A popular Instagram user based in Singapore has been caught passing stock images off as his own work. Daryl Aiden Yow, who has worked with many recognizable brands, was called out by Mothership, which highlighted a dozen examples of work he presented as his own. Following the report’s publication, Mothership noted that Yow began deleting some images from his Instagram account and adding credits to others.
Yow, who currently has approximately 101,000 followers on Instagram, published an apology in recent hours alongside a plain black image. The statement states, in part:
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.
As noted by BBC, Yow was listed on Sony’s Singapore website as a Creative Ally; the company advised BBC that it is “looking into” the matter. Website MustShareNews reports that it spoke with Yow before his apology was published on Instagram. Yow allegedly told the website that he paid for stock images from providers like Shutterstock; others were acquired from Pinterest or other photographers.
Yow reportedly said that he would tag Pinterest or the photographers as image sources in his posts, though that claim has been called into question. In other instances, Yow said no credits were listed because they weren’t required by the seller, according to MustShareNews. Brands were supposedly aware of Yow’s use of stock images.
Regardless, Yow presented himself as a photographer on Instagram; he also worked with clients to host photography workshops where he taught others. It appears Yow has removed a few dozen images from his Instagram account, but critics point out that some images, such as this one with an obvious Photoshop blunder (acquired from Pinterest), still lack proper credit.