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
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:
A paid post in June 2018 and the cover of a book published in 2012:
This "candid" shot of him in Greece. Also a paid post:
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.
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.
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".