Would you believe that American Hip Hop artiste, Clifford Harris Joseph Jr. a.k.a T.I. is hosting a Carnival themed party. However, he isn’t doing it without stepping on somebody’s toes. Trinidadian photographer Laura Ferreira had to plead with T.I to give her the recognition she deserves for wrongfully using an image taken by her of model wearing a 2013 Tribe Carnival costume called Acara Acraea designed by Anya Ayoung-Chee.
Ferreira is claiming that T.I. and his team who used the photo on his party invitation removed her watermark this resulted in a social media squabble between the two parties that didn’t go unoticed.
Ferriera shared the image on Instagram stating: “Erm, people, I have every right to ask for credit for my work, no matter where or how it is used. If I used his music in a non-profit vlog, it’d be flagged and removed, or monetized by his label.”
She also took to her Facebook page, Laura Ferriera Studios sharing:
“T.I. is using one of my images for his birthday invitation, on his Instagram account (it’s now on his Facebook page, too). Would love to have a credit for myself as well as the costume designer, Anya Ayoung-Chee. Seriously, whoever designed this knew they didn’t have the right to use it. Removing my name from the image doesn’t magically make it right. I would have been thrilled to let it out to such a huge audience, if I were contacted in the first place,” She then asked persons to comment on the photo and tell the Hip Hop sensation to “GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE”. So said, so done.
In response, T.I trivialized the wrongful use and claimed that he was simply paying respect to Ferreira.
“Obviously & commendably @lauraferreirastudios had the best & most impressively appropriate images that relate to the theme of the party,which lead to the planners using the images. Which in itself is them paying homage to your work. Let’s be clear guys. ITS A PARTY INVITE!!!!! Not album or even single artwork, not tee shirts we plan to sell, not framed & sold for our benefit…ITS A PARTY INVITATION GUYS!!!! I’ve seen world famous photos of worldly iconic figures used to invite people to parties all the time & with the photographs photoshopped & altered which takes away from the integrity of the art.”
Ferreira replied that credit meant she should be mentioned and not simply have the photograph posted.
“But paying homage means crediting the artist, and that’s all I was asking for. I’m sure you’d want people to credit you for your music. We put a lot of work into our craft, be it visual or musical.”
T.I. would never wrongfully use any of his counterparts’ photos. It is indeed commendable that this Caribbean artist stood up for her work and many others joined in to rally behind her. It is time that Caribbean artists are respected. This is a step in the right direction.