Though typically found behind the camera, one photographer was placed in front on Friday. 

Paul Richardson, Founder and President of Storyworkz Photography, enhances clients’ businesses, capturing photos of products, architecture, and headshots. 

“Oh, I’ve been a photographer for over 30 years,” he said.  

When the pandemic hit, Richardson used his skills to help Vermonters in need. He and photographers across the nation banded together to get furloughed individuals back on their feet by providing 50 free, professional headshots one day in July.

Twenty-four Vermonters took advantage of the opportunity, learning how to pose and give their best, confident smiles on camera.

“Really, a good photograph makes a connection between the person being photographed and the person who views the photo later,” said Richardson. 

One of the participants is newly employed Vermonter Lauren Bass.  

“I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know how and didn’t feel confident about my online presence at all,” said Bass. So, when the opportunity came to get an actual professional headshot and put that onto social media, I didn’t feel ridiculous reaching out to different companies.”

 Lauren said her headshot gave her that extra boost of confidence in her day-to-day life.  

 “I went from being unemployed to over-employed,” said Bass.

The same is true for another participant. A Vermonter who is now working as a recruiter at IDR, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“One of the things I’ve come to learn about being a recruiter is how important that LinkedIn and those professional headshots are,” said Ben McCormick.

Mccormick graduated from Clemson University in May and said he’s thrilled to be back and working in the south. 

“Especially for a recent college graduate it can be hard to separate yourself without real-world job experience and so having a really professional LinkedIn profile went a long way in helping me find some employment,” he said. 

But if you ask Richardson, he was doing his job.  

“I mean there’s a lot of things I’m sure a lot more significant…it’s going to be their background, their experience, who they are as a person, but if that can add into the mix and that can help them get a leg up, absolutely, it makes me feel great,” he said.