by Emily Sakzewsk
What do your hands say about you?
UK photographer Tim Booth believes the hands tell a more honest story about what a person has been through than faces.In an extensive photographic study, Booth has turned images of people’s hands into an alternative form of portraiture.
Photo: Deborah Bull has danced before presidents, kings and queens, and on many occasions has had roles created especially for her. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography)
“When you look at just the hands, your mind is free from pre-conceptions and is able to imagine the whole life of the person, their completeness, rather than just the aesthetic of a face,” he told the ABC.
He has had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most well-known people, including England’s former rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.But Booth is also intrigued by the not as well-known, everyday people with a lifetime of experience in their trade. Photo: Tom Kennedy, a baker for nearly half a century, had never taken a day off in 49 years. He lost the end of his finger in a bicycle accident when he was twelve. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography) Photo: Frank Suarez’s hands are extensions to the tools of his trade as a mechanic. He says they’re so ingrained with oil it takes him a week to get them completely clean. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography) Since then, Booth has chosen his subjects based on their profession. He chooses people whose hands are intricately involved in the world they produce.“There were also just some people who I really wanted to photograph because of what they had managed to achieve in their lifetime, such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes the explorer who’s exploits are more or less legendary,” he said. Photo: Jonny Wilkinson’s now famous pre-kick hands clasped gesture, developed over the years, helps him go to a place where he can drown out the mayhem and clear his mind. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography) Photo: In 1962 Nick Mason made some new friends at Poly: four years later they became Pink Floyd. He has drummed for somewhere between 15-20,000 hours. (Supplied: Tim Booth Photography.)