Maybe you won't ask the candidate this one, but you should definitely keep your con-man radar on high alert during the interview. If he seems shady and noncommittal in any way, be sure to bid him adieu and hire a more reliable photog.
Sometimes, you can do everything right and still get swindled. Lydia in Fort Worth, Texas, learned that the hard way when her photographer, who took beautiful bridal and wedding photos, disappeared without a trace before any of her prints or other products were delivered.
"For a while, the proofs were online, and some people even ordered some off of his Web site," Lydia says. The photographer had an excellent reputation, she explains, and he sent her a digital wedding album proof. "When we started trying to set up a time to get the album and image CDs from him is when communication started falling apart."
Lydia found other brides dissatisfied by the photographer's service. They soon discovered that his home had been foreclosed on and that the bank in possession of the property had confiscated some wedding-related items left behind. Fortunately, Lydia was one of the lucky few who managed to locate her images among the leftovers.
"It was amazing," Lydia said of the fact that the CDs were completely finished and labeled. "All he had to do was give them to us, but he just never did, probably because he didn't have the money to produce the album."
Obviously, hers is an extreme example of what happens when a good photographer takes a turn for the dark side, but it's a cautionary tale worth hearing, nonetheless.