Daryl Aiden Yow talks about lessons learnt in comeback interview. We don't understand them.

Stock responses.

Mandy How| December 13, 11:31 PM

We are all for second chances.

Especially when the wrongdoer expresses genuine remorse.

About half a year after the photoshop/stock image saga broke on Daryl Aiden Yow, the Singaporean influencer has granted what looks like an exclusive comeback interview to 8 DAYS.

The lengthy write-up unravels what Yow has been up to for the past couple of months, his upcoming projects, and most importantly, his current state of mind.

Since the whirlwind exposé that shook the photography industry, Yow has rebranded himself as a photoshop expert.

In collaboration with ASUS, the influencer is even taking part in an art exhibition this weekend, where he will be dishing out photography tips in addition to his displayed works.

We have no doubt that Yow is exceedingly competent in photoshop (after all, it took years for his ways to come to light), and fully support Yow in sharing these skills with his followers.

Still grappling with his mistakes

But despite coming clean about passing off stock photos as his own work, Yow appears to grapple with the real scope of his mistake.

This was what he told the online-only entertainment magazine about the lesson learnt:

"All the editing — and over-editing — boiled down to me and my own insecurities back then. I felt like I needed to keep up and outdo myself. I purchased online Photoshop tutorials and learnt from the foreign Photoshoppers and through that, I was introduced to [stock images] and they said you can use this image to create an art piece and that’s okay. But now I know it’s not okay and that I have to declare it. It was a lesson learnt."

The fact that the following qualifier is needed exists as a spit in the face to Yow's self-reflection: It is all fine and dandy to go on a photoshopping binge using a stock image -- including unabashedly inserting yourself into the photo.

Plagiarism and deliberately misleading captions, on the other hand, are still a careful distance away from Yow's understanding of his experience.

Speaking about his editing work, Yow also had the following to say:

"So I didn’t feel that editing or Photoshopping was a crime. Everybody does it, even magazines retouch images. But I know I went a bit overboard. But when it’s just some colour correction or minor retouching or removing a pimple on my face, I don’t see that as dishonesty. So I thought, I’m going to come back and Photoshop even more to showcase my skills but this time, I will declare everything. With this exhibition, every single photo is shot by me and no stock photos were used."

Again, we fully concur that editing and photoshopping was never a crime, or even dishonest -- as long as the extent of it is declared.

Sadly, in this instance, Yow's declaration comes across as an email cc used by corporate fat cats to shield one's derriere.

At the end of an interview that acts like a tongue to lick Yow's almost-healed wound, one cannot help but feel that the key issue remains unaddressed: Namely the fact that it was the deception that angered the masses, rather than the photoshopped images per se.

Nonetheless, two things Yow has done right:

1) His direct apology that faces the saga head-on:


2) His mindfulness of the second chance made possible by clients and the public.

In fact, Yow has about 10,000 more followers than before.

"This is a second chance that people are giving me, so Do. Not. Screw. It. Up. I’m taking everything I’m doing now very seriously and with a lot of thought. Whatever I say, create, or post, even on IG stories, I’m very tactful. I make sure there is nothing to hide and that I’m 100 per cent transparent."

You can read the full interview here.

Top image from Daryl Aiden Yow's Instagram



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