LinkedIn photos for Veterans
I have to admit that I was nervous when the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) contacted Kelicomm to take more than one hundred headshots and LinkedIn photos at their upcoming career fair for veterans. Yikes! We generally take photos of between 10 and 20 individuals on a location shoot.
After talking with Christine, who manages communication for DEED, I realized what an important event this was for veterans looking for work. Ramping up a LinkedIn profile with an enhanced, professional headshot can improve job prospects. Kelicomm agreed to provide two photographers and capture as many LinkedIn photos as we could in their one-day event. To make it happen, we augmented our staff with three additional assistants to ensure that everything ran smoothly, even though it would stretch our budget even more than it already was.
In the end, I have no regrets that we pulled out all the stops to make this important event happen for DEED. I was moved, humbled and inspired by all of the people who stepped in front of my camera that day. There were many moments during our photo shoot that really struck a chord with me.
There was a vet with a hearing aide who was having trouble hearing my direction and commented, “I’m sure this is difficult for you, photographing veterans when most of them have difficulty hearing.” It didn’t take long for that to sink in. Another gentleman was in a wheelchair and we had to adjust our lights for him. This gave us a vivid reminder of the need to be prepared for people of all abilities and mobilities when doing a headshot photo session.
There were people of all ages, genders and ethnicities at the event. The older people especially humbled me as they now found themselves without work but are doing everything they can to find their next job or career. We also appreciated the many people who were clearly recent immigrants and bravely served to protect their new country: that they risked their lives to protect their new freedoms particularly moved me.
Because many people in my family have served in the Armed Forces I was touched deeply by this event. In fact, two of my nieces are currently active: one in Germany and the other in basic training in Texas. This fact made me realize the importance of helping returning vets find gainful employment after they have served.
For several years, we have offered a 10 percent discount to any vet who comes to our studio for a LinkedIn photo. We will continue to offer that discount in the hopes that we can help them improve their LinkedIn profile and in turn, find the job they want.