of hand modeling.

“I like to try and explain that this isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan thing — it’s an actual real career,” Taylor said of hand modeling. “I’ve been involved in billion-dollar campaigns over the course of my career. What I do is one part of this huge world of advertising, constructing things, and ultimately, selling stuff.”

She added, “I have my own column, I’m a brand ambassador, I’m a beauty judge, and that’s where hand-modeling can take you in this industry.”

How to become a hand model

Amanda George usually wears gloves and opens car doors with care. She eats with plastic utensils, applies hand lotion and cuticle oil regularly, and avoids bright nail polish that might stain. “I see girls in public with designs, a nice purple,” she tells California Sunday Magazine. “I’m so jealous.”

But as a hand model, George can also use her perfectly thin-fingered, spotless, size-seven hands to earn $1,000 for a day’s work. And in an advertising world full of hand-related products like jewelry, watches, nail polish, handy wipes and toilet paper, there’s a small but lucrative market for hand models to earn extra money or even make a career of it, Forbes reported in 2014. “A top girl … can make around $75,000 a year,” says the president of Body Parts Models Inc., and VOA News says the most elite hand models pull in $10,000 a day.

So what does it take? “Perfect hands,” Vanessa Helmer wrote last year at modeling.about.com. That means “slender hands, straight fingers, uniform nail beds,” good skin tone, and male hands that aren’t “too hairy,” she explains. Hand models also need to be comfortable “doubling” for models or celebrities in close quarters — running arms under their armpits, say, or putting hands on their face “to make it seem like my hands are theirs,” writes hand model Susan Schell at XOJane. It’s also important to convey “moods” with hands (“I know it sounds crazy,” admits model Katrina Nelson) and keep hands steady when they go numb from being held up so long.

A sense of humor might help, too: “Working one hand job to the next is my slogan, from Manhattan to Malibu,” says top hand model Adele Uddo.

(In related news, meet the girl with Down syndrome who became a Gap model.)

Hand modeling is something that I accidentally fell into—not many little girls dream of one day being a hand model. I never even considered it a real job until I moved to New York City. It is an incredibly odd line of work, but it certainly has its upsides: a lot of free manicures (often with insanely ornate nail art), the chance to wear incredibly expensive jewelry, and the opportunity to place your hands on the occasional celebrity’s face.

My hands have been shot for Vogue, Nylon Magazine, Brides Magazine, NY Magazine, Refinery29 editorials, Sally Hansen campaigns, Smith and Cult nail art tutorial videos, and much more. Each job could be completely different from the one prior. I enjoy getting to do something new everyday, and my job can vary from chopping food or holding a beauty product, to wearing incredible nail art by some of the industry’s best manicurists, to even being a hand double for someone.

It is an unusual job. I can walk around the city and see myself in signs or advertisements and no one else knows it’s me! I’m just a segmented part of a person in a picture. And if you’re going to be a successful parts model, maintenance is essential. I have a ton of tips that I’ve picked up from other hand models, along with my own little tricks that I do to keep my hands looking healthy and camera-ready.

Ditch the Cuticle Cutters

How to become a hand model

My number one most important hand-care tip is to ditch the cuticle cutters and use a cuticle cream or oil. Cutting your cuticles can make them grow tougher and more jagged if it’s not done properly. The cuticle is like the root of your nail—if you want healthy and long nails, you need to start taking care of your cuticles. All you need to do is use cuticle oil or cream and gently push back your cuticles occasionally. I personally love to use Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme ($6) and Deborah Lippmann’s Cuticle Oil ($20).

DIY an Overnight (Hand) Mask

How to become a hand model

My next tip is a hand-model mainstay for getting your hands extra moisturized: The night before a shoot I generously slather my hands in lotions, as well as the all-important cuticle oil, and then slip my gooey hands into cotton overnight gloves. This makes them retain the moisture all night, and you wake up with incredibly soft hands. I like to mix it up with a Burt’s Bees Hand Salve ($9) or the Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream ($9)—they’re both super-rich and pretty sticky, so they work best with the glove technique.

Try Paraffin Wax

How to become a hand model

If your hands ever crack or get especially dry in the winter you might want to look into a paraffin wax treatment. My mom introduced me to them, and I actually really like doing it. You dip your hands (or your feet) several times in melted warm paraffin wax, let the wax harden around your hands, and then slip on these towel-like mittens to keep in the warmth. After about 10-15 minutes, or when the wax has completely hardened and cooled, you just crack off the wax, and your skin feels crazy soft and rehydrated.

Remove Glitter Polish

How to become a hand model

This is a trick I picked up from manicurists on set when they were removing bright polish, a complicated nail art design, or even glitter polish. If you soak cotton balls in nail polish remover and let them rest on your painted nails for a little while it’ll loosen the polish. Then, if you squeeze the cotton balls down and pull them off the nail, the majority of the polish should come off. Sometimes rubbing off dark polishes can stain your skin or even push pigment under your cuticles, so this is a better solution.

Buff Away Stains

How to become a hand model

Now this tip might seem a bit obvious, but I cannot stress it enough: ALWAYS use a base coat when you’re painting your nails anything colorful. Unfortunately, this is something I learned the hard way. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for weirdly stained and nasty looking nails to grow out. I like to use Sally Hansen’s Double Duty Base Coat and Top Coat because it’s two-in-one and doesn’t chip. I also use this as a clear coat because it feels like it makes my nails a little stronger.

