Richard Waine believes a professional headshot is more than just a feature of an attractive resume or LinkedIn page.
A photo can help potential employers and clients connect with an individual. A person, after all, is more than bullet points of experience and references.
Waine, a professional photographer in Lancaster, says the key to a successful headshot is a person’s expression.
“Headshot photography is a specialty, because people really want to look polished and refined and have the appropriate expression. … The expression tells everything,” Waine says.
Waine is one of four photographers who will be providing that specialty free of charge to unemployed individuals at Park City Center on Wednesday. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Lancaster County has 32,000 residents currently unemployed. In April, the unemployment rate — 15.3% — was the worst the county has seen since the Great Depression.
Waine will be joined on Wednesday by Lancaster photographer Sam Interrante and Phoenixville photographers Jim McAndrew and Gary Walens.
Their efforts are part of a nationwide initiative called 10,000 Headshots, a partnership between photography agency Headshot Booker and Brookfield Properties, the real estate company that owns Park City Center. The project will coordinate 200 photographers in all 50 states to provide 10,000 headshots free of charge in a single day.
The sessions at Park City will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Waine says if he and the other photographers are fully booked, they’ll collaboratively provide 200 headshots. Each individual receives a 10-minute time slot for their photo.
Registration is required to ensure things run smoothly, as well as to limit the amount of people in the space at one time to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Photographers will wear masks throughout the sessions and there will be contactless photo delivery to participants through the website SpotMyPhotos.
More information about the exact location inside Park City Center, as well as other necessary guidelines, will be given to participants after they register for a time slot.
Waine says professional headshots cost roughly $250, meaning $2.5 million to $3 million of services will be donated to the unemployed throughout the day.
Tips to prepare
Waine says those who take advantage of this service should present themselves how they would for an in-person interview or audition. In his experience, he says solid-color clothing is best.
“The goal, of course, is to make you the center of attention, and your clothing should complement the expression and should complement the overall demeanor and feeling of the image,” Waine says.
The most important element, however, is authenticity.
“Whomever looks at that image is either going to develop a connection with you or not, and they can always tell whether or not you’re being disingenuous or being authentic,” Waine says. “The image will tell.”
The 10,000 Headshots project is the brainchild of Tony Taafe, who co-founded headshot booker with fellow photographers Peter Hurley, Waine’s mentor, and Lauren Lieberman.
“Basically, what you have here is a conglomeration of incredible people coming together to help a lot of people,” Waine says.
Waine, who has been working as a professional photographer for 11 years, says he’s never seen a one-day endeavor quite like this.
“In all of my time, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Waine says. “This is one for the books.”