How to Take Photos and Prints of Your Hands
If you are planning to have an online session with me, please send prints or photos of your hands following the instructions below. You have two solutions:
The Quick Solution: Photos of your hands - A faster solution, but you won't see changes over time
The More Involved Solution: Clear Handprints - So you can to keep track of your changes over time
Photos of Your Hands
Three (3) samples of both hands are required for the reading. Please read those instructions carefully BEFORE you take the pictures.
- Put your hand flat on a surface in a position that is natural for you (i.e. the fingers can be separated or held together depending on what feels right for you.) Take a photo of the back of your hand (preferably without nail polish or fake nails).
- Hold your hand up, with your fingers straight, so that the photo shows the inside of your palms and your fingers.
- Take a close-up picture of your palm. Make sure it shows all details (including skin ridges and small lines). Don't send any blurry pictures.
Important Tips for Photos
- Both hands can be on the same photo, or you can take a photo of each hand separately.
- The hands need to be well lighted, but not too brightly, otherwise the lines will be washed out. Soft side lighting usually shows the most details. Click here for a sample of the level of detail required.
- Make sure the camera is perpendicular to the hand, so that the length of the fingers is not distorted.
- Do not get the camera too close to the hand, which may make the picture fuzzy or distorted. Instead, use the zoom.
- Your photos should be large enough to show details (minimum width of 1000 pixels), but make sure that your whole email is no more than 10 megs.
- When sending your photos, indicate whether you are right- or left-handed, i.e. the hand you use to sign documents.
In an art or office supply store--or on Amazon--, an ink pad costs between $3 and $10 USD, and a roller between $5 and 12 USD. Keep reading to find out how to use this equipment to take your own handprints. If someone is helping you, it will be even easier.
The Print-Taking Process
- An ink pad
- A roller
- Newspapers to protect the table on which you will take your prints
- At least four sheets of standard format white paper
- Running water nearby, with paper towels and liquid dish detergent
2. Roll the roller on the ink pad, to cover it with a thin layer of ink. Then apply the inked roller everywhere on your palm.
3. To take the actual print, place your inked, left hand down in the middle of one of the white sheets of paper, in a natural position. Use your right hand to press firmly down on the back of your left palm (press only once to avoid smudges).
5. Before removing your hand, hold the paper down on the table with heavy objects at the top of the sheet, and two fingers of your right hand at the bottom of the sheet. This will keep your left hand from sticking to the paper. Lift up your left hand in a quick, vertical motion.
7. Don’t wash your left hand yet. Wear a disposable glove on this hand or, if you don’t have any, put your hand in a plastic bag, and tie it with an elastic band around your wrist.
8. Repeat the entire process (2 to 6), taking prints of your right hand.
When you have taken clear prints of both hands, clean your hands using the following 3-part process:
2) Repeat the first step – again without water – and dissolve most of the ink before wiping off your hands a second time.
3) Wash your hands normally with soap and water. Your hands should now be clean!
You can use the same process to clean the roller for next use.
Don’t forget to write your full name and the current date on each print. If you are getting your prints analyzed, specify whether you are right-handed or left-handed (i.e., the hand you sign with).
If you want to scan your prints to send them by email, choose a resolution of at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) and make sure the ink is dry before you start the scan.
If you don’t have a scanner, take photos of the prints with an app like Office Lens.
Problems and Solutions
Taking good handprints requires a bit of practice. You may run into a few problems that can be easily fixed. Please download the 4-page PDF document that provides solutions for the following problems:
- A hole in the middle of the palm
- Double lines or smudges
- Parts that shouldn’t appear on the print
- Pressing too hard
- Rolled fingertips
- Printing of the thumb
- Indented edges of the hand
- Rolled fingertips
- Outline of Luna and Mars Negative
- Ambivalent prints
- Hand opening
- Distorted photos
Click on picture to access PDF document
Don’t hesitate to take many prints. As Immanuel Kant said, “The hand is the visible part of the brain.” You probably know that our hands change all the time, reflecting what is happening in our brain and our life. Consequently, handprints are actually a snapshot of what is happening within you at a specific time of your life. Isn’t it worth spending a little time and effort on taking the best snapshot possible?
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