photo of people reaching each other s hands
Photo by Anna Shvets on

How to photograph the hand? Is there really a technique for taking pictures of hands? And why would I take pictures of “hands?” Great questions and let’s get on this one.

How to pose hands to make them look nice, obviously goes back to “posing the human body”. When you pose a person, the hands are one of the most important things to pose correctly. If you have the hands flat against the body, or just seeing the whole back or front of the hand is not very “pretty”. And that includes both male and female. That is why I liked the photo above, because you see the sides of both hands, they have a small formation, not like broken fingers, and it is a pose I love of hands.

Use Hand Poses to Flatter the Rest of the Body

Hand poses can make or break what’s otherwise a great portrait. Getting those hand poses right can be tricky to do and tough to communicate. Use Hand Poses to Flatter the Rest of the Body.

Sure, this article is to learn where to put the hands. But where the subject places the hands can change the entire body shape.

In general, use the hand pose to create space between the torso and the arms. The subject will look wider if you don’t. Try placing the hands on the hips, for example.

Smiling tattooed girl with her hands on her hips

That’s not a hard and fast rule, though. Crossing the hands in an X at the front can exaggerate curves (often used with women).

Crossing the hands with the elbows out can make the shoulders look broad. This hand pose is often used by men because it also highlights the arm muscles.


Hands can add beauty and personality to the images. Why leave them out of the photos? While obscuring part of the hands is fine, avoid hiding everything from the wrist down.

If you ask a model to put his hands in his pockets, you want him to look relaxed, not nervous. Don’t put the hand all the way into the pocket or the hand will disappear. This could even make the model’s hips look a little larger than they are.

The same applies to determine where to crop the photo. Don’t crop at the joints, wrists and finger joints included. Cropping at a limb feels incomplete. If you’re going to shoot a pose that’s not full-body, crop mid-way between joints for a more natural look.

Woman in a blue dress showing a hand pose
Photo by Samarth Singhai from Pexels

Don’t Place the Hands too Close to the Camera

Cameras should come with a warning almost identical to the one in the corner of the mirrors on your car. Objects are larger than they appear. If something is closer to the camera, it’s going to look larger than anything that’s farther from the camera.

The effect is exaggerated with wide angle lenses and decreased by telephoto lenses.

Avoid placing the hands closer to the camera than the rest of the body. Or the hands will look larger in the photos than they are in reality.

In a seated position, don’t place the hands beyond the knee. And in a standing position, don’t move the hand more than a few inches closer than the face.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I sometimes ask engaged couples to hold the ring out towards the camera while they kiss in the background. But that’s okay because the ring highlights their engagement.

The first photo below isn’t wrong. But in the second image, the eye goes straight to the faces. The hand is no longer competing with the faces.

Diptych photo of a couple posing outdoors demonstrating natural hand poses for photography

Use an Angle to Make Hands Look Smaller

The placement of the hands can make them look larger. The hand poses can also influence the perceived size.

A hand straight on to the camera will look larger in the photos. But if you can only see the side of the hand, the hand will look smaller.

Hands should be at least at a slight angle away from the camera. Or you should photograph hands from the side.

This is most important when the pose keeps the entire hand visible. It’s less essential when it’s only a portion of the hand in the shot.

Why? Larger hands will compete with the face. Of course, if there’s no face in the image, getting the hands angled is less important.

Woman posing with chin on hand

Avoid Hands Crossed in Front

For some reason, many people stand with their arms crossed in front in wedding images.

It makes a great joke (for the right crowd) that they look like someone walked in on them in the shower. But it draws attention to the wrong area. You want to avoid focusing the viewer’s eye on someone’s lap.

A young man posing in front of a wall

Here is my biggest guideline to almost every photo with hands:

If you are seeing the back of the hands in your photos, then try to find something different to do with the hands.
woman in white shirt covering her face with white textile
Photo by behrouz sasani on

Watch Out for Tense Hand Poses

How do you spot tense hands? They’re flat and tight or curled up into fists. Make sure you avoid both poses.

In case of tense flat hands, ask the model to relax their hands and curve the hand a bit.

In the case of fists, ask the subject to place his or her hands softly instead.

Like any photography rule, there are always exceptions. This includes photos when your aim is to create tension.

A young man in sports gear posing outdoors

This portrait above is an exception to the rule. But, I am still not a big fan of putting your hands in pockets, like you see above here. My question is, when I see a photo like this: “Is something wrong with fingers? Did he have a hand accident?” I always look at what I can do differently with hands, on either male or female.

Here’s a few more great examples of hands posed right.

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Photo by behrouz sasani on Unsplash
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Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash
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Photo by behrouz sasani on Unsplash
man in black leather jacket
Photo by Yogendra Singh on

Most photographers aren’t in the practice of just taking photos of hands, but, if for some reason you have that assignment, use the same principles to get pleasing photos. Here is just a couple of examples of just great hand photos:

persons raising hands
Photo by Luis Dalvan on
elderly man in black suit jacket covering his eyes with his hand
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Just click on this link above to learn more. Tis the season….. to lose weight.


