You don't always need a full portrait to reveal character. A child hiding behind their hands, grinning, a baker's hands kneading dough or the fingers of a guitar player strumming strings is all that's needed to tell their story.
Your 50mm lens
is great for portraits of hands. If you're working indoors take your flash along but diffuse it if you can to stop it looking so harsh.
Keep an eye on the light and watch your white balance. Auto does a good job but try the different settings your camera has to see how these look too. Watch shadows and if you can move yourself or your subject to remove them.
If you're working with a subject you can pose make sure they're relaxed as unless they're a prize-winning fighter you won't want them to have clenched fists. Ask them to keep their fingers still as focusing can be difficult if they're moving even with auto focus. If you have some props, try giving them something to hold as this will keep their hands busy. This will also help them relax as they won't be wondering what to do with their hands if they have something to hold.
Shooting side-on will look better than photographing hands from the front as this can make them look a little odd. Also, look to see if the background will add to your image. A women carrying a bowl in a busy market will tell much more of a story if you include some of the colour and shapes of the market in the shot.
You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.