SINGAPORE: Local photographer Daryl Aiden Yow on Thursday (Jun 21) made a public apology after allegations that some of his works were plagiarised sparked an Internet storm.
In an Instagram post, he 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," said Mr Yow, who bills himself as a lifestyle and travel photographer. "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."
His apology came after several media outlets pointed out that some of his photos were identical to those found on stock photo websites and elsewhere online, and that many of them appeared photoshopped - without giving due credit to the original source.
Mr Yow has 100,000 followers on Instagram and has held photography workshops for brands such as Uniqlo. He also collaborated with camera maker Sony which featured him on its website as a "creative ally".
In his post, the photographer said that he had not initially intended to release a statement, but was prompted to do so after seeing people make "baseless and false allegations against those close to me".
"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."
Mr Yow did not specify who those being falsely accused were, or what was being said against them.
The photographer is known for collaborating with local Instagram influencer Andrea Chong, and netizens were quick to accuse her of being party to his methods.
Commenting on one of Ms Chong's photos on Instagram, netizen ayida_lucifer asked: "Is this photoshopped by @darylaiden"?
"As a content creator yourself, do you condone such methods of creating content - stealing and claiming as your own? Or was it just lucrative business between the two of you?" asked Instagram user yanqi.
In his post, Mr Yow stressed that his collaborations with friends - who were not named by him - were "honest and fair".
Said Mr Yow: "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."
A check on Friday showed that Mr Yow has deleted all the photos on his Instagram account. All that's left is the statement of apology posted on Thursday.