Knowing That First Impressions Matter
A few weeks ago we had the delight of visiting the Culinary School at Eva’s Village with fun students and a great staff, and we aren’t just saying that because they gave us free food. It is a private vocational school that trains students to have both proper cooking techniques and professional skills with the goal of them starting a culinary career after they graduate. Eva’s Village also has other amazing programs such as providing shelters, medical wellness & recovery, and transitional housing for those who need somewhere to live while searching for other permanent residencies. Their heart for their community was instantly something we noticed about these remarkable people.
The Culinary School was holding a workshop that included résumé review and mock interview and we had the pleasure of photographing the students’ headshots for their portfolios. In today’s world, the importance of an engaging headshot on websites like LinkedIn and well as a hardcopy in your resume is critical. It builds proof of proficiency and professionalism which is a must when building and establishing yourself in any field.
The head chef was so excited to see us and they helped in whatever way they could. With the unexpected surprise of having a warm, 70 degree spring day in the middle of February, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and took pictures outside.
Most of the students had never taken professional portraits before and seemed a little wary at first. After taking a couple of pictures my dad would show them the screen to see how they looked. And all of them looked at it in shock, looking in disbelief at what they saw. They saw qualified chefs who are about to take on the world, seeing a side of themselves they had never seen before come to life in each picture. My dad had a thrill taking each one and giving all of them this opportunity, and more than anything we just had so much fun. All of them were having such a good time between friends calling each other out to make them laugh or the mini camera squad behind the photographer. It honestly was a blast.
After all the students had left we took some pictures of the staff and a group photo. Finishing up the day they thanked us from the bottom of their hearts expressing how much this day meant for them. They explained how the students were so excited and how it meant the world to them, not only because it was a great time but also that in today’s world you need every advantage you can get to find a job and this will definitely help to give them the chance they needed.
One of the staff at The Culinary School, Daniela Zangara, wrote to us sharing her final thoughts of this experience:
“Our students come from all different walks of life, but the one common thread is that they all come to our school looking for a new start. Some are coming straight out of high school, some are looking for a career change later in life, and some are re-entering the workforce after being out of it for years. One of the things that we talk about from day one is professionalism- not only looking like a chef, but acting like one too. Getting their portraits taken meant a lot to our students and our staff- it is a tangible way of documenting their journey to a successful future. Thank you guys again for giving your time and energy to help make our students feel great about themselves and their decision to choose a professional career path, it means the world to us!”
Special Thanks to our partners WHCC for providing each student with an 8×10 print for their portfolio, John Agnello Photography & Video for assisting in this effort and Sweet Sister Cakes for making the introduction. We continue to pray for the school’s success and believe us when we say the pleasure was truly ours. We hope to come back soon!