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  • Dean Birinyi

The body language you use in your headshot makes a world of difference.

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

The people in my headshots always look authentic and “on.” It’s not just the contemporary lighting, uncluttered backgrounds, wardrobe, and hairstyling. That’s all really important, of course. Bad lighting, messy hair, or wrinkled clothes will ruin an otherwise great photo as well...but, want to know the trick?


My best trick is….Body language. Now, you might be wondering, “What the heck does body language have to do with a headshot?”

We communicate thoughts, attitudes, and status to others using body language without thinking. It’s so instinctive, and we don’t even realize we’re doing it most of the time. Here’s an example: We can tell a person is engaged and interested because they lean in a little bit. We know they’re paying close attention because they look you right in the eye. A person’s self-confidence is seen in the set of their shoulders.

Chinese man's company headshot.
Mason Shi, Venture Capitalist, Investor, Entrepreneur



But the real secret of body language in my headshots is this communication goes both ways. We’ve all heard of or seen Amy Cuddy’s TED talk or her research showing that adopting a “superhero pose” and holding it for a couple of minutes alters our hormone levels and psychology to be more assertive.


“So it seems that participants who assume a couple of superhero-type stances for a grand total of two minutes feel more powerful and act that way: Stand like a superhero, feel like a superhero, act like a superhero.”
-Psychology Today
Confident woman. Female executive company headshot
Cherie Goodenough, Director of Strategic Initiatives

This is why I have my people stand up, lean in, and play an active part in creating their professional portraits. Everyone feels better about being photographed this way because they’re “on,” and they feel more in control of the situation. (As we all know, executives really like to feel in control of a situation.)


Next time you’re booking company headshots, think about what your executive's body language is saying about them as three-dimensional individuals and about your brand.


Dean-


#companyheadshots #bodylanguage #execuitveheadshots #engagment #branding


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