10 Cool Hand Poses for Portraits

Are there any universal hand poses for portrait photos? When writing this guide, I compiled a collection of tips and tricks that will help you capture natural hand poses, ones I've been using since my first photoshoot.

You will also learn how models pose to draw attention to specific parts of their bodies. Read on to learn how to help people assume the most flattering photos at their 1st photoshoot and assist them with choosing the best pose for their hands when they are standing.

1. Make Hands Relaxed

When posing for a photo, it’s important to relax your hands and posture. You should ensure that your wrist and fingers are relaxed as well. If you feel tense, you will look unnatural in a photo as if you were trying to pose too hard.

Don’t Bend the Hands Too Much

hand poses don’t bend the hands too much

If you do this, your arm will appear broken. When propping the head or leaning on something, ensure that your hand isn’t bent 90 degrees.

Relax the Fingers

hand poses relax the fingers

Clenched fingers will create tension in the frame. It is one of the most unnatural hand holding poses. I suggest shaking hands as if you were shaking off water, and the tension in your hands will go away.

Let Hands Hang Naturally

hand poses naturally hanging

If you aren’t going to do anything specific with your hands, it’s better to let them hang on the side. This way, you will look natural and relaxed. There should be some space between your arms and the body.

hand poses fixthephoto example hand poses fixthephoto example

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It will allow you to flex your elbows a bit to create extra volume. Due to this, your hand and fingers will hang naturally and you won’t look too straight and unmoving. In case you failed with posing, you can contact the FixThePhoto team and ask these editors to fix your pose. They will make your hands look more natural.

Light Touching with Your Hand

hand poses slight touching

If your hand touches your body, ensure that you won’t hold it too close or grab anything. Otherwise, your hand will look tense, besides, your skin might turn red. As a result, you won’t look as relaxed and attractive as you can.

2. Highlight the Face and Body Parts

Don’t try to be a shy wallflower and go for a pose that will make other people focus their attention on you. There is no need to make other people look at your hands. However, you can use different poses to guide their attention to different parts of your body.

Pose with Your Hand on Your Waist

hand poses on the waist

To emphasize your slim waist, you can bend one or both arms and put them closer to this area. However, you should ensure that the arms aren’t pressed against the body. Otherwise, they will increase the volume. To avoid this effect, leave a little space between the body and the arm.

Hand on the Neck Pose

hand poses on the waist

This is one of the best relaxed poses for female portraits. The hands-on-the-neck pose can help you add some elegance and sophistication to the image.

But avoid demonstrating the back of the hand. If you place this part of the hand directly in front of the camera, it may seem too large and massive. Thus, a delicate female hand may resemble a strong male one.

Touch the Cheek with Your Hand

hand poses touch the cheek

This pose will help you accentuate your beauty and femininity. This is one of the simplest but at the same time, very successful hand on face poses. However, your fingers should not look tense. Otherwise, this pose will look unnatural.

Touch Your Hair on the Level of Your Shoulder

hand poses touch the hair

Here is another example of great portrait photography poses for women. Touching the hair allows you to add more texture and volume to the image. Natural styling and realistic curls look especially good in such photographs.

Hands on Hips Pose

hand poses on hips

Hands on hips are one of the standard poses for portraits. By the way, such cool hand poses help emphasize the good physical shape of a woman.

Touch Your Lips

hand poses touch the lips

Such female poses ideas look very sexy and seductive. It’s a nice option for female close-up portraits. You can experiment with different hand on face poses and look for interesting angles to add more charm and mystery to your photos.

Hand on the Chin

hand poses on the chin

To assume this pose, you need to put your thumb under the chin. Then, extend the index finger and touch the cheek. The other three fingers should be bent. Take a look at the sample photo and practice a bit in front of the mirror.

This pose is perfect for those who need to do something with their hands. Besides, by touching the chin, the model can draw attention to her face. This way, you can solve two problems at once and take a great hand portrait.

Frame Your Face with your Hands

hand poses face framing

If you don’t want to put your hands on your chin as you think that this pose is too basic, try putting them on your cheeks. This way, you can frame your face in the most flattering way. You can use such poses for close-up portraits.

In addition, you can use two poses at once. For instance, you can put one hand on the cheek and touch your chin with the other one. It will also help you emphasize your face.

Hand on Stomach

hand poses on stomach

It’s a classic pose for a photoshoot involving a pregnant woman. Ask your model to lightly touch her belly with one or both hands or hold her belly with two hands from below, as if supporting it.

3. Hands as Support

Sometimes even the most interesting hand poses can make you feel uptight and uncomfortable. You should be as natural as possible. Use different objects to lean on them, such as a table, wall, or a car.

Don’t Raise the Shoulders Too Much

hand poses don’t raise the shoulders too much

If you lean on something that stands in front of you, pay attention to the position of your shoulders. To look slim and proportionate, don’t raise the shoulders too much. Keep the shoulders more relaxed.

Rest Your Chin on Your Hand

hand poses rest your chin on hand

In order to demonstrate concentration or, on the contrary, indifference, take a comfortable position and lean your hand on the chin. This is a universal hand pose that doesn’t require special preparations.

