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Hand Model Is a Real Thing and Here's How Much They Make From Just Holding Things on Camera

A New York agent representing more than 200 hands in the country believes that "parts modeling is the unsung stepchild of the modeling industry."
Cover Image Source: Hand Modeling | fauxels
Cover Image Source: Hand Modeling | fauxels

Hand modeling has become one of the leading ways to increase product engagement for a brand. While hand modeling may look easy, it involves long hours of exhausting photoshoots and requires the model to take care of their hands to the next level. Alexandra Berrocal is one such hardworking hand model working in NYC and earns close to $30,000 a year simply by showing off her hands, as per NY Post. "It’s a very niche industry," the 37-year-old told The Post. "There’s not that many people that know it’s even a real thing," she told the publication. "A lot of times, I’ll tell my friends like what I did for a gig and they are, like, 'What? You got paid to pour coffee into a cup or like squeeze product into your hands and rub it around like that?'" she added.

Dani Korwin, a New York agent representing more than 200 hands in the country believes that "parts modeling is the unsung stepchild of the modeling industry," Korwin, who was once a hand model herself told Vogue. "Most people don’t think about all the times you see a hand or foot in a print ad, on a website, or in a commercial," she adds. As per Vogue, the day rates for the parts model fall between $150 and $500 for editorial and from $250 to $2,500 for advertisements, which is roughly the same for standard models.

Korwin also talked about how hand models have the freedom to work with two competitors at the same time. "And because it is unrecognizable, you can shoot for Panasonic one day, and Samsung the next,” says Korwin. “There’s no exclusivity," she tells Vogue.

Berrocal is not the only one making it big in the city. Ellen Sirot, another hand model is also known for working with top brands and says that she views her hand as "Olympic athlete's."

While the gigs in this world are not always consistent, they still pay pretty generously. "One month can be two to three times, and then another month could be like 10 times,” she added. "You never know," Berrocal said. As per Berrocal, each hand model has their unique competitive advantage. What works for her is the fact that she has a smaller hand which helps her make the beauty product look bigger.

For people looking to make a career in this world, the first few steps would include maintaining their hands and building a hand-modeling portfolio, which will help them bag more gigs. Another important thing is to be part of a hand model network, which is critical to the success of any hand model.

Photo by cottonbro studio:
Robot and a human hand (representative image | Pexels | Photo by cottonbro studio

However, it's worth noting that with the rise of AI, careers like these will slowly become less popular, as CGI and AI are becoming easily accessible. It won't be long before AI will be able to produce extremely convincing results. As per McKinsey, AI will be able to add $150 billion to $275 billion to the operating profits of the fashion and luxury sectors in the next five years.