Brian Wilson is a Content Editor at 500px, and a commercial photographer with a huge passion for the outdoors and a good beer. Read on as he shares tips for capturing hands in your frame and composition, so you can join the always-trending #handsinframe revolution.

One of the hardest parts of the human body to photograph? That would be the hands! If taken from the wrong angle, hands can look very abnormal. Captured under the wrong lighting, they can look like they aren’t even human.

With a little practice—and some patience—photographing hands can come naturally for you. These are also very appealing for photo buyers and brands. Having a human element in an image can increase its saleability, and your image can reach a wider audience.

Take for example this image of carrots. On a black background, this shot could look boring. But adding the hand in the frame makes it much more interesting. It gives the illusion that these carrots were plucked from the ground, and photographed right away at their freshest state.

Bunch of fresh garden carrots with green leaves in the hand, black wooden backdrop by Anna Ivanova on 500px.com

In this example, we see a moment we can all relate to. Holding out your hand towards raindrops when it is raining. The focus may be on the droplet in the middle of the hand, but taking it from the angle where the photographer holds out their own hand brings each of us into the image beautifully.

Raindrops falling by Igor Salkov on 500px.com

One great tip I want to instill when photographing hands is capturing realistic, spur-of-the moment hands that are performing their usual duties. Hands with character, dirt, paint, or just generally messy can convey a sense of craftsmanship and dedication.

Hands Guatemala coffee workers. by Guatemala Photo Stock on 500px.com

In this next image below, we see a simple crafting moment taken to the next level by adding this human element. In an image which could be too simple, the addition of the a hand taken from the side takes us back to that similar photo concept of holding out your hand to check for rain. This is a simple but very effective way to include the human element to any crafty image.

a rain of love by Mónica Durán on 500px.com

Below, we can find the perfect example of how to brighten up a food shot. It would usually take a lot of prep and styling to make this scene more interesting. This addition of various hands gently on the food can make anyone hungry for brunch. It’s a simple yet effective way to relate to the image. How each hand is placed in the shot has been composed in a calculated way, but the overall effect of the image is natural and organic.

Brunch by Janet Kwan on 500px.com

Lastly, here we have a perfect example of the placement of hands in the frame. If the middle finger had been hidden behind the index finger, then the right hand would look more like a claw. But by simply opening the hand up slightly, the image is given a very delicate, feminine touch, which goes perfectly with the concept of gift wrapping. If you want to shake up the norm and twist perceptions, why not photograph a pair of burly, hairy male hands wrapping a delicate gift?

Holiday gift wrapping by The Stillery x Natta Summerky on 500px.com

Hopefully, you’ll find inspiration in these images as you explore the art of photographing hands and the popular #handsinframe trend. Make sure to try various angles of hands, take lots of pictures, try photographing your own hands, and test what works and what doesn’t for your frame. Directing your subjects or other people’s hands to get the shot you’re looking for will make it an easy feat. And as always—have fun!

Now let’s see a show of hands! Post your own hands in frame photos on 500px in the comments below, so we can see how you’re doing.