The Power of a Picture
Blok Studio was built with the idea of community in mind, and it has always been our mission to give back and inspire others to do the same. At Blok, we know the power of a photograph and the impact it can have on a person’s self-image and confidence. That’s why we are excited to have recently teamed up with St. Joseph the Worker (SJW) to provide complimentary headshots for Fast Track, a one-day seminar program created by SJW to help less fortunate men gain the resources they need to build their careers.
SJW has been helping homeless, low-income and other disadvantaged people become self-sufficient through quality employment opportunities for over 30 years. The people SJW help are the ones who want to be in the workforce but may not have the necessary knowledge or tools available to them. SJW works to help individuals secure quality employment by offering a variety of resources, including resume preparation, mock interviews, communication tips, internet access for job applications, professional clothing and bus passes for interview transportation.
With SJW’s Fast Track program, they take it a step further by working with local businesses to give these men additional resources. The people who participate in the Fast Track program start their day by getting fitted for a suit they can wear to interviews, often the first suit these men have ever owned. Throughout the day the participants get a crash course in resume writing, interview strategies and a LinkedIn seminar to gain insight on the digital world of employment. LinkedIn brings along the visual aspect of the job hunt, where companies now can put a face to a name when looking at a person’s online profile. That’s where Blok Studio comes in.
The power of a headshot can go a long way with employers. It gives a personality and a face to their profile. It makes them a real person and not just another application. We were thrilled to offer our photography services to this cause, especially when we learned that a professional headshot can increase the chances of employment by 36 percent. With this information, we knew the best way for us to help the participants was by providing them with a professional image they could use for their resumes and profiles. In this digital age we often take for granted services like photography, but for many individuals this is still an unaffordable luxury. We wanted to change this for the Fast Track members. Our crew set up a full headshot station, complete with viewing monitors so they could see their images instantly. We photographed 10 members going through the program, and each of them were hesitant to step in front of the camera. Many of them were either shy, uncomfortable, or wanted to “get this over with”. Before we started shooting we would break the ice with an introduction and a conversation. We then would pull reluctant smiles out of each one, with a few jokes or light hearted remarks about how we won’t let them leave without at least one shot of them smiling. Once we got the shot, they would walk over to the monitor to review their images. Each of the 10 gentlemen would stare at their image on the screen. For every single one of them this was the first headshot they had ever had. Seeing themselves on the screen, they had a new air of self-determination and hope. The look in their eyes is hard to put into words, but that’s what a photograph is for, right?
Through this experience we learned about the real impact a photograph can have on a person’s life. We work with photographers and models every day, but when these men got their first professional headshot it brought a new meaning to what we do. We realized how much we can help people with the skills and tools we have. Each one of these men were so grateful for the opportunity Fast Track and these photos are going to give them. An opportunity to make a change and take control of their life. We are so proud to be a part of their journey back into the workforce.
We can all help in our own way. It doesn’t always mean donating money or clothes, sometimes it’s your time or services. These are our community members, our friends and neighbors. When we can help individuals grow, we can help our communities grow.
If you would like to help St. Joseph the Worker with their mission please go to their website for volunteer opportunities!