‘Parts’ modelling is a really interesting area of modelling agencies. For those who haven’t come across the concept before, it is a niche which requires you to model only certain body parts such as hands, feet, legs or hair. As the shots will be extremely close-up you’ll be expected to have really lovely hands (or whichever part you specialise in). Some models make all their money from their hands, so much so they insure their most valuable asset.
The work you’ll find through child, male or female modelling agencies tends to include holding or displaying all sorts of small products including perfume, nail varnish, and jewellery. Your role is to make the products look their best. Your hands are unlikely to be the dominant element of any photograph, but they will be clearly visible.
Could I Be A Hand Model?
Anyone considering hand modelling will need even skin tone and no visible scars or birthmarks. A tiny amount of makeup can be applied, but due to the extremely close up nature of the work, your hands will have to be pretty much perfect.
Are all your nails the same shape? The tips can be filed uniformly but if you have uneven nail beds very little can be done to correct it. Keep your nails neat, and file rather than clip them to keep them strong. Your hands will also have to be hair and pore free, regardless of gender.
Do you have straight fingers? Your knuckles will have to be small and a naturally good bone structure will really help. Essentially your hands should be incredibly normal looking, but also elegant. If you’re graced with long fingers and slim palms you’re likely to do well in the modelling industry. And the thumb tends to feature in a lot of hand photography, so you’ll have a have a pretty good one.
Am I Too Old?
Hand modelling is very different from other branches of the profession, and even has some subdivisions of its own. It isn’t only for young women; men, children and older people are also required for work. The need will depend on the product usually, but include photographs of your hands in different positions for the best chance of work.
Most tend to be women, but there is also call for men to work in the profession. The requirements will be a bit different, but the principles are the same – you will need to take very good care of your assets.
Any modelling agency will advise you that there is certain amount of necessary maintenance required for successful hand modelling. You need to keep your nails in good shape and moisturise regularly. Keeping your hands out of the sun will keep them soft and supple for longer, and reduce the chance of wrinkles, so many hand models wear gloves at all times.
Think you don’t need to worry about that pesky diet? While weight fluctuation won’t really affect your hand prospects, poor diet can show up on your nails. Maintain a healthy diet, and take calcium and vitamin e supplements to improve your skin and nails.
Not only can you model your hands, you might even pick up work as a parts double, for people not graced with your naturally beautiful palms.
Hand modelling can be a really fun way to supplement another job, and is just as demanding as other types of modelling. If you’re not sure whether your hands will cut the mustard, speak to modelling agencies for an honest opinion. They’ll be able to direct you towards the area of modelling most appropriate for you, and give you some pointers.
If you have your heart and hands set on the most buoyant part of the parts modelling circuit, but they don’t fill all the criteria, give them a makeover and a rest, and try, try and try again!