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Hampton Roads photographers participate in '10,000 Headshots' project

The 10,000 Headshots initiative is a country wide movement meant to help people who are unemployed find a job, with the help of a free new professional headshot

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The truth of the matter is many people think of headshots as a frivolous expense, but according to LinkedIn, people who use a professional headshot get 21-times more profile views.

So on July 22, photographers across the country are participating in a movement to professionally photograph 10,000 people who are unemployed, to help them find their next job.

The project is called 10,000 Headshots.

Sean Voges has worked with a camera, photographing people since 1997 and he’s one of 200 photographers who are participating in the unique project during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Super excited,” said Voges with a smile underneath a face mask.

It’s a timely bit of help for the community, as thousands of people lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. Out of nearly 16,000 photographers who applied to participate, Voges and one other photographer are the only two chosen in Hampton Roads.

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On the big day, he’ll take headshots of about 50 people from six feet away. Each person gets a ten-minute time slot. One picture will be with the person wearing a mask, the other photos will be without a mask.

It may be free, but the confidence that it builds in the participants is priceless.

Voges said, “It’s just so exciting to see their face after the fact and they are just like, ‘Oh my God, that’s me?’"

Participants registered and are vetted online before getting the free photoshoot. Immediately after, they will receive the pictures on their phone, ready to use in their job search.

Voges said helping in this capacity is personal.

“It’s huge for me. I am lucky enough to have a day job outside of this. But I was furloughed for two months,” said Voges. Now he's hopefully helping fix an unemployment problem in the country, one photo at a time.

He said, “If one person gets their job back because this, I’ve done it.”

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