They moisturize 30 times a day. They know 200 different ways to pick up a Lego brick. They can method act with a Ferrero Roche. They’re the only people who get paid as much for cleaning a toilet as they do for modeling a diamond.
These models are the stars of the biggest advertising campaigns around. They adorn huge billboards. Their five fingers are insured for seven figure sums. Some are classed as supermodels. But you’ve never seen their faces.
And as one model pointed out ‘You never realize just how often you see a hand model in an advert’. It’s true, and every time you do, it probably belongs to one of the faces in this book. When the BBC cuts in close to David Attenborough’s hand holding a snail, that’s Paul’s. Nina hand-doubles for Kate Moss.
These hand models clean baths, touch screens, take crisps out of packets and place cat food on to polished kitchen floors. And if you think it’s easy, think again: it’s a hard days work when you’re cupping another mans chin for hours at a time or pouring gravy over cold turkey 38 times.
The idea began while on a advertising TV shoot. A female hand model was on her break and I saw that she was trying to turn the pages of her book while sporting an enormous pair of black biker gloves to protect her hands from paper cuts. Seeing the day to day ‘sacrifices’ hand models had to endure intrigued me to look more closely at the world of hand modeling. Along with Oli Kellett a friend and long time collaborator we created the book ‘Hand Jobs’.
I stand in for little boy’s hands so if you see someone playing with a power ranger or an action man on tv, it’s probably me.
I’m the only double jointed, middle eastern hand model on my agency’s books.
I call myself a hand specialist, but I got the label “Supermodel” because after a while I got every single casting.
I come from a line of hand models, both my father and my uncle do the same job.
I didn’t know hand modelling was a thing until I saw a commercial and thought ‘I could do that’.
My family think it’s fab, it’s almost as if they know a film star.
The first advert I did was for twix. For nine hours I tried to find a 1000 different ways to hold a stick of chocolate.
I do look after my hands but it doesn’t limit my life. If I have to carry wood or something, I’ll wear special gloves.
When you first visit the agency you have to place your hands on a blue tray while the agent inspects them with a magnifying glass.
Castings are weird. At least with acting auditions you’ll know how you’ve done.
People just don’t realise how many times a day you see a hand on a billboard.
I don’t play with kittens, I don’t smoke roll ups and I don’t change bicycle chains.
I was booked to hand double a big hollywood celebrity but wasn’t told her name. Imagine my surprise when I finally saw my hands on screen but ‘colour corrected’ to match the stars complexion, who was white!
People do get a bit jealous when I get to try out new technologies before they get released.
I left my job as a housing officer on a friday and by monday I was hand modelling, holding a naked lady on top of me.
They book me when they don’t want a female’s hand but don’t want a big man’s hand either. I normally find if I don’t get booked for a job it’s because they decided to go with a female hand instead.
I have large male hands so have always done hand shakes and power tools.
The late, great guy bourdin was photographing my legs for french vogue and remarked on how elegant my hands were. After that my hands began a modelling career all of their own.
I once had six-meter replicas of my hands made and erected in seven countries around the world.
Both me and my boyfriend are hand models. He actually made an instagram account about our hands.
As a child I was routinely teased by my siblings about my hands being so soft. Now I’m a hand model and they’re a carpenter, an electrician and a mechanic.
People’s first reaction is usually to make a smart remark about zoolander the movie, asking if I also wear those glass gloves to protect my hands.
My mum and sister once caught me coming out of a nail bar and have never let me hear the end of it.