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Get to know the Head Shots of Hand Models

Everyone remembers what J.P. Prewitt – the world’s greatest hand model – told Derek Zoolander: “I’m a hand model, mama. A finger jockey. We think differently than the face and body boys…we’re a different breed.” And although Prewitt’s chamber preserved money-maker met its demise a few minutes later, his words stayed forever. It’s true: hand models are a different breed, mainly distinguished by the fact that you never know what kind of face matches the digits that flash the rings or the wrists that showcase the watches. That is, until now.

Alex Holder works at the ad agency Anomaly London, which is where she got the idea for her new book: Headshots of Hand Models. In it she says, “After spending lots of time on sets with hand and feet models I became fascinated with this strange industry. How did they become hand models? Were they ‘spotted’? How do they look after their hands?” Along with partner and fellow executive creative director at Anomaly photographer Oli Kellet they set out to give to light a very different part of these models lives: their faces.

In the book the models share interesting things about themselves, like their rituals, how they began to work in this industry, and even reveal the insurance figures some of these models have on their assets (figures rack up to seven sums, yikes!). For example, for Frederic the industry is legacy – both his father and uncle do the same job, and Giulia is a stand in for little boys’ hands. How’s that for a plot twist?

Next time you watch a commercial or see an ad with a hand in them pay close attention – the face behind it might be sharing a pole with you on the subway or behind you at the grocery store.

Photos courtesy of Oli and Alex

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