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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Taking photos of a sport that you love is enjoyment #2. Besides the sport itself, what better way to find something you love, or the #2 passion, is taking pictures of this sport. (Actually, the number #1 enjoyment has to be to DO THE SPORT, RIGHT?)

There are so many different sports to love, but, in this case, we want you to take photos of something you participate in, or truly love to watch. That’s two different ways to take these photos: 1- pictures of you playing your favorite sport, or photos of your favorite sport with your family and friends, or even at your favorite place…. like the photo above. And 2- if you love, say, Football, Soccer, or baseball, you could go and take pictures of those games in process. And because you have your cell phone with you, this should be easy.

high angle view of people on bicycle
Photo by Pixabay on

If you are a biker, you may need some help getting pictures of yourself, but, if you just focus on getting a picture OF Bikers…. then you could hang up your photo on the wall or display it where you could get excited about it again…. something to live for.

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Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash ——- High school receiver pulls away from a defender after catching a pass in a pre-season game in Texas.

If you love to sit in your chair and watch football all day on Sunday, then having a few good football pictures like this is something you would love to have on your wall. You could have more fun with this, if you went down to the local high school game and took your cell phone that has the telephoto lens in it, then it will be easy to get some good photos.

Things you will need to get good sports photos:

  • Your cell phone that has a telephoto lens (if your sport needs it)
  • Willing to take a lot of photos, because of movement.
  • Patience and lots of practice
  • Learn how to tell a story with your photography.
brown basketball on grey floor
Photo by Bk Aguilar on

Trying different angles during your photo shoot will get you some creative photos like this one above. Or, if you are in a huge stadium, it’s always fun to get your favorite team from a distance.

green soccer field with crowd at daytime
Photo by Liam McKay on Unsplash

Willing to share your photos, then join the group:


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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

I have felt that: wouldn’t it be awesome to photograph a “sunbeam”. I totally have never had that opportunity.

I found this perfect explanation, and one who has experienced this in detail. His name is Chris Upton:


Chris Upton is a travel, landscape and social documentary photographer from Nottingham-shire, UK. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and is proud to be an official Fuji Film Cameras X Photographer. Chris’s great passions in life are travel and photography. He has traveled widely and finds it an amazing experience to observe and photograph a variety of cultures, people, and landscapes. His hope is that through his photographs he can bring a little of this to the viewer and inspire others to experience the beauty and diversity of the world for themselves.

In 2016, Chris presented a major social documentary project recording the closure of Thoresby Colliery, the last pit in Nottingham-shire, to widespread critical acclaim. He also published a book, Thoresby: The End Of The Mine, to accompany the exhibition.

Chris’s work is sold internationally and has been published in numerous magazines and books. He has held several major solo exhibitions and was invited to exhibit at the prestigious Masters of Vision Exhibition of Photography at Southwell Minster in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Chris loves to share his knowledge and he lectures around the UK and runs a variety of workshop events.

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All photographs herein are copyrighted photos of Chris Upton

Photography is all about the light and, as landscape photographers, we are constantly searching for the most interesting and evocative lighting conditions. Without it our pictures can be dull and lackluster but when Mother Nature performs her magic, the landscape is transformed enabling us to capture some stunning imagery.

Some of my favorite conditions are shooting into the sun to capture those dramatic sunbeams, starbursts or beautiful back-lit scenes. Although this is counter intuitive to everything we are taught early in our photographic journey, this technique helps emphasize, shapes, lines and silhouettes to produce some striking images.

Here are some hints and tips to help you capture atmospheric sun kissed images.


When shooting sunbeams the first thing you need is strong sunlight! Sunbeams are most pronounced when they bounce off elements in the atmosphere, such as dust or moisture in the form of mist. But it needs to be the right amount of mist; too little and the rays won’t be strong enough, too misty or foggy and you won’t see any. Autumn and Spring often produce the best conditions. Check the weather forecast and look for calm conditions and bright sunshine after a period of rain.

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The best conditions are usually early in the morning, late in the afternoon or early evening, though in the winter the sun never rises too high so this period can be extended.


Shoot towards the sun, with it at 45-180 degrees to your camera. Partially hide the sun behind a tree or other object for a greater effect. Isolating the light area against a darker background, for example making use of a forest canopy, will help the rays look more defined. Finding some open areas for the rays to flood with light can really add some impact to your shots. Look for different compositions and locations but work quickly as these conditions usually don’t last too long!

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Remember to keep your lens and filters spotless, as shooting into the sun can be very unforgiving. Any dust or greasy finger marks will show up and degrade the image.

