I was in the US Navy for a brief time. There I learned 2 things, 1 that it was not a good career path for me, and 2 personal discipline, how to wake up at 4:30 in the morning and work effectively and efficiently. It’s been 40 years, and I still wake up at 5:00 in the morning, but I sleep in until 6:00 on weekends. I’ve applied this structure and discipline to my business. I’m a great communicator, organized and efficient, engaging, compassionate, and kind, and I thank the Navy for these essential lessons early on.
Dean Birinyi, executive headshot photographer, owner of Professional Headshots Palo Alto in his studio
38 Years and Still Going Strong
I also have 38 years of face-to-face customer service experience: negotiating, relating, recruiting, influencing, conflict resolution, goal setting, and achievement. This experience is invaluable when working with diverse individuals. I can quickly build rapport and get people to drop their guard and express themselves in front of the camera because they know I'm as interested in making them look good as they are.
Dean Birinyi, executive headshot photographer, owner of Professional Headshots Palo Alto
From Babies to Business Execs
I was a commercial photographer. I worked with remarkably talented professionals from the design, advertising, and marketing industries for 32 years, winning over 150 awards. After three decades, I was ready for a change and thought of teaching but found I needed a degree. So, I started work on an MFA.
After sharing the story of how I began my career (doing children’s portraits in Kmart) with a woman after class one night, she asked if I didn’t like the work. I responded that I loved the work but hated the job. This realization motivated me to explore other options.
I found professional headshots and fell in love with the minimalist nature and intimacy of the genre. I’ve dedicated the second half of my career to creating professional and executive photography in Silicon Valley and look forward to coaching people in expressing themselves in their personal and professional branding.