No doubt Ben Carson, or someone/group which supports his candidacy paid a professional $50,000 dollars or thereabouts to photograph him for his new book (A More Perfect Union - published today). Photographic skills aside, with regards to judgement - this was a quite amateurish and very poor choice for the cover - particularly when the goal is to win Carson the White House.
Carson's "smile" is not a smile at all - far from it - and most importantly it does not signal sincerity. Moreover his facial expression has components impatience as well as subtle contempt. The position of Carson's hand will (erroneously) suggest to some the emotion of boredom - which of course is never a good quality for a candidate. Yet together with these facial nonverbals, his specific hand configuration is projecting (rather significantly) the emotions of critical evaluation and dismissal.
Dr. Carson's left arm, across his chest with his palm resting on his right bicep - projects a closed mind (an example of blocking behavior) and an emotional tone of impatience.
In addition, in this day of high-definition video and images, most everyone senses this picture was photo shopped. If you show us your blemishes and imperfections, we will bond with you (for we have them too) - but if you hide them (and we see you pretending) you will push us away.
The next you're negotiating (or trying to make a sale) - never try to close if your opposition (or customer) takes on this body language. Ben Carson's nonverbal behavior on his new book cover will destroy rapport, not built it. It will cost him votes, not win them.
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3331: Mila finds out Adam Levine got married - Rapid Transitioning of Emotions
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3311: Ben Carson to Donald Trump - "He's an Okay Doctor" - Trump's Body Language Faux Pas
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3316: Ben Carson does not think that a Muslim Should be President - Is He Sincere - or Mimicking Trump's Tactics?
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3317: Scott Walker Drops Out of Presidential Race - A Classic Body Language Tell