Daryl Aiden Yow incident (2018)

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Controversy emerged in June 2018 when Daryl Aiden Yow was found to have misled his followers and clients by falsely claiming full ownership of pictures that he had bought online. He had composited and edited the photographs without crediting the sources of the photographs. It was unclear to netizens if the photographs were authentically his, causing problems and allegations against him to surface.


Daryl Aiden Yow (ig: @darylaiden) is a popular Singaporean photographer and influencer that has gained traction through his whimsical photographs.

The controversy

In June 2018, Daryl Aiden Yow was revealed to have been buying, layering and editing stock images.[1] Many netizens felt that it was unethical and unprofessional behaviour on his part, causing his popularity to fall drastically. Daryl Aiden Yow has held various photography workshops, such as “Uniqlo Sports: Traveller Series IV”.[2] He has also collaborated with many brands, with more notable ones being Sony, Uniqlo and Oppo.


A controversy was caused after it was revealed that Daryl Aiden Yow had allegedly edited and used stock images for his collaboration with Sony for the campaign #SonyCreativeAlly. The objective of the campaign was to promote their new camera, the Sony α6500. He was chosen to be one of the three main Singaporean influencers fronting the campaign, alongside Fiona Fussi and Valerie Wang. He initially claimed that his pictures used for the campaign were taken with the Sony α6500. Upon further investigation, the pictures were actually the works of another photographer, and they were not taken with a Sony camera.[3]

Responses

Daryl Aiden Yow

Daryl Aiden Yow gave his first statements on the issue to alternative Singapore-based news sites, Mustsharenews. He stated that he did credit and pay for the stock images he used to create his edited photographs.[4] It was also stated that clients were duly notified regarding the usage of stock images for sponsored posts.[5]


On 21 June 2018, Daryl Aiden Yow deleted all of the 1,165 posts on his Instagram profile. He left only one post, which was the public apology to account for his past actions.[6]

#DarylAidenChallenge

In the midst of this incident, the #DarylAidenChallenge emerged. Netizens were encouraged to edit themselves into stock images as part of the challenge. Companies, such as Scoot, F&N Seasons and Klook, were among those which published advertisements and held contests in relation to the incident. Influencers, such as Wendy Cheng (Xiaxue) and Preeti Nair (Preetipls) also participated in this trend.

Comeback

On 13 September 2018, Daryl Aiden Yow finally resurfaced on social media after a three month long hiatus. He announced his return with a post on Instagram, which depicted his past plagiarized photographs being burnt. The caption that followed was: “Mistakes come with a lesson. And with a lesson, comes change.” His actions accrued support from numerous local influencers and musicians, notably, Christabel Chua (ig: @bellywellyjelly), Naomi Neo (ig: @naomineo), Sandra Riley Tang (ig: @sandrarileytang) and Narelle Kheng (ig: @narellekheng).[7]


Ever since the incident, Daryl Aiden Yow has made changes to his work. He has since rebranded himself as a photoshop specialist.[8] His photographs on his Instagram are clearly digitally modified, and he reveals behind-the-scenes photographs of the editing and shooting process to users.

Photography exhibition  

On 15 September 2018, ASUS contacted and invited him to hold a photoshop workshop and a photography exhibition in conjunction with the ASUS art exhibition, “Collison: Unleash Your Creative Power at Luxe Art Museum”. This took place on 14 December 2018 to 16 December 2018.[9]

Brand partnerships

On 17 December 2018, Daryl Aiden Yow superimposed himself into some of the photos Benjamin Kheng (ig: @benjaminkheng) took in Switzerland for a partnership with Viu, “#ViuNoSleepNoFOMO”.[10] This sparked a yet another trend, with influencers, such as Preetipls and Darryl Koshy (DeeKosh) editing photographs of themselves with Benjamin Kheng in exotic places.

References / Citations

  1. Ng, Charmaine. “Singapore photographer Daryl Aiden Yow sorry for passing off stock images as his own on Instagram”. The Straits Times. June 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-photographer-daryl-aiden-yow-sorry-for-passing-off-stock-images-as-his-own-on
  2. Uniqlo. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved from: http://www.uniqlo.com/sg/OrchardCentral/events/70
  3. Ng, Charmaine. “Singapore photographer Daryl Aiden Yow sorry for passing off stock images as his own on Instagram”. The Straits Times. June 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-photographer-daryl-aiden-yow-sorry-for-passing-off-stock-images-as-his-own-on
  4. Joelynn. ”Influencer Daryl Aiden Yow Admits Paying For Stock Images To Create Composite Photos”. MustShareNews. June 20, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved From: https://mustsharenews.com/daryl-aiden-yow-plagiarism/
  5. Ibid.
  6. ”Photographer Daryl Aiden Yow deletes all photos from Instagram account after plagiarism scandal”. Channel NewsAsia. June 22, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved From: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/daryl-aiden-yow-deletes-all-photos-instagram-account-plagiarism-10460434
  7. September 13, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved From Daryl Aiden Yow’s Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnqmzALj5B0/
  8. Lee, Vivian. ”Daryl Aiden Yow Re-Brands Himself As A Photoshop Specialist And He’s Winning Fans Back”. MustShareNews. October 11, 2018. Accessed on 10 January 2019. Retrieved From: https://mustsharenews.com/daryl-aiden-yow-photoshop/
  9. ASUS. Facebook. December 3, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved From ASUS’ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/asus.sg/posts/want-to-know-how-daryl-aiden-adds-magic-to-his-photographysign-up-for-his-free-p/2240849362615726/
  10. Daryl Yow. Instagram. December 17, 2018. Accessed on 3 January 2019. Retrieved From Daryl Aiden Yow’s Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/p/Brfd-H2FDF7/