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'My confidence is way up there' | People laid off due to COVID-19 pandemic thankful for free headshots

200 photographers across the U.S. set out to snap 10,000 headshots to help Americans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — John Glaser, a photographer in Katy, is spreading kindness. The "Hero Nextdoor" is offering free headshots to neighbors who lost their job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He's partnering with 10,000 Headshots, a project that connects 200 photographers across the U.S. with 10,000 out-of-work Americans who lost their job because of the pandemic.

Dozens of Houston-area residents signed up after watching our initial report last Wednesday.

KHOU 11 went to the photo shoot to meet some of the people taking advantage of the free service that ran from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at two locations: Willowbrook Mall and The Woodlands Mall. 

Glaser is one of multiple Houston-area photographers to donate their time and talent. Each participant had about 10 minutes with one of the Houston-area photographers. The entire process is contactless and the photos are uploaded and sent to each participant's phone minutes after the last headshot was taken.

Alan Bailey, a salesman, lost his job when Texas shutdown the state in March.

"I got it by phone call. Death by phone call," said Bailey of receiving the news he'd been laid off. He's searching for work and thought a professional headshot could help spruce up his online profile. 

Roberto Dos Santos, a structural designer, went from working in the office to working from home to getting laid off May 15. 

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The 50-year old Brazilian native is hoping to use the headshot for his LinkedIn profile picture. 

Looking for a job in the middle of a global pandemic, "it’s a little bit nerve-wrecking and a little bit scary," Bailey said. "I’m hoping for the best."

"I’ve had friends that have had head shots, and they said, this is free? And I said yes. And they said, there’s a catch," Bailey said.

"There’s no catch. We’re just doing it for free," Glaser said. "They’re getting it on their phone."

"They see their shots and they’re like, oh wow! I look great! You know," said Glaser, "and that confidence, hopefully, that can give them a boost to their next chapter of life."

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