The Credit Controversy

“Give credit where credit is due.” It’s a simple enough concept, and one that we hear everyday. We can all agree this is a fair and ethical rule. But when, exactly, is credit due?

If you ask Danny Brown, one photographer who produced a concert photo he recently posted on his Instagram, was not due their credit. The eccentric rapper polarized Tweeps when he reacted to the credit request with this Tweet the other day:

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.12.40 PM

Apparently, the rapper posted the now infamous photograph (featured above) on his Instagram account after a concert in Melbourne, AU. When the editor of the site that the photographer was shooting for reached out to Brown, he refused to credit her and deleted the photo instead. Brown then took to Twitter, and the comments that rose from his declaration above ran rampant. The opinions were split. While many siding with Brown brushed off the notion that crediting the photographer is “extra”, some of those against Brown compared the ethics of crediting a photographer who took his picture to crediting an artist who he has sampled a song from.

I found this difference of opinion fascinating and unsettling, as I see Danny Brown’s stance on the matter is shared by many.

My two cents: Photography is an art form and a profession. An entertainer citing a photographer takes no money out of their own pockets, but could potentially benefit the photog’s career greatly. Why wouldn’t one artist want another artist to eat? Is it because photography is just a frivolous hobby? One not worthy of recognition? I disagree. Bottom line, regardless if the picture was staged, candid, or contracted, if you decide to use it… be a professional, and credit the photographer. And put some respeck on it. Shout out to Michelle Grace Hunder and Howl & Echoes for the photo. (See? How hard was that?)


Lindsey Linayao

Emcee Editor for The 5th Element Mag. Outgoing Introvert, thought meanderer, and child-like wonderer forever.

One thought on “The Credit Controversy

  1. Nice piece. The respect for the art form piece is critical. Recently had a conversation about society’s acceptance of art vs. acceptance of artists. there was some data released recently (can’t remember the source right now) where a poll revealed that two thirds of folks love art but only one-third correlate the love of art w the artist who created it. Perhaps its different considerations when it comes to music, blurring art and entertainment; and a multi billion machine that forces you to love the artist…sometimes placing more value on the artist over the actual music.

    Digressing…but enjoyed reading. 🙂


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