Phoenixville Photographers Join Headshots Project for Unemployed

PHOENIXVILLE PA – Two professional portrait photographers based in Phoenixville, Jim McAndrew and Gary Walens, plan to donate their time and talents July 22 (2020, Wednesday) and provide free headshot photos job-seekers can use to add professionalism to their resumes, Linked-In profiles, and social media accounts.

McAndrew, of Jim McAndrew Photography, and Walens, of Gary Walens Photography – both with studios at 209 Bridge St. – are among 200 photographers nationwide who will participate in “10,000 Headshots.” It’s a single-day photo initiative to supply 10,000 unemployed Americans with a complimentary, professional headshot (like those at top).

The event is being sponsored by HeadshotBooker.com, a photo session scheduling agency, and the sessions themselves are being held at shopping centers and other suitable real estate owned or managed by Brookfield Properties.

The coronavirus pandemic sent millions of Americans to the unemployment line without warning, the photographers explain. “Our community, like so many others, was hit hard by COVID-19 and we were looking for ways to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” McAndrew said. ““We heard about what Headshot Booker and Brookfield Properties were doing across the country and wanted to be a part of it.”

McAndrew and Walens will work with two other photographers, both from the Lancaster area, for the head-shooting day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Park City Center shopping mall, 142 Park City Center, Lancaster. Those interested in taking advantage of the offer must book an appointment in advance and travel to the site to have their photos taken.

Photo sessions last for about 10 minutes. Details are available at the HeadshotBooker website, here. An alternate site in Pennsylvania, but not one at which McAndrew and Walens are working, is at Neshaminy Mall in Bucks County.

The sessions and their resulting photos have a value of more than $250. But more importantly, Walens and McAndrew add, a smart-looking photo can actually help land employment. Statistics indicate people who include headshots receive 21 times more profile views, and 9 times more ‘connection’ requests on social media, and prompt employer interest.

“We are proud and excited to host the “10,000 Headshots” initiative across our portfolio,” Brookfield Properties Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Snyder said. “As we continue to welcome guests back to our centers, we are grateful for this opportunity to help the members of our communities that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.”

Safety for all participants is a core focus. Each photographer will follow specific protocols to ensure safe distancing and hygiene practices throughout the day.

Event photo-sharing platform SpotMyPhotos is providing photo delivery online. Other partners in the project include Canon USA, Tether Tools, and PhotoFlashDrive.

Photos at top provided by JimMcAndrew of Jim McAndrew Photography