Memoirs

If These Hands Could Talk, Memoirs of a Part-Time Hand Model (because sometimes I hand model.)

I stepped trepidly into the fast-paced world of hand modeling, confident only in the delicate bone structure I’d inherited from my bird-like mother. Where could a too-tall girl from the outskirts of Boston fit in among the hand elite? Would I be welcomed with open fingers?

I gain my inspiration from the gentle fall of rain against the salt-kissed shingles of an old Nantucket cabin. Now let’s dive in:

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This was admittedly my first shoot, as demonstrated by the tension I’m carrying in my wrist. Since I’d yet to find my own hand-voice, I turned to a 1953 Harper’s Bazaar glove ad and dramatic manicure for inspiration.

 

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You can really feel the fire in this one. Just look at that vein! It says: I am here to play, but make no mistake, I am also here to win. I would be remiss not to note that each of those game pieces is a surprisingly strong magnet, hence the frenetic blur in the center of the board. Harnessing this natural energy was no small task, but I’m pleased with the photo and my index finger is recognized in public at least three times per week.

 

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Classic beauty shot, but it is often said that simplicity is the hardest form to master. This was an arduous day, but you wouldn’t know it looking at my relaxed hand as it forms the industry standard “blade” pose. Truth be told, the cuff was too large for my slender wrists. After locking myself in my trailer for three hours, demanding to know who had neglected to take my measurements, I emerged a pristine vision of professionalism. It only took one shot. We celebrated with some fine Amaro

 

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We had some fun with this one! But even fun requires unwavering focus. I knew immediately that we would need a closed set. To the unseasoned hand model, a small pile of blueberries is tantamount to scaling Mount Kilmanjaro. I’ve seen even the strongest modèles à main crumble under the pressure of a grape prop. I was determined to make my mark with this shoot, and as the story goes, I took one pluck with the modified chopsticks and made history.

 

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If you’re wondering why this image forces you to to see life from another perspective, it’s because I channeled everything for this one: joy, grief, melancholy, the excitement of a child at Christmas. Once I knew I’d captured the shot, I collapsed to the floor, drained of any and all physical power.

 

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The passage of time brings about many emotions, but to a hand model with such a robust body of work, it can be especially poignant. I asked that we play Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” as I prepared for this shoot, internalizing the painted ponies as the photographer’s final click echoed in my ears.