SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A valley photographer is going above and beyond to help those who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Professional photographer Tony Taafe is making sure job seekers put their best smile forward when they're sending out resumes.
"I was at home in Scottsdale lying on the floor, you know in quarantine, doig exercises for two weeks after everything got closed down in Arizona. I think I wasn't alone in trying to figure out in what do.. what's the next move kind of thing," he said.
"It was driving me crazy for a couple of weeks. I was thinking of nothing but that it was getting me no where so I flipped and did a 180.. I started thinking how can we help?"
Taafe came up with the idea to help America get back to work by producing complimentary professional headshots for 10,000 unemployed workers nationwide.
Taafe says studies show people who include headshots in their resume receive 21 more profile views.
"When I first moved to L.A., I was a photo journmalist. I did that non stop for four years.. traveled nonstop. It was like 46 states in those four years and it burned me out. I loved every minute of it, but it burned me out a little," said Taafe.
That's when he founded Headshot Booker, the world's largest consortium of accredited photographers trained in the art of the headshot. Taafe teamed up with retail real estate giant Brookfield Properties and shopping centers around the country were used as locations for the photo shoots.
"Everyone is going to wear masks. The delivery system with the images will be contactless also once the image is taken."
Headshots were sent immediately after they were taken electronically, giving both the photographers and job seekers a sense of hope.
"There are no words to see so many people instantly find themselves in a situatuion where they are powerless. They don't know what the next move is. It's nationwide. They're the people we want to help with this.. the people who are trying to make the move in the jobs market," said Taafe.