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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - When was the last time you spruced up your resume, both the physical sheet of A4 and digitally on platforms such as LinkedIn? How old is that headshot in the top corner? While many across the country have been fortunate to remain in work, the Covid-19 fallout has ushered in an increased number of those seeking employment for whom making a CV more attractive is an immediate necessity. UAE photographers Ales Vyslouzil and Tara Atkinson are offering their services free-of-charge in order to aid just that.
Project: Impression Session is a collaboration between the two long-time friends and involves free 15-minute to half hour photo shoots at HotCold Studio in Al Quoz, Dubai for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. These professional pics can then be used to enhance your CV or portfolio.
"The better your picture is, 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," Vyslouzil told City Times about the initiative.
The Czech native and British national Atkinson have been UAE residents for the last decade, although the latter has family ties to the country dating back 30 years. Their shared passion for the outdoors meant the two met whilst rock climbing and have been collaborating ever since. Vyslouzil began his career as an architectural photographer in Dubai, while Atkinson captures editorial and social imagery with a focus on people, stories and food.
"I am just hoping that this inspires people, and we reach out to as many people in Dubai as we can," Vyslouzil said.
"For me one of the best aspects of Impression Sessions is, it wasn't our intention to make it a social place, but it has become one," Atkinson said when asked about the impact her work has had. "People gather and hang out after a session and share experiences with one another, motivate one another, but also unwind, have a coffee, relax and meet new people who are going through similar experiences."
She went on to say the impromptu support network for jobseekers has led to an unforeseen upbeat vibe around the open plan studio and hopes fellow photographers around the nation, if possible, can follow-suit by setting up their own projects to help those in need.
"Seeing how motivated people are when they leave is the best," said Atkinson. "It's nice to be able to get out of the house, to dress up and look nice, and set a first step into this new direction. And just to feel supported, even if it's just for an hour."
Check out instagram.com/impressionsessiondxb for contact info and to watch the project grow.
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