Pet Photographer Caught Passing Off Composites as Real Photos

After other photographers discovered that many of his photos were composites, in which animals were digitally inserted in stunning landscapes captured by others photographers, a pet photographer was in serious trouble.

Photo Stealers is an online “wall of shame” that exposes photographers who share other’s work. It was first reported by Photo Stealers that Ben Sheehan, a New Zealand photographer, was being called out and blocked by others for sharing his photos on social media.

Photo Stealers explains that Sheehan’s story mirrors the 2019 controversy surrounding Lisa Saad, an Australian photographer who was discovered to have used photos of others without credit in composites. This led to her winning numerous international awards and becoming ambassadors for brands like Epson, Epson, Manfrotto and Tamron.

Sheehan, like Saad has submitted composite images for photo contests. He was a finalist for the Dog Photography Awards (his entry was revoked, photostealers reports), as well as winning a number top prizes in GuruShots contests.

Sheehan’s finalist photograph in the Dog Photography Awards was created using a Getty Images photo from a New Zealand waterfall, as these screenshots from Photo Stealers show.

Sheehan answered an Instagram question asking if the photo was a composite and gave details on how it was taken.

“Another bad part of this story” Photo Stealers founder Corey Ann wrote. He claimed that he was granted special permission to do this and/or that he paid a large sum of money to make it possible.

These are other examples of Photo Stealers Sheehan’s composites (on left) and stock photos that they were based upon (on right)

A longer list of comparison screenshots and links to original source photos can be found at Foto Stealers.

The photographer removed his Facebook page and blocked critics. He also deleted all composite photos from various pages and profiles.

Sheehan admitted that he was passing off composite photos as his own. He says that all images he used were licensed and paid for.

Sheehan says to PetaPixel, “[M]y apologies. Learned a life lesson.” “But, none photos were stolen. I paid for and have property release for every photo I’ve used. This includes for compositing.

According to the photographer, he claims that he is now being held hostage by a mob of photographers who are trying to bring him justice for his fake photos.

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