Picture this: Miami University job seekers love school’s first headshot photo booth

Sometimes it’s easier for college students to picture a promising future if they have a good picture of themselves as they job hunt.

Sure, in the age of mobile phones and a flood of selfies, photos of oneself have never been easier to take and share.

But professional quality photos are harder to come by, especially for college students on a tight budget, so Miami University career development officials installed the program’s first “professional headshot booth” designed to deliver the professional photos young job applicants need.

And it’s proved to be very popular, said Jennifer Benz, assistant vice president of the Center for Career Exploration and Success for Miami.

The photo booth recently served its 1,000th student since it was installed in Armstrong Student Center at the school’s Oxford campus.

“Since we brought the booth to campus last fall, it has become very popular with students. By mid-April, the booth had taken its 1,000th headshot of a Miami student,” said Benz.

“We attribute this to the quality of the images and the ease of use. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members can use the booth on a drop-in basis during our normal business hours and receive their photos immediately in their email,” she said.

“Many college students looking for internships or entering the job market do not own professional-quality headshots. In addition, some students are unable to pay for this service on their own, so CCES considers this service as a way to level the playing field for all,” said Benz.

The booth is self-service and utilizes software that crops, removes blemishes, whitens teeth, and applies filters.

Miami senior Aidan McKeon is looking forward to graduating and in no small part to having already lined up a post-college job.

His photo booth headshot helped greatly, McKeon said.

“Using the career services headshot booth was a lifesaver. Having this technology free and easily accessible on campus is a real game changer, rather than having to find a friend to take a picture in a random location with sub-par lighting or having to pay upwards of $200 for a photo shoot with a professional, you can take a great professional looking shot at any time on campus for free,” he said.

“I think that having quality headshots is … an expectation for getting a good job. And I think that having a technology like this on campus allows students to be able to access good headshots easier and without having to pay too much.”

“It levels the playing field for people who can’t afford to shell out hundreds of dollars for professional looking picture. It’s an investment every college should make,” he said.

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