Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Technique Tuesday: Give Me A Show Of Hands – The Finer Points Of Good Portraiture

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Hey, better late than never, right?  Sorry for the late post today.  The morning got a little ahead of me and before long it was nearly 4:00 p.m. and I hadn’t even begun the post yet.  No problem, I got it together and posted on the “air” before midnight ;~)

Bad HandsHey, all joking aside, I think you’re really going to like the post today, especially if you want to  make your images look their best. With the trend towards “run and gun” photography, by far too many photographers, much of the wedding images all look the same.  I’m suggesting at least understanding a few “tools and techniques” of the portrait masters of years past will help you to create your own style.  Knowing those details really can make your images stand above your competition and away from the crowd.  And, if the crowd doesn’t care, doesn’t want to make an effort to learn at least you should if this is your path as a true professional.

Fine portraiture is not just smiles and pretty faces. It's about making the client look the best they can from head to toe, including right on down to the smallest details. Those details include, in addition to so many other aspects, how the client's hands are presented in the image. It's our job to enhance and flatter our clients, key on their assets and camouflage the areas that may need less attention. That includes their hands.

Most photographers today pay NO attention to such things, but artists in past had to be sensitive to the finer points of the portraits they painted as they were painting for the royalty and prominent citizens. If those in the royal court were presented in an unflattering manner or looked bad, heads, literally, would roll.

Why not hit the PLAY button and enjoy the presentation.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I’ve got a few announcements for tomorrow’s post so I hope you’ll join me.

See ya’ then,



  1. Just a lovely lesson, with lovely locations and subjects. Last an most, Lovely photography by David.

  2. Wonderful critique of your own photos David. Excellent points brought to light and thanks for taking the time to share with us on 'fine tuning' our portraits.

  3. David... you are a great teacher. I can not promise to remember all the fine points, but I will be thinking more and I will be watching out for the disembodied Addams Family hand and the dreaded CLAW!

  4. Excellent lesson, really enjoyed it, I'll try to keep these points in mind during my upcoming shoots, thx!

  5. Monte Zucker was also big on how to pose hands, and I learned from another Monte student, Rick Ferro. But come on - can't find it on the internet? Let me google that for you:



  6. Great hand class David, I purchased your wedding book. Your great friends with Scott Kelby. I have purchased his books. He highly recommended your book. Your book has taken my photography into a new level. I even purchased a Quantum T5DR. I did a class with Clay and he said you guys had 4 slots avaible for Tuscany. I wish I could go but I cant. I will be looking forward to attending one of your classes in the future. Once again thank you for all your generosity and GOD BLESS. www.oneshowphoto.com


  7. Hands sometimes can be very difficult subject to pose. Thanks for the informative video.

  8. my first view of your site and this is very impressive, simple straight forward explanations that work and not hard to remember. now for all your other videos. Thanks Greg