One of the best ways to capture more emotion in your photos; capture hand-gestures.
How do we capture hand gestures in photography? Here are some ideas:
1. Look for hand gestures
First of all, don’t photograph people when they don’t have any engaging hand gesture.
In the streets, only make a photograph if you see someone doing a gesture with their hands.
If you’re photographing your loved ones, wait for them to do a hand-gesture. Then see what kind of emotions pour forth.
2. Ask for gestures
If you’re photographing a subject, your family member, or friend, you can say things to get them to make a hand gesture.
- I love your necklace– what is the story behind your necklace? (they will play with their necklace, with their hands)
- Your hair looks beautiful today, what did you do to it? (people will play with their hair)
- What are your plans for tomorrow? (often people start to scratch their chin)
3. Photograph only the hands
Another tip: just photograph the hands, and nothing else. Use macro mode and a flash if possible, to darken the background.
4. Study paintings with hand gestures
For example, here are some great hand-gestures from the painting “John the Baptist” by Leonardo da Vinci. Hand gesture movement outlined in red:
5. Photograph your own hands
When you have nobody else to photograph, you can always photograph your own hands.
6. Wait for your subject to notice you
When shooting street photography, I often hold my camera up, take a few photos, and wait for my subjects to notice me. Then when they ‘catch’ me photographing them, often they elicit a hand gesture.
7. “Can you do that again for me?”
If you see an interesting hand gesture (like someone sneezing into a tissue), you can cheat and ask them: “Hey that thing you just did– can you do that again?”
8. Study photos with hand gestures
Here are some of my favorite photos where I got a hand gesture. To me, the photos feel more emotional:
Conclusion: It is all about emotions
Emotions and Photography
Learn how to integrate more emotions in your photos:
- How to Evoke More Emotions in Your Photos
- How to Capture Emotion in Your Photos
- How to Capture Emotion Layers in Photography
Learn how to photograph with your soul:
- How to Photograph With Your Soul
- How to Capture a Person’s Soul in a Photograph
- How to Shoot Photos With Soul
- Shoot with Your Soul
- Photography For the Soul
- Make Photos to Delight Your Soul
- The Soul of the Street Photographer