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NEW ORLEANS– A local photographer helped unemployed people in a big way today by taking free professional headshots for them.

Photographer James Whigham with JWP Studio in Gretna joined forces with Headshot Booker and Brookfield Properties in the largest, single-day photo initiative that provided 10,000 free headshots to unemployed Americans nationwide today. At Oakwood Center, Whigham and another photographer took approximately 100 headshots.

More than 200 photographers participated in this initiative. Headshots were provided to participants on site.

Nina Pugh was one of those folks who got a headshot taken. She’s a mother of three and unemployed.

“With this headshot you’ll be able to see my personality, my drive, ambition and what I can give to a company,” she said.

“We want them to use these photos on Linked In to submit with their resumes, something that can be that initial impression for employers. If you look at statistics, if you submit a photo, you are looked at 5 times more by employers. If you have a professional photo, people tend to stop and look rather than just someone with a selfie,” Whigham said.

Being able to help others in their time of need is heartwarming for James.

“I had a tough upbringing. I understand it’s tough when you feel like you don’t have hope. I can associate with that feeling,” he said.

These headshots mean a lot to Nina.

“I was in a depression. Some people are traumatized, so these free headshots bring out the confidence needed. When I see the photos, I see the professional that I strive to be. I’ll be able to see all that through my eyes, in these photos.

“What we’re trying to give people is confidence when you look good in a photo, you have confidence,” Whigham said.

So with a simple click of his camera, he hopes these smiles don’t go away.

For more information on JWP Studio, click HERE.

For more information about Headshot Booker and the 10,000 photo initiative, click HERE.