Connected Family Portraits — It’s All About the Hands

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but when it comes to family portraits in Santa Barbara, I disagree — it’s all about the hands. At the beginning of my family sessions, I mention to my families “Always have your hand on someone else.” Whether it’s on someone else’s hand, shoulder, waist, or cheek. I want my clients to be doing something with their hands that connects them to their family.

When clients do this, everything else — posing, interactions, expressions, laughter — just seems to fall into place easily. It may seem obvious, but unless you’re a professional model, you may not know what to do with your hands during a portrait session. And how awkward would you feel standing in front of a camera with your hands by your sides? Or just in your pockets? The solution — just touch your family, whether it be a hug, tickle, or squeeze.

Below are some examples of photos where the hands really show the family’s connection. As you look at these, imagine if the families were instead posed “traditionally” with their hands by their sides. See what a difference the hands make.