Lean with Your Elbow on the Wall

hand poses lean elbow on the wall

It’s one of the most creative and attention-grabbing male poses for hands. You may also pose as the world-known model and partially cover your face with your hand to drive attention to specific parts of your face.

Rest Your Hands on Top of Something

hand poses rest your hands on top of something

You can also find a natural way to support your body with your hands if you put them on the top of a furniture piece.

If you pose together with another person, you can put your hand on their shoulder. Your hand should be fully relaxed when you do it. Besides, you should pay attention to the curve of your fingers as well.

4. Play with Your Clothes

If you want to keep your hands busy but don’t want to use any extra props in the frame, you can play with your clothing items or lightly touch any part of your wardrobe. This pose will look natural and relaxed at the same time.

Hands in Pockets Pose

hand poses in pockets

This hand posing tip is perfect both for women and men. Hands in pockets can help show you as confident as possible. An important advantage of this variant is its versatility. It is equally good for both official and more creative, unusual photo shoots.

Hand Holding the Collar

hand poses collar holding

If you put your hand closer to your chin, it will allow you to focus the attention of a viewer on your face. This pose has a variety of uses. It’s perfectly suitable for men and women alike.

Besides, it is flattering for models with different body shapes who wear clothes with folded or unfolded collars. You can ask your model to wear formal or casual clothing, and the result will be equally attention-grabbing.

Fix Your Sleeves

hand poses sleeves fixing

Such hand poses also involve using the clothing items you are wearing. For instance, if you are wearing a shirt with long sleeves, you can keep yourself busy by trying to fix them.

This pose is especially popular with men. Wedding photographers use it when capturing the groom getting ready for the ceremony. Most people are naturally nervous in such situations, which is why it’s always a good idea to keep them busy.

You can also ask your model to fasten the buttons on their shirt, tie ribbons, or touch other accessories and clothing items.

5. Use Props

By touching various objects, you can give your purpose some purpose. It will allow you to feel more natural, as you won’t need to think about what to do with your hands.

Hold a Coffee Cup in Your Hands

hand poses with cup of coffee

Experiment with different hand poses for pictures. You can hold a cup of coffee. It looks very cute, cozy, and elegant at the same time. You can also hold a glass of wine or other beverages. To make your photos more unusual, you can either hold the cup with one hand or with both. It will look as if you were trying to warm yourself.

Play With Flowers

hand poses with flowers

Flowers can be good props that help arrange your hands and make them look as natural as possible. A bouquet or basket of flowers will add the effect of lightness and femininity to any photo.

Hand with a Cigarette

hand poses hand with a cigarette

If you smoke, you do not have to look for some original poses. Just light a cigarette and behave naturally. Such photos look especially brutal with male models. You can also use these cool hand poses to snap sexy pictures of women.

Busy Hands Pose

hand poses busy hands pose

You can also pretend that you are doing something. For instance, you can write something in your notebook, draw, type something on your laptop, or do anything else. The main thing is to look fully immersed in the process. Due to this, you won’t have to think about the best position for your hands, and your photo will look natural.

With Smartphone in Hand

hand poses with smartphone

Here is another good example of hand poses. It will help you feel comfortable and self-confident. Take your mobile phone and pretend to call.

Grab a Backpack

hand poses grab a backpack

If you have a backpack or a small bag, you can hold a strap with one hand. This pose will look perfect in the photo and won’t attract unnecessary attention.

Check the Time

hand poses time checking

If you wear a hand watch, you may also check the time when posing for a portrait photo. It will make you look busy and efficient.

6. Hands Up

By raising your arms, you can emphasize the seductive curves of your body. It will also add a dynamic feel to your photo. However, it might be difficult for you to do something with your hand as this pose is quite uncommon.

Don’t Put the Elbows in the Camera

hand poses don’t put the elbows in the camera

Place the elbows to the side, so that the arms don’t seem short. Raising the hands behind the head, slightly spread them to the side or stand sideways to the photographer. At the right angle, hands will appear cropped in the frame.

Don’t Hide the Hands Completely in the Hair

hand poses don’t hide the hands completely in the hair

With such hand poses for pictures, the hands should be slightly visible. Touch the hair only lightly. It is better to take a few shots and see how it looks on the camera screen.

Hands Behind Head Poses

hand poses hands behind head poses

If you want to emphasize facial features, use such hand poses. They are perfect for women. Raise her hands and put them at the back of her head. It will create a romantic, elegant look.

Garland in Hands

hand poses garland in hands

Using props is a nice idea to help you understand how to pose for female selfies, with your hands raised up. Bright garland will do. Hold the garland in your hands, changing their position.

Dance with Raised Hands

hand poses dancing

Raise your hands up and perform dance moves. You can slowly move back and forth. Pay attention to the position of your index finger. It should be extended if you want to demonstrate how strong you are. If you want to appear soft and fragile, you can curl it slightly.

7. Crossed Hand Poses

This pose might be difficult for beginners, however, it looks extremely flattering and allows you to emphasize your figure.

Crossed Arms Poses for Women

hand poses crossed arms for women

This is one of the best model poses with an athletic figure. It can emphasize the beauty of the body and make a woman look more elegant. The main thing is naturalness. You should feel relaxed.