If you do accidentally stain your nails, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. First, lightly buff the surface of your nails with a fine grit nail buff to help remove the stains—typically stains are only on the superficial layers of your nails, so buffing them can make a big difference (just remember buffing can also make your nails thinner and weaker if you do it too aggressively, so go easy!). After gently buffing, scrub your nails with a soft toothbrush and a mixture of peroxide, baking soda, and lemon juice to help clean out any residual stains. A great way to “cheat” whiter edges on your nails is to use a whitening pencil—it’s not permanent, but it is a helpful quick fix.

Check out Susan’s website for more of her hand modeling work, and click here for nail hacks from the industry’s top pros.

How to become a hand model

The search for the “$100,000 fist” is on.

On Tuesday (March 23), whiskey brand Fistful of Bourbon sent out a call on Twitter to find its “spokesfist”—aka a hand model—for their latest ad campaign. The person with the right hand for the job will earn $100,000 for their work.

“Think you have a special hand? An itchy trigger finger, a green thumb, a stinky pinky? Well, now it’s time to make them work together to earn you a cool $100,000! You ready? Head on over to that link to apply — must be 25+ to land this gig,” the tweet reads.

On the brand’s website, a posting for the ‘spokesfist’ position reads: “We are seeking to find the new (and first-ever) Spokesfist to represent our brand and appear in future campaigns in print, video, across social media and more. No horsing around—we’re totally serious, this is REAL—one lucky fist will appear in upcoming campaigns for the brand and sign a $100,000 contract.”

As their tweet mentioned, all applicants must be 25 years or older to enter the competition. Applicants must also be authorized to work in the United States. Fistful of Bourbon is looking for applicants with the following requirements, as well: “one helluva fist, ability to clench on cue, a steady hand, creative and outgoing.”

In order to apply, interested parties must fill out the application here, as well as send in audition photos and videos. “A simple photograph of your fist from the front, from the top and from both sides” will do, according to the site. Fistful of Bourbonwants to see a “more creative video starring your fist,” as well. “Enthusiasm and creativity matter so don’t hold back,” the ad concludes.

Will you be applying to be Fistful of Bourbon’s first-ever “spokesfist?”

The ultimate guide on how to prepare for a career in foot modeling.

How to become a hand model

If you live in a large metropolitan area and have great legs and feet, consider a career in foot modeling! Foot modeling is a subset of parts modeling and top foot models can easily make anywhere from $500 to thousands a day for a few hours of shooting.

However, agencies and clients are unlikely to fly you out to a major city to model in a niche area. Because many major footwear brands shoot in New York or LA, if you don’t live to one of these areas, it’s difficult to find work as a foot model. These jobs are highly competitive, so if you live far away or lack incredible feet/legs, consider a different career path. Parts Models in New York City is one of the top feet modeling agencies in NYC; it’s a good resource for those interested in getting their feet wet (pun intended).

How to become a hand model

Foot models, like other models, are still that- models; they are supposed to represent the epitome of the human anatomy. Many people contact us, asking if they could model body parts when the rest of their body is not up to modeling par. The truth is, modeling agencies will rarely take ‘exceptions’. Your best chance of becoming a foot model is to already have exceptional model-like qualities! Before you go off and apply for every foot modeling job, there are some things you should consider.

Tips for being a foot model

1. Have long, slender feet and thin toes, with high-arched feet.

Generally, the industry prefers models with these features because the photographs can capture the graceful curves of the leg and foot. The most important thing is to have good proportions.

2. Have flawless skin.

No varicose veins, bruises, scars or flaky skin.

3. Have toned muscle and flexibility.

It’s important for a model’s feet to be strong yet flexible. Agencies will not cast your flabby, untoned legs.

4. Have a portfolio of images

If you live in an area with demand for foot models, and you are interested in the job, be sure to keep a portfolio of your legs and feet. Make sure it includes commercial-style images that you might see in catalogues and advertisements- after all, this is what you’lll be shooting for anyway. Be sure the images are as clear as possible and are not put through excessive filters and photoshop.

5. Be located in a city with many companies that shoot footwear.

If you aren’t already in such a location, it’s inadvisable to move to a large city just in the hopes of being a parts model. Cities such as New York, LA, Miami and Atlanta are great areas.

How to become a hand model

Keeping your feet in shape

6. Exercise, but not too hard.

Not only do foot models need to have beautiful feet and legs, they also need to have strong, flexible feet. Certain exercises can strengthen your feet. Try doing standing calf raises. Don’t push yourself too hard; remember- you need to feet to be free of bruises and scars.

7. Wear loose, protective shoes that are comfortable.

Many foot models wear a size larger than usual in order to promote circulation and prevent their feet from being damaged.

8. Trim your nails

An important point that many might overlook. If you have ugly hang nails, even with gorgeous feet, no one will cast you.

9. Exfoliate and Moisturize

This should be obvious. If you want to be a foot model, you must regularly take care of your feet. Use a scrub or pumice stone to exfoliate. Use a skin moisturizer to keep your skin supple and moist.

10. Practice using your feet to articulate emotion.