What would you do if the person you were interviewing for a job was using your photographs in their portfolio? This is exactly what happened to Russell Alboroto.
Alboroto was asked by the HR department to interview a woman who was applying for a social media position, since she claimed to be a photographer too. “To my f*$#@ing surprise my work was included her ‘portfolio,’” Alboroto wrote in a Reddit post.
She was friends with a couple who’d recently gotten married, and had stolen their wedding photos from Facebook. What are the odds that she’d be interviewed by the photographer? Naturally Alboroto mentioned it to HR, but in the end did the interview anyway. In some sense this was a dumb thing for her to do, but perhaps she’s still a half-decent photographer and she’s going for a social media position anyway.
The interview didn’t go too smoothly. When she was pressed on the equipment she uses, her response was, “I have one of the ‘D’ cameras, seven lenses, a wide, a zoom, and super-zoom. I have it all,” Alboroto claims. At this point he knew she’s not genuine. To be certain, he asked her if every photo in her portfolio was hers. “She lied straight to my face,” he said. Her reply: “Yeah! Don't they look good? I like them.”
The HR representative that sat in on the interview recommended that Alboroto email or call her after the interview, rather than bring it up in the moment. A couple days go by and he calls her:
Alboroto: “Hey, we decided not to offer you the position because you have stolen work on your website.”
Interviewee: “I don't believe so.”
Alboroto: “Yeah you do! Those are my [darn] photos on my website and you need to take that [stuff] down!”
Interviewee: “OK.” [Hangs up]
Alboroto's images aren't too shabby at all, so it's easy to see why she might have stolen them. What's interesting to me is that she only stole images from a single shoot. Perhaps stealing his entire portfolio was a step too far for her?
Afterwards he called the couple in the photographs. They knew the woman and everyone had a pretty good humor about it all. At the end of the day nobody was hurt, and the interviewee took her website down. Nonetheless this company could have easily hired an inexperienced photographer off the back of somebody else's work. Anybody else have similar stories?