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About Dean Birinyi, Photographer & Owner,
Professional Headshots Palo Alto


Life is short. Eat dessert first.

I’m very lighthearted. One of my favorite ice-breakers is to tell a joke, then put on a straight face and warn people that I think I’m a comedian and am on a life-long quest to find people who agree.
I love making people smile and feel good about themselves. It makes me feel good to brighten someone’s day by making them laugh.

I’m known to steal jokes, but I only steal from the best (Thank you, Milton Berle), and I offer my own for the taking. My comedic models are Abbot and Costello, George Burns, and Rodney Dangerfield.


Albert Einstein is attributed with saying, “A day without learning is a day wasted.” I believe this is true, and I have spent my entire life seeking to learn something new daily.

The advantage my dedication to life-long learning gives me is a depth of knowledge and access to the wisdom of many brilliant people that I apply to my own life and the work I do, as well as offer to others in appropriate circumstances or if they ask for my help. 

The most challenging thing I’ve ever tried to learn (besides algebra) is to listen. Sometimes this is hard because I have what I feel may be a solution to a challenge someone is facing, but my DW has taught me that sometimes people facing challenges need to unload their burden.

My Backstory

I was in the US Navy for a brief time. I served one tour, and that was enough.

I’ve been a professional photographer for 35 years. I began my career as a professional photographer doing baby pictures in K-mart department stores. It was fun to work with the kids, but it was a terrible job. So, I went into commercial photography. 

For the next 30 years, I worked with remarkably talented professionals from the design, advertising, and marketing industries. I loved collaborating with people who had the same high standards for themselves as I did. We achieved many remarkable accomplishments together, winning over 200 awards for my work.

After three decades, I was ready for a change and thought of teaching in retirement, but I needed a degree. So, I started work on an MFA.

After sharing how I began my career doing children’s portraits with a young woman after class one night, she asked if I didn’t like the work. Without thinking, I responded that I loved the work but hated the job. This realization motivated me to explore the creative opportunities in doing men's and women’s business portraits. 

I found professional headshots and fell in love with the minimalist nature and intimacy of the genre. The challenge of helping people express themselves engages with my supportive heart and satisfies my need for challenging intellectual work.

I’ve dedicated the second half of my career to creating professional headshots for both men and women in the Palo Alto studio. I look forward to coaching people to express themselves in their branding and guiding them to look good in their headshots.

Not sure where to get professional headshots, or what questions to ask a professional photographer? 

The Headshot Success Guide will teach you all you need to know to ask good questions to help you make well-informed decisions about your headshots and your professional headshot photographer.

Viewable Online or PDF Download.

Table of Contents:

Handshots & Handshakes

Every picture tells a story

Why Hire a Pro

Controlling perceptions

Selecting Your Photographer

The wrong photographer will not give you the right headshots

Dressing for Success

Combining style with professionalism

7 Essential Headshot Tips for Men

9 Key Headshot Tips For Women

Don’t Sit For It

Projecting strength and confidence in your headshots

Selecting Your Headshot

Setting the stage for your next career move

Projecting Your Executive Presence

Promoting engagement with your headshots

Executive Headshot Success Guide

I offer only excellence.

Open Saturday for your convenience  •. Hours: Tues - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sunnyvale  •  Mountain View  •  Los Altos   •   East Palo Alto  •  Palo Alto  •  Stanford  •  Menlo Park 

Professional Headshots Palo Alto 4020 Fabian Way, Suite 101 Palo Alto, CA 94303   415-967-2508 

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