Project 4: Hands

Photographing people can be unsettling. You are asking someone to sit in front of your camera and be vulnerable. For this project, we are going to photograph people, but instead of people's faces (we'll do that later) we will be photographing hands.

Hands have attitudes, moods, and habits. Look for hands that say something about a person or what that person is doing, thinking, or feeling.


Project: Photograph hands in expressive postures or engaged in interesting activities. You may photograph one hand by itself, both hands of one one person, or the hands of several people together. Do not include a full face with the hands, though part of a face is acceptable. Make TWENTY-FIVE photographs of hands. Half of the photos should be in PORTRAIT orientation. The other half should be in LANDSCAPE orientation. Convert all of these photos into BLACK AND WHITE.

Hints: Look for people you know who have particular gesture that is their "signature." They may be an interesting subject. Look for attitudes reflected in the hands: resigned, strong, casual, engages, at rest, tense, etc. Look also to how hands related to their surroundings: reaching for something; interacting with someone else's hands; holding something. In general, unless the context is important, the hands should be large and fill the frame.