6400+ Unemployed at Job Fair


Over 6400 people came to the “Jobs Gone Wild” job Fair Thursday January 28th. 6400 unemployed people in one place! Over 200 of them wanted Free Business Portraits. Unfortunately I was only able to get to a little over 170 in the 4.5 hours I had to shoot. I wanted to stay and photograph them all but the facility had to kick me out due to another event schedule just a few hours later.

I arrived at 5:45am to begin setting up and to be interviewed by Michelle Buckman of Fox 29 News in Philadelphia. When I arrived fire alarms were screeching in our ears. After about 20 minutes they stopped temporarily. Then just 1 minute before we were to go live on Fox they went off again! Luckily they were just testing them and we were able to have them turned off in time for us to go on air. The interview is below. (and yes I have a cold)

I took over 550 images that day and I took the time to talk to each person I photographed. My job is not only to snap a portrait but to make people relax for that portrait. I will be blogging about the event again soon. I will have images of the photoshoot, the event and of course the lines too! I will also be adding some of the finished portraits when I get through all of them. Please check back often to learn more about how the event went. I was also interviewed by a reporter, Tina Susman of the LA Times and as soon as I know when that interview will be published I will be sure to add a link to it.

Moving forward I am looking for location hosts. Anyone that has the space where I can continue these events please contact me. I had to turn away over 50 people and I want desperately to help them all. As a location photographer I do not have a studio to use and I need a space that is in Philadelphia for these people. I am open to planning other events outside of the Philadelphia area as well. If you or your company can help, contact me via the Contact Michael page of this site.

If your company is planning layoffs, Free Business Portraits for those being released gives your employees a better chance at landing their next position. Please contact me so we can work together on helping those that need help the most.

Thank you all, Stay Tuned, and until next time…

Happy Shooting!

10 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:


    This is wonderful (but unfortunate that so many people need this service). I hope you can find a way to continue this…you have found a niche and a service a lot of people need. Good luck!

  2. Paul
    Paul says:

    I commend you for doing this… taking the time and helping those that are out of work. Back in 2001-2003 I was out of work – I know what its like to lose absolutely EVERYTHING. I think you’ll be rewarded many times over for your good deed. Good luck — =Paul

  3. Gayle
    Gayle says:

    Hi Michael,

    It was a pleasure meeting you and you are wonderful. So is your staff who ‘poofed’ and groomed me prior to the photo. Really appreciated the help. Everything was so professional and you made me feel so comfortable and at ease.

    Thank you again and I can not wait to see the pics.

  4. Michael
    Michael says:

    Gayle, The images should be ready in the next few days. I am about halfway through them and I will upload them all at the same time once complete.

    Thanks for coming out!

  5. Natalia
    Natalia says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you very much for all your help. It is stressful and difficult to be out of job. The longer you stay out, the more often you get doubts about your confidence. However there are some people out there who try to help, even a few inspiring words, or simple care can help to keep moving.
    Thank you Michael for your care, for your kind words, and for your help.

  6. Charlotte Bellamy
    Charlotte Bellamy says:

    Wow Michael, what an amazing thing to do. I’d love to do sothing like you have (I’m in the UK). I follow you via Linkedin, and love all the posts you make.

  7. Michael
    Michael says:

    John – Go back in the blog there is a How To on putting together your own Free Portraits session. If you have any questions after you read the white paper just E-mail me!

  8. Michael
    Michael says:

    John – Go back in the blog there is a How To on putting together your own Free Portraits session. If you have any questions after you read the white paper just E-mail me.

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