Home / News / Award-Winning Photographer Lisa Saad Accused of Stealing Photos

Award-Winning Photographer Lisa Saad Accused of Stealing Photos

Lisa Saad is considered one of Australia’s top photographers and has won numerous prestigious photo contests both in her country and internationally. But Saad has now come under fire with serious accusations of stealing other people’s photos without credit for her prize-winning photos.

Saad has won over 200 awards over the course of her career, and she’s also the brand ambassador for Ilford, Manfrotto, Epson, Phottix, Tamron, and Eizo.

Back in 2016, Saad sparked a great deal of debate in the photography industry after she was named 2016 AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year for a series of photo-manipulations. She had submitted 4 artworks from a series titled “Anonymous Man”:


Lisa Saad’s submissions to the Australian Professional Photography Awards in 2016.

While the controversy then was regarding the line between photo illustrations and “pure” photography, Saad is now being accused of using other photographers’ photos to create her photo illustrations.

Photographer Corey Balazowich of the website Photo Stealers has spent days digging into Saad’s body of work and working to uncover the original source of elements found in them.

Balazowich first began investigating Saad after Dutch photographer Marcel van Balken accused Saad of stealing elements from his award-winning photo illustration titled Runner, which was created using details from the Arnhem Centraal train station in The Netherlands.

Van Balken noticed that one of Saad’s award-winning photos, which won awards from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and The Societies of Photographers, looked strangely similar:

Van Balken tells Inside Imaging that Saad never asked him if she could use his photo for her work. Saad tells Inside Imaging that her photo didn’t use any elements from Van Balken’s work.

But when pressed by Van Balken to share the original file she shot and used, Saad allegedly sent a .PNG screenshot of a different photo shot by a different photographer (who Van Balken discovered by doing a reverse image search on Google).

Here’s what the two photos look like with the teardrop shape aligned:

AIPP says it’s currently reviewing the allegations being made.

But this example is only the tip of the iceberg of what Saad is now being accused of. Photo Stealers has found a large number of examples in which Saad apparently used other photographers’ photos without credit (and it’s unclear whether she obtained permission).

One of the examples is the geometric heart photo above that helped Saad win AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year. The heart shape itself seems to have been sourced from an image created by a design studio based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photo Stealers created an overlay showing just how perfectly the shapes line up:

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