Photographer Caught For Claiming Stock Photos As His Own Gets Laid Off By Sony
By Izza Sofia, 03 Jul 2018
Relatively well-known Singapore-based photographer Daryl Aiden Yow, who boasts over 100,000 followers on his Instagram, was recently thrown into the center of controversy after local news site Mothership penned an exposé revealing that some of his images were, in fact, uncredited works captured by other photographers.
Yow is known for his eye-catching, colorful photos and has worked for clients including Sony Singapore plus other major brands. Mothership described in its initial article that the creations are “so lovely, they look stunningly like other people’s work.”
Back in 2016, Yow was interviewed by Singapore’s TODAY newspaper, where he was asked about his opinions on what content would drive followers to an Instagram account.
Yow told TODAY that all of his shots are taken professionally and that he doesn’t post any iPhone photos. He added that he is a perfectionist towards his photos because of the expectations people have towards him as a photographer.
An anonymous tipoff, however, led the eagle-eyed team behind Mothership to discover that numerous images on Yow’s social media handle bear uncanny similarities not only to stock images, but also works sourced from Pinterest and taken by other photographers sans credits. The publication took the time to sieve through his feed and even managed to match some of his images with the respective stock photographs.
After the story went viral, Yow was caught deleting some of his photos off from his Instagram account and also editing captions of various images to include credits accordingly. Yow responded to the controversy, admitting that he had used stock photos but had done so using legal licenses before editing and publishing them.
Yow added that he does try to tag photographers for non-stock photos and credit them accordingly. For his Instagram posts, he had never claimed that his photos were taken live during the scene that was depicted.
Though some of his travel-related images implied that he was the one who had captured the photos, he neither specifically mentioned that they were shot by him nor did he actually state that he had gone to those locations himself.
The revelation received widespread critique from photographers in Singapore, following which Yow removed all his posts from Instagram, save for one that includes his statement, saying, “The outrage regarding how I have conducted myself is justified and I accept full responsibility for my actions and all consequences that arise from those actions.”
“I was wrong to have claimed that stock images and other people’s work were my own. I was also wrong to have used false captions that misled my followers and those who viewed my images. Having marketed myself as a photographer, I fell far short of what was expected of me and disappointed those who believed—or wanted to believe—in me. For all of that, I apologize.”
Following this incident, Sony Singapore dismissed Yow from being its photography brand ambassador and has removed his name from its official pages.
Those interested can view the side-by-side comparison photos in Mothership’s exposé here.
Hi everyone, I didn’t intend to release any statement regarding recent events, largely because I did not know how I could accurately express how sorry I am. But seeing how people are now making baseless and false allegations against those close to me—simply by mere association-- I have decided to confront the facts instead of leaving them subject to speculation. I did not want to let any more people down. The outrage regarding how I have conducted myself is justified and I accept full responsibility for my actions and all consequences that arise from those actions. I was wrong to have claimed that stock images and other people’s work were my own. I was also wrong to have used false captions that misled my followers and those who viewed my images. Having marketed myself as a photographer, I fell far short of what was expected of me and disappointed those who believed—or wanted to believe— in me. For all of that, I apologise. Those close to me disagree with my actions and have asked, whenever they felt that something was not right about my images, that I stop my actions immediately. I did not take their advice seriously and would give reasons that I thought would assuage any concerns they had over those images—just enough so that we would move on to other issues. I let them down with my actions. I would also like to take the opportunity to clear the air. The end-products of my collaborations with my friends remained honest and fair. Whatever my shortcomings were, I did not bring them to my collaborations. That would not have been fair to those who collaborated with me, and they would not have allowed such practices to be carried out in any event. These people are hard-working professionals and I was hurt to see people make baseless allegations or insinuations against them or question their integrity. They should not be hounded for my errors. To that end, I hope that these baseless allegations or insinuations would stop. I know I have erred and hope that I will be given the time and space to grow and better myself. For those who have stood by me, I would like to thank you and hope that I will be able to earn such kindness in the future.
A post shared by Daryl Aiden Yow (@darylaiden) on
S’pore photographer Daryl Aiden Yow’s pics are so lovely, they look stunningly like other people’s work https://t.co/fhFqgsYzNE Stealin' ain't cool, kids.— mrbrown (@mrbrown) June 20, 2018
Lots of evidence that Instagram influencer @DarylAidenYow is a thief and fraud. I’d be more careful who you work with in the future @Sony @UNIQLO_JP @oppo @hyatt @SHISEIDO_corp https://t.co/hmk8mOc3W0— Alfie Goodrich (@AlfieJapanorama) June 20, 2018
[via Mothership, opening image via Daryl Aiden Yow]
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