It’s always good to know places locally that you can get to quickly when the conditions are right. Keep an eye on the forecast, prepare your gear and make the most of the light to create some awesome sun blessed images.

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Photo by Rendy Novantino on Unsplash

When this subject came up in the list of 50 Photo subjects, I thought that this one would be a short one. Let’s just put it this way: If you want to capture candid moments, you need to have your camera set for automatic. Over 90 percent of regular photographs will work when the camera is on automatic. When you have the camera set in automatic, and you want to capture a candid moment, just grab your camera and take the photo. Do not worry about having your camera is manual mode for this.

40 Splendid Examples of Candid Photography - The Photo Argus
Compliments of “The Photo Argus”

I always try to keep my regular DSLR camera in automatic mode, just for this purpose. I have a better chance of capturing this candid moment, when the camera is in automatic mode, than if I grabbed my camera and had to do manual settings. The most prized photos you have will be the ones you capture unexpectedly.

Here is just a couple of photos of candid photography:

What is difference between Candid Photography and Traditional Photography  in wedding? - Happy Wedding App
Courtesy of “The Wedding App”
What is a Candid Photo?
Photographer unknown
What is candid wedding photography? Why should one hire a candid  photographer over a normal photographer? How should I select a candid  photographer? - Quora
Photo courtesy of Quora
12 Unique & Great Tips For Better Candid Photography - Spyne
Courtesy of Spyne

Don’t miss tomorrow’s subject: “A SUNBEAM”. Part of the 50 different subjects of photography project. Don’t miss a single one. Over 30 of the 50 have been done so far. Look back on past blogs to read the other subjects.

Learn how you can do a panorama photo:

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Photo by Pexel Photos

Panorama photos are photos that are longer and skinny and seem to be a photo that were made to get wide, extra wide photos. Are they done exclusively for super wide angle photos? Usually!

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Photo by Pixabay

I’d like to go over the history of Panoramas and then tell you where we are today.

Since the early days of film, panoramic photography has been synonymous with landscape and architectural images, and sometimes with other genres like street and wildlife photography. By combining two horizontal frames of film, typically 120 medium format, some film cameras actually shot panorama photographs by design. Most of these cameras emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century, bringing the panoramic format to the public eye.

The panorama had existed long before this time, of course, but its popularity has only grown — and with good reason. Panoramas are fun and dramatic, and their subtleties are just as important in today’s mostly-digital age as they were during the heyday of film.

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Photo by Josh Sorenson @ Pexel. Com

Notice how beautiful this looks with a sunset photo.


If you think about the major benefits of Panoramas, you will certainly think it’s easier to compose your photo. You don’t have to worry about if you have too much sky or foreground, it’s like you automatically cropped your photo to it’s optimum. It makes me wonder why we don’t see more panorama photos.

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Photo by WW / Pexels. Com

The compositional side of panoramic photography certainly is not the only reason for its popularity, but panoramas are useful for images that cannot be composed in more typical ways. Often, I use the panorama format simply because the spaces above and below my subject would boring with a 2×3 frame — other times, I do so to make my image easier to balance. Panoramas are not ideal for every composition, but they are crucial tools in more situations than you may think.


Consider a typical (high-end) photo printer: the width of the print is set at a certain size (since, say, a 24-inch printer simply cannot fit anything larger), but the length of the print is essentially unlimited. The reason is that, past a certain size (typically 13×17), photo paper tends to come in rolls rather than sheets. These rolls can be tremendously long, often more than fifty feet (15 meters).

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Photo courtesy of Pexels Photo

Above most sofas and beds, for example, the wall is wider than it is tall. Quite often, the difference is significant. And, for landscape photographers who want to sell their work, home decoration is one of the largest markets. It makes sense to cater to people’s needs, then, and panoramic art is disproportionately popular for bedrooms and living spaces.


Most newer Android and iPhone models have a panorama mode built into the camera, but if you don’t wanna go that route, there are a number of panoramic photo apps available to download.

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Photo by Adriano Calvo

How to take a panorama photo with your phone:

  1. Open your phone’s camera and put it in panorama (or Pano) mode.
  2. Hold the phone vertically for a horizontal panorama, or horizontally for a vertical panorama.
  3. iPhone users can tap the arrow to change the direction of the panorama. Android users can move left or right without specifying their direction.
  4. Tap the shutter button to start your panorama.
  5. Move the phone to capture the desired scene, keeping it as steady as possible.
  6. When you’re done, tap the shutter button to finish. If you reach the end of the line/box that displays on your phone while taking a panorama, it may automatically stop taking the photo and save it.
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Photo courtesy of Pexel photos.

Take your time, and find out from your camera how and if you can do panorama photos. If you find you can’t do it with your regular camera, see if your smart phone can do it. We would love to share your experience with Panorama.

If you would like to share your photos, we would love to see them. See instructions below:

This is 1 of 50 subjects in a series. Check out the other articles already done.