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These Dubai Photographers Offer Free Portrait Shoots To The Jobless

A trustworthy image that hints at your personality can really improve your chances of finding work.

Having a LinkedIn profile photo undoubtedly leads to a lot more engagement. In fact, according to Sean Callahan, Senior Manager of Content Marketing at the platform, statistics show that people with a photo get 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests. Photographers Ales Vyslouzil and Tara Atkinson know the importance of making a notable first impression with the help of a LinkedIn shot. And they are supporting people who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering free photo sessions.

Through Project Impression Session,’ the Dubai-based photographers are gifting that professional quality and polish that can send all the right signals while looking for a job. Participants can also use the photos snapped in a studio provided by Hot and Cold in Al Quoz on CVs or portfolios. What’s more, they don’t have to fret about social distancing as the 15 to 30-minute sessions are held in a large and airy studio, ensuring a safe gap.

The photography initiative aims to give Dubai residents a bit of hope to hold onto as well as something to look forward to at a time many are feeling stress and anxiety. “Most of my business is done on LinkedIn, and a lot of people do go by first impressions,” Vyslouzil, an architectural photographer who loves working on portraits, says. “The better your picture is (expression, lighting, and background) it tells your audience that you not only made an effort but you invested in yourself, which is a quality employers are looking for these days. I am just hoping that this inspires people, and we reach out to as many people in Dubai as we can.

Atkinson, who shoots editorial and social imagery with a focus on people, stories and food, feels it is important to give back to the community in the emirate that has given a lot in the past. “I do not want to commemorate this as something wonderful or joyful, but I would like to lift people’s spirits and bring some light on the dark times we are going through at the moment,” she says.

The two long-time friends, who are very passionate about outdoor adventures and met while rock climbing, consider Dubai to be more than just a home. They have both been in the UAE for the last 10 years, with Atkinson even growing up in the emirates. 

Photos of Ales Vyslouzil and Tara Atkinson by Chris Pike and Benoit

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