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Photographers offer free headshots for unemployed

Pop-up studio in Altamonte Springs part of nationwide single-day photo initiative

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – It was a day to suit-up for those who are unemployed due to the coronavirus.

Several photographers partnered with local businesses to create a pop-up studio inside the Altamonte Mall, offering free headshots for professionals who lost their jobs during the pandemic. It’s all part of nationwide event called “10,000 Headshots.”

The complimentary headshots will be held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the event is open to anyone currently unemployed. Participants are asked to register for a time slot at HeadshotBooker.com.

“It’s been tough. I work in the travel industry, so it was hit hard here in Orlando, but I love my role and looking forward to people traveling again and theme parks reopening and getting back into the swing of things,” said Maravi Melendez-Davis, who was furloughed in May.

Melendez-Davis said her husband also lost his job during the pandemic.

More than 200 photographers will participate across all 50 states, creating pop-up studios at nearly every Brookfield retail location nationwide. Headshots will be provided to participants on site through the platform SpotMyPhotos.

Photographers like Zach Tillman say the experience provides more than just a photograph.

“Being able to give back through headshots is already super rewarding. It’s such a fun time working with people and helping them with self-confidence and walking away with a headshot feeling better about themselves,” Tillman said.

Some photographers said the base price for a high-quality, professional headshot is typically around $250, which equates to more than $2.5 million in collective services the photographers will provide through the initiative.

Those who showed up to get their picture taken said the fresh headshots will help them stand out when job hunting and applying online.

Melendez-Davis said she is confident the economy will bounce back and she’s hopeful she and her husband will get back into the workforce soon.


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