Ten-thousand headshots taken by 200 photographers in all 50 states in one day.
Local photographer Paul Richardson volunteered his time to do just that Wednesday. As a way to help job seekers during the Pandemic, Richardson aimed to give away 50 free, professional headshots.
“Yeah. Turn your face back towards the camera…perfect,” said Richardson behind the camera.
Churchstreet’s CityPlace Mall housed his studio for the day. Job seekers were encouraged to make an appointment online for a 10-minute session. After the shoot, they sent a link to view their photos.
“About 40,000 Vermonters, or more, are now out of work and they can use every little bit of help they can get,” said Paul Richardson, President of StoryWorkz.
Headshot Booker teamed up with Brookfield properties to provide the space. On any other day, Richardson is working in his Montpelier studio called StoryWorkz, a photography and marketing business which he has led for over 30 years.
Richardson said he was inspired to be part of someone’s “get back to work story” and was determined to bring out his clients’ confidence.
“Think about it. You wouldn’t buy something on Amazon, without seeing a picture of it, and your employer is probably thinking the same thing,” said Richardson.
One client was a recent college graduate from Clemson University. Vermonter Ben McCormick was going to work in Nashville but COVID-19 hindered his plans, and he didn’t want to pass this up.
“I was very excited. I mean, that’s an awesome opportunity and will hopefully help me a lot during this job search,” said McCormick.
Another was laid off after working five years at a local hospitality company. After her session, she said couldn’t wait to put her headshots on social media.
“It’s really an amazing gift because headshots can be expensive,” said Alyssa Frederick, event coordinator at Westport Hospitality.
Typically headshots can be anywhere from $200 – $400, but Richardson was happy and willing to support fellow Vermonters.
“If one person can be able to provide better for their family as a result of this, then I’m going to be ecstatic,” said Richardson.