How A Singaporean Photographer Was Exposed For Claiming Other People's Photos As His Own

There will always be consequences.

Yesterday, 20 June, the social media landscape in Singapore witnessed the downfall of a famous Instagram photographer

Image via @darlylaiden

Daryl Aiden Yow, a Singapore-based photographer, is now at the centre of a plagiarism scandal.

An exposé published by Mothership on Wednesday, 20 June, found that many of Yow's Instagram photos were actually uncredited images shot by others or taken from stock photo libraries.

Through extensive digging, Mothership was able to pinpoint which photos of Yow's shared uncanny similarities or almost identical to images found on other accounts. Here are some examples:

Image via Mothership

Image via Mothership

A paid post in June 2018 and the cover of a book published in 2012:

Image via Mothership

Image via Mothership

This "candid" shot of him in Greece. Also a paid post:

Image via Mothership

This shot has caught the marketing eyes of budget airline Scoot, who capitalised on the perfect opportunity to promote flights to Athens.

"Why do Adobe Photoshop when you could be there for real? We fly to Athens starting from $219" the post stated. 

Brilliant.

Mere hours after Mothership's piece was published and expectedly gone viral, Yow appears to have gone into damage-control mode. He started deleting selected photos from his Instagram profile and editing captions to give credit to accounts he found the images from.

Image via Mothership

A follow-up piece by Mothership revealed that Yow has deleted as many as 39 posts. 

Adding fuel to the fire is a 2016 interview piece that has resurfaced. Speaking to TODAY with style influencer Andrea Chong, Yow was asked to share his thoughts on what makes an Instagram feed attractive

"All my Instagram photos are shot professionally - I don’t post iPhone photos - probably because I’m a photographer and there are different expectations of me. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my photos," he told the English newspaper. 

Yow has since posted an apology on his Instagram account today, 21 June, one day after the Mothership's report was published

In the statement, Yow said the outrage against him was "justified", and that he accepted "full responsibility" for his 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," Yow said.

Yow, however, stressed that the collaborations with friends - who were not named by him - were "honest and fair".

You can read the full statement below:

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

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