by Nicole Nielsen | CBS 11

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As unemployment continues to be a problem for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, the photography agency Headshot Booker has stepped up to create a national project to help thousands of Americans looking for work.

It’s called 10,000 Headshots.

The initiative aims to take 10,000 free photos on Wednesday with 200 photographers in all 50 states.

It’s all in hopes of getting Americans back to work by providing professional headshots to those affected by COVID-19 layoffs.

Co-founder Tony Taafe says it was an idea he came up while in quarantine.

“I was trying to figure out what can we do to kind of come out of this with some kind of advantage, and so what I figured was we could use our network of thousands of photographers and we could use a relatively small amount of them, to give free headshots that people who need it,” he said.

He said online presence plays a huge role in securing a job and it was the least he and his company could do for those who need a boost.

Headshot Booker website

“The first impression that we make on somebody will be made involuntarily within a couple of seconds just by looking at a photo…so it’s our way of giving back in the one way we know how to, which is making people look good on the online profile,” Taafe said.

Peter Szpakowski, a Dallas-based photographer and Owner of 2mm studio, is a volunteer photographer for the initiative. He said he can relate to those struggling with unemployment as he was recently laid off from a day job.

“I like giving people memories for life, but also it was important to me to help out in this because being impacted by becoming unemployed myself, it’s hard,” he said. “The job market is hard out there and you need to do anything that you can to differentiate yourself.”

In North Texas the headshots are happening Wednesday in ten-minute sessions in Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco and Southlake.

Szpakowski says all you need to bring is a smile and he can do the rest.

“We’ve been coached to make everybody photogenic, you know, everybody is photogenic. It’s not up to you to know how to do that it’s up to us to draw that out.”

If you’re interested in signing up, click here.