Ryan Sumner of Fenix Fotography to Produce Headshots for Locally Unemployed on July 22 at Carolina Place Mall in Charlotte
Nothing says “I’m ready to work” more than a freshly pressed suit, an updated resume, and of course, a professional headshot. Regardless of profession, COVID-19 sent millions of Americans to the unemployment line without warning. That is why award-winning Charlotte photographer Ryan Sumner is participating with Headshot Booker and Brookfield Properties in the largest, single-day photo initiative that will provide 10,000 unemployed Americans nationwide with a complimentary, professional headshot to include with their resumes and post to job sites such as LinkedIn.
RYAN SUMNER of Fenix Fotography will be producing the complimentary headshots on Wednesday, July 22 from 10:00am – 7:00pm at Carolina Place Mall located at 11025 Carolina Place Parkway Pineville, NC 28134.
Complimentary headshots are open to anyone currently unemployed, but participants are asked to visit HeadshotBooker.com for details and schedule a time to be photographed. More than 200 photographers will participate across all 50 states, creating pop-up studios at nearly every Brookfield retail location nationwide. Headshots will be provided to participants on site through event photo sharing platform SpotMyPhotos.
QUOTE from Ryan Sumner
“Charlotte, like so many other communities, was hit hard by COVID-19, and we were looking for ways to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” said Sumner, who knows first-hand how devastating losing a job can be. “I was laid off in 2007, and at the time, it felt very divorce-like. Ultimately, it forced me to follow my passions and make photography my full-time job. The transition was hard work and often scary, but it ended up being the absolute best thing for me. I want my role to be the one who brings folks hope and empowerment in an uncertain time of change and starting of new chapters.”
“If you’re starting a job search, a good-professional quality portrait is an extremely important investment,” says Sumner. According to LinkedIn, people who include headshots receive 21 times more profile views and 9 times more “connection” requests. Sumner continues, “Viewers process and judge those photos really fast.” A Princeton University study published in Psychological Science found that people make “near instantaneous decisions about competency, trustworthiness, and likability when encountering a photo of a face—all in less than 1/10th of a second.”
“Professional portrait photography is so important in job searches that it’s a little bit of a social justice issue for me,” confesses Sumner. “I know my prices are fair, but I hate to think about the good candidates that go ignored or suffer bad first impressions because they can’t afford high-end business portraits. I heard about what Headshot Booker and Brookfield Properties were doing across the country and wanted to be a part of it. We are excited and grateful to be able to contribute to such a great initiative.”
10,000 Headshots is the brainchild of Tony Taafe, who co-founded Headshot Booker with renowned portrait photographer, Peter Hurley, and national event photographer, Lauren Lieberman.
“Headshot Booker is in a unique position to provide out-of-work Americans with an important element of the job search process – a great, professional headshot,” according to Taafe. “And thanks to our partners who share a similar vision, we will be able to help thousands of unemployed Americans put their best foot forward and help them get back to work.”
“We are proud and excited to host the 10,000 Headshots initiative across our portfolio,” said Brookfield Properties Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Snyder. “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.” Snyder emphasized that safety, for all participants, is a core focus, and each photographer will follow specific protocols to ensure safe distancing and hygiene practices throughout the day.
The base price for a high quality, professional headshot starts around $250, which equates to more than $2.5 million in collective services that these photographers will provide through this initiative.
ABOUT Ryan Sumner | Fenix Fotography
Twice named Charlotte’s “Best Photographer” by the readers of Elevate Lifestyle Magazine, Ryan Sumner is the creative director of Fenix Fotography, a NoDa-based studio that concentrates on executive portraiture, business headshots, and advertising images. His clients include large brands, such as American Airlines, Ally, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Brighthouse Financial.
Sumner has received several competitive arts grants, regularly exhibits locally in solo shows, and has been selected for curated shows at the South East Center for Photography, The LightBox Gallery in Astoria, WA, as well as a French photography festival in the fall.