The secret messages hidden in our photographs

A picture speaks a thousand words – so the adage goes. But giving meaning to what the eye can see is often a challenge; from bad posture to tight lips, decoding the body language can seem as alien as a foreign tongue, writes Fiona Evans.

The body language we display in photographs can reveal much about us  (photo: Adobe)
The body language we display in photographs can reveal much about us (photo: Adobe)

However, photography experts at Parrot Print have identified seven body language cues along with their meaning to help us better understand our moods and relationships with others.

Many of us have heard of open and closed body language but it goes so much deeper than that.

Most experts agree that 70 to 93 per cent of communication is nonverbal so it’s important to understand what posture, gestures and distance tell us about ourselves and others.

ParrotPrint.com’s seven body language cues and what they mean in photographs:

1. Bad posture. If someone has bad posture in a picture it could indicate some stress or lack of confidence.

To appear positive, full of energy, be sure to stand with your chest out and your shoulders back for your pictures.

2. Head tilt. If people are tilting their heads towards one another in a picture this indicates they are fond of one another and they get along.

3. Tight lips. People who have their lips tightly sealed in photos can be seen as untrustworthy and the lack of an open smile could indicate that they're not as happy as they usually are.

4. Leaning head on chest. This one tends to be more for couples. If your partner is leaning their head on your chest in photos it indicates they feel safe and protected by you and that they are dependent on you.

5. Arm over someone's shoulder. If someone throws their arm over your shoulder when snapping a picture, it shows that they have a fairly dominant personality and they like to be in control.

6. Open body language. If someone's body language is generally open it means they are comfortable and confident.

They will be taking up most of the room with their legs and arms spread out.

7. Mirroring. When people mirror one another's body language, it becomes very clear that they’re very close and they probably spend a lot of time together and have picked up each other's mannerisms.