The touches should be as gentle as possible, don’t cross your arms too tight and don’t tense your hands. This option is also the perfect headshot pose.

Crossed Arms Pose for Men

hand poses crossed arms pose for men

When working with male models, photographers advise them to cross their arms a bit lower. Such cool hand poses will perfectly emphasize the proportions of their body and make their shoulders visually wider, especially if a man slightly tilts his body forward.

Crossed Fingers Pose

hand poses crossed fingers

To assume this sitting pose, your model should sit on a high chair, pit one knee over another, and cross their fingers. To make this pose look balanced, a model should hold the upper knee with their hand. It’s advisable to avoid looking directly into the camera, as sideways looks work better in this case.

Tell your model to sit on a high chair, cross the fingers of the hands, and put one knee over another. While doing so, they should grab that upper knee with those crossed fingers. Looking sideways suits more with this pose than looking straight into the camera.

Avoid Hands Crossed in Front

hand poses avoid hands crossed in front

While you may cross your hands in front to entertain your friends and make it look as if someone took you by surprise, it’s never a good idea to use this pose for more serious shots. There is no need to make a viewer focus on your lap. It’s better to let your hand hang on the side and hold your wrist with the other one.

8. Hands Poses for Couples

You will find plenty of couple photo ideas that involve different hand poses. Whether you need to shoot a wedding, love story, or pictures for a family album, it’s important to select several natural and effective poses.

Arm-in-Arm Pose

hand poses arm-in-arm

If you are a girl, you can take your boyfriend's hand. This holding hand pose is incredibly simple, but it looks very romantic and sincere.

Wedding Ring Pose

hand poses wedding ring

If you are looking for romantic bride and groom poses, you should pay attention to this option. It is ideal for wedding photos. Such a picture will help you preserve warm, pleasant, and romantic memories. Your photographer should focus only on hands.

Hands on The Waist

hand poses hands on the waist

This is one of the most popular hand poses. A man should put his hands on the girl’s waist. The girl can put her hands on the chest or shoulders of her boyfriend and relax her hands.

Touch Your Soulmate

hand poses touch your soulmate

Using this pose, you can express your real feelings and emotions. A picture of a man gently touching his lover’s face looks absolutely admirable.

Gentle Hugs

hand poses gentle hugs

Poses with hugs are suitable for any type of photoshoot. You can hug your partner, put your hands around their neck or opt for a friendly embrace. A holding hand pose is a good choice as well. Besides, you can put your hand on their shoulder.

Couples can try using another pose. For instance, a man can hug his girlfriend from behind and cross his hands in front of her. A woman can put her hand on the arm of her partner.

9. Сreative & Emotional Hands Poses

If you want to become a professional photographer, you can experiment with different hand poses to take more attention-grabbing pictures. There is a variety of poses that will help you convey your feelings even if you don’t put any objects in the frame.

Hand in Front of the Camera

hand poses hand in front of the camera

The hand-in-front-of-the-face pose will add some mystery and even rebellion to your images. It is quite simple but makes images meaningful. You can stretch a hand towards the camera, but a photographer should focus on your face while taking a photo.

Like Praying Pose

hand poses like praying

This pose is suitable for portrait photographers who want to emphasize the strong religious beliefs of a model. To assume it, a model should keep their hands in a prayer position. You can use this pose to make your full-length portraits more impressive. It allows you to make the composition in the frame more balanced and harmonic.

Cover Your Face with Your Hands

hand poses covering the face

If you want to show emotions, you can either fully cover your face with your hands or use only one hand to cover half of your face. Such hand on face poses are suitable for demonstrating a sense of grief and showing that you are fully immersed in your inner world.

Besides, it’s a good choice for situations when a photographer needs to take intimate shots that convey a sense of emotional vulnerability.

Hands Making Frame or Shape

hand poses frame

Using this hand pose for photos, you can drive the attention of a viewer to a particular area of your picture. For instance, if a model uses their hands to frame their face, they can emphasize their facial expression. In addition, a model can frame any object with their hands to focus a viewer’s attention on it.

10. Basic Hand Posing Recommendations

The tips listed below will come in handy for those who want to improve their photography skills. However, if you want to learn more about posing to look more relaxed in your photos, you may also use these tricks.

Don’t Overlap Hands

hand poses don’t overlap hands

When photographing hands, remember that they should be visible. Putting your hands in your pockets or crossing them in front of you, make sure that the photographer sees and captures them.

Avoid Showing the Back of the Hand Straight On

hand poses avoid showing the back of the hand straight on

Demonstrating the inner part of the hand straight on is also not the best idea for hand photography. To make the hand appear smaller and more elegant, turn it at an angle to the camera.

Don’t Fan the Fingers

hand poses don’t fan the fingers

When holding an object in the hands, ensure that the fingers are collected. This pose appears neater. Also, don’t let the little finger stick out.

Keep Hands Away from the Lens

hand poses keep the hands away from the lens

When shooting a portrait, don’t hold the hands closer to the lens than the face. Because of this, the hands will appear twice as large as the head.