A few months ago a girl came in to apply for a social media position at my last job. I was one of three photographers at the company and we had an opening for another photographer position. She mentioned to the HR recruiter that she also does photography. The HR guy comes and grabs me to tell me this and was wondering if I wanted to interview her for the open photographer position as well. So I said, “Sure, let me see her portfolio.”
To my f*$#@ing surprise my work was included her “portfolio”. I was in total shock and told the HR guy that she has stolen work on her portfolio. She had an engagement session and the couples same wedding on her website with very low-res photos. I took a few minutes to compose myself and decided to interview and ask about her work without “outing” her. I went into the interview with the HR guy and I asked her about her experience and what kind of gear she uses. She BS’d everything saying, “I have one of the “D” cameras, 7 lenses, a wide, a zoom, and super-zoom. I have it all.”
I even double checked and asked her, “so you shot all these photos in your portfolio?” She answered, “Yeah! Don’t they look good? I like them.” She lied straight to my face.
At this point, I still haven’t revealed myself and I didn’t plan to. I wish I did though. The HR guy said it would be better if you emailed her or called her. Pretty much the whole company knew what was going on and was shocked about the story. What were the odds? What are the chances of my photo stealer coming to apply for a job and I happened to interview her?
A few days later I called her up telling her,
Me: “Hey, we decided not to offer you the position because you have stolen work on your website.”
Photo thief: “I don’t believe so.”
Me: “Yeah you do! Those are my [darn] photos on my website and you need to take that [stuff] down!” (NICE VERSION)
Photo thief: “Ok” (Hangs up)
I contacted the couple who were in the stolen photos and apparently she knows the girl. She stole all the photos off their wedding album on Facebook and we all had a good laugh out of it.
Anyways, I guess I’m flattered. Those photos weren’t even my best work. If she was going to steal some, she should’ve stolen my best stuff. She took down her website a day later but I do have her social media accounts under close surveillance.
About the Author
Russell Alboroto is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Provo, Utah. If you’d like to see more of his work, make sure to check out his website and follow him on Instagram. This article was also published here and shared with permission.