Master Hands In Frame In Food Photography

Master Hands In Frame In Food Photography

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love showing my hands in my food images. Adding a human element in food images helps draw the viewers in and connect with you and the food. They cease to being just spectators but interact more with the scene and feel part of it. It is quite easy to master hands in frame and I’ll take you through a few things to keep in mind especially in food photography.

1. Always have a story. This is true in general for any photography. Having a story is important to portray a message. You wouldn’t want to have your hands hanging just anywhere and anyhow. Think about what your hands would be doing, are you pouring a sauce in the food? Are you putting a bowl on the table? Have a try and think about how you can add a human element to the scene.

Pasta making

2. Action shots for the win. Add your hands in frame when doing action and process shots. Sprinkle sugar, pour some honey or sauce, cut a cake etc. Most of action shots involve hands so why not include them? This is the easiest way to master hands in frame by doing more action shots.

cracking an egg

3.Wash and moisturize your hands. I know this seems obvious but the number of times I’ve rushed to take a process shot with my hands covered in flour is a lot. You want your hands looking good and moist not dry and crusty. You also wouldn’t want to be holding food with dirty hands.


4. Make your hands look natural and soft. I must say this is quite hard to master and you have to be conscious how your hands look every time before taking a photo. Sometimes to get your hands looking natural means that you have to do unnatural things. Say you’re holding a heavy bowl and because it’s heavy your hands appear clenched and hard, you have to hold the bowl softly even if that means being in an unnatural state. This is all about trial and error. You have to take multiple images and keep adjusting your hands to get them looking natural and soft.


5. Composites are your friend. Have you ever wanted to take a table scene with multiple people in it to showcase their hands but you’re all alone? This is where composites come in handy. You can take images with multiple sets of hands when you’re the only person in the image. Just make sure the lighting and the composition is not changing then edit everything in photoshop. I’ll do a small video on this on my Instagram so be on the look out.

soup composite

6. Be mindful of how the light hits your hands. It’s good to have your hands in the opposite direction of the light so that they’re well light and they don’t get too overexposed. If this does not go with your story, edit the lighting in post production.

7. Editing your hands. Editing food and people are two very different things. So when it comes to editing you have to edit the hands differently from how you edit the food. I do this in photoshop with the selective tool. You want your hands to look lively and not dead or too yellow or red.

I hope this helps you master hands in frame, go out there and experiment. Check out these other photography tips here.

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