You’ve probably seen their hands before: showing off nail polish, pouring cereal, scrubbing floors, or jabbing at iPhones in advertisements. But even the world’s most in-demand hand models, whose elegant fingers, deep nail beds, and hairless knuckles are often insured for seven-figure sums, remain faceless in their ad campaigns.
A new book, Head Shots of Hand Models, designed by M.G.T. Studio, reveals the faces of top models signed to London’s Hired Hands Agency. Their portraits, shot by photographer Oli Kellett and author Alex Holder, are paired with images of their smooth, slender fingers handling bananas.
One model pictured, Nina, is Kate Moss’s hand double (apparently even Moss has flaws) and moisturizes her hands up to 30 times a day. Another, Frederic, is carrying on the family business: his father and uncle both modeled their beautiful hands. And Adnan stands apart from the pack as the only double-jointed, Middle-Eastern hand model signed to the agency.
A career as a famous hand model comes with many of the perks of being a fashion model–namely, getting paid for being born with nice-looking body parts–but without the fear of being hassled by paparazzi or recognized on the street. Top parts models earn around $1,000 a day for TV commercials, and from $2,000-$5,000 a day for print work. “A top girl–a hand model with good legs and feet–can make around $75,000 a year,” Linda Teglovic, president of Body Parts Models, Inc., told Forbes. (According to career site GlassDoor, the average fashion model salary is around $80,000 a year.) But the stubby-fingered and wrinkly-knuckled among us need not lament: one hand model featured couldn’t work for a year after getting a wart, and many hand models have to avoid simple joys like cooking and playing sports for fear of damaging their delicate assets.