I’ve been waiting for this Saturday night since last October when we bought tickets for the Dangerous Woman Tour. My sister and I have been huge fans of her music and her style for a few years now. Ariana Grande has an insanely talented voice. Most people compare her pitch to Mariah Carey’s but we all know she can’t hit the notes like she used to after her New Year’s Eve performance 2016. We’ve seen Ariana Grande live twice. The first time during her first performance at Madison Square Garden and the second time at Barclays Center. For her third tour, my sister and I told each other that we have to get tickets as close as possible. So this year, my cousins, sister, and I decided to attend her second show on tour at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
My sister and I claimed that this was one of the best nights of our entire lives. This was probably the second best. (The best night was when I watched the Warriors win game 6 in Cleveland 2015.) We even met her brother, Frankie Grande, whom we asked to take a photo with and he answered, “You have to just take it fast. You just have to do it.” I was willing to excuse his sassy tone because I’m aware of his online personality and I admire how much he supports his sister when it comes to making music and performing. We were so close up that I got some really great videos and photos of Ariana on my iPhone. I have years of experience shooting with my iPhone. Believe it or not I didn’t get a camera until August of last year. In the end it doesn't matter what kind of equipment is used to create art-copyright law doesn't discriminate.
After editing my favorites from the night I uploaded them onto Twitter. Laugh if you want but I plan out my Instagram feed and I didn’t feel that it was appropriate to post a photo from the concert just yet. I don’t have many followers on Twitter - maybe a little over 200. So I didn’t think it was an issue to share photos on there first before sharing them on Instagram. The reason why some people are hesitant to share content on Twitter is because people can easily save photos on their to their phone whereas on Instagram, you’d have to screenshot photos, crop it, and the lack of quality and convenience.
I woke up Super Bowl Sunday still on cloud nine from last night. Sharing photos and videos I got from last night with my family. A few people liked my photos on Twitter and on my Snapchat story. And then it happened. Ariana Grande posted a photo I took. It took me about 5 minutes to confirm that the photo was mine. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that it was owned by someone who was standing next to me but the details in the photo confirmed it was definitely mine. She didn’t give me any photography credit.
So I posted this...
I direct messaged her and never heard back. My friends and I commented multiple times on the photo she posted and nothing happened. It’s been a week now and she doesn’t care. Some of you may be wondering why I cared so much. As an artist, it's important to give credit where it’s due. I filed a copyright report to Instagram and never heard back from them. This also got me thinking about how Instagram may have a double standard. If someone with millions of followers gets upset about a removed photo and talks about it, all of their fans will be upset too. But if someone without an influence gets upset about a stolen photo, they won’t do anything about it.
Now if you know me well, you know how much of a fan I am. Ariana Grande has a reputation for being a little sassy, for licking donuts, and for claiming that she hates America. I was willing to look past all of that and tried to separate the talent and the personality. Never in my life would I’ve thought to be personally disappointed by Ariana Grande. You’ve lost a true fan Ari.