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Professional photographers go head-to-head in Instagram shootout

40

Being a photojournalist is inherently competitive. Sometimes, you are competing against other professionals in your area, sometimes you are competing against the kid with an iPhone who happened to get to the crime scene 30 minutes before you. For Eric Thayer (@ericthayer) and Joshua Lott (@joshualott), the competition is personal and public. 

It started as an informal battle of classic one-up-manship. The two photographers were hanging out, taking photos of the same scenes and uploading them to Instagram. When a friend suggested that they make it an official face-off, Lott and Hayer rose to the challenge.

Suddenly, hashtags of #teamlott and #teamthayer emerged as followers commented "winner" and "Battle lines are drawn! Looking forward to the sparring sessions."

The New York Times' Lens blog found the contest and spoke to Lott and Thayer about the competition. 

“Whenever we work for different clients at the same assignment we’re always looking for a better picture,” Mr. Lott, 34, said during a phone interview from Detroit.

“We’re always trying to one up each other, in the friendliest way,” Mr. Thayer, 39, added. “But I still want to beat him.”

Thayer and Lott have not announced a winner, so we can hope that this friendly rivalry will continue for quite some time. You can follow both on Instagram to watch the shootouts.

Comments

Total comments: 40
gspencephoto
By gspencephoto (4 months ago)

I don't like using Instagram for various reasons. But, does that mean an artist can't create art with it? Of course not. If someone labels themselves a photographer, but has not done any study of the field, and simply clicks the auto function on their photo app, they are clearly NOT a photographer in the true sense.

I find the photos in the article boring / done before. That isn't to say they are bad photos. A photographic artist has a unique and fresh perspective to bring to the table, and hopefully does.

0 upvotes
nickyw_d50
By nickyw_d50 (10 months ago)

I don't know why people get their knickers in such a twist about Instagram. Why can't people just appreciate a good image regardless of how someone achieved it?

0 upvotes
Arbabi
By Arbabi (Aug 26, 2013)

whether you are a pro photographer or not (I've been one for 22 years- published worldwide 1000s of times- Nat Geo, etc... I'm a happy guy too), using Instagram means you are giving your rights away for free: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2290837/photography-organisations-rally-against-instagrams-terms-of-use

0 upvotes
marianco
By marianco (Aug 24, 2013)

I prefer Eric Thayer's photos.
But Joshua Lott's are also excellent.

1 upvote
Sam The Man
By Sam The Man (Aug 24, 2013)

proves Professional Walmart Associate = Professional Photographer

0 upvotes
marianco
By marianco (Aug 24, 2013)

Not really. There was no mention that a Professional Walmart Associate is a professional photographer. Thus, there is no proof of that assertion.

0 upvotes
chewdoggydog
By chewdoggydog (Aug 24, 2013)

uhhhh....yeah. i just joined this site and i didn't know that there would be so much hate in here.....i think the photos are great, try not being so rude, and just go take more photos......the happy guy.

2 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (Aug 23, 2013)

Get rid of that hand in the photo... any amateur would have cropped/healed it out... geesh.. really?

1 upvote
Rob
By Rob (Aug 24, 2013)

That was a deliberate choice to show cause & effect in the visual narrative of the photo. Without the hand, the photo would just be a girl up in the air, but with the hand, the combination creates a narrative context of a more defined situation--it conveys how she was launched into the air, and how she will be caught when she falls back down. Compositionally, it's maybe not as streamlined, but narrative vs. composition sometimes requires compromises.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
marianco
By marianco (Aug 24, 2013)

The hand is deliberately part of the photo. If you don't realize that, you are truly a noobie rank amateur.

3 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Aug 29, 2013)

"any amateur would have cropped/healed it out"

These guys aren't amateurs, that's why it's still there.

0 upvotes
mike winslow
By mike winslow (Aug 23, 2013)

geez its so tiring to listen to photographers who think that they are artists.. So what if you know where to stand.. I knew Renoir, he was a friend of mine, and you sir, are no Renoir lol..

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
marianco
By marianco (Aug 24, 2013)

Stated while wearing a straitjacket in a rubber room.

1 upvote
DonM999
By DonM999 (Aug 22, 2013)

Square format, but its a cinch you wouldn't get these photos from a Hasselblad.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Aug 21, 2013)

I like joshualott's snapshots more than ericthayer's

0 upvotes
Stealthy Ninja
By Stealthy Ninja (Aug 22, 2013)

I prefer Ericthayer's

5 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (Aug 21, 2013)

Instant photography is like instant coffee: Not too terrible if you've never tasted the real thing.

7 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Aug 21, 2013)

What is 'the real thing' in terms of photography?

1 upvote
mike winslow
By mike winslow (Aug 23, 2013)

IMHO, a 'real thing' in photography lets you control at least focus, and has the ergonomics which minimize movement with shutter actuation.. Like touching the screen back versus a shutter button on top. I didnt say NOT cellphones, but most cellphones lack these two things.. After that, having a choice in lenses, IQ approaching Dawes limit, full manual control, a tripod mount, tiltable display, EVF, APS-C or larger sensor, a good grip, lots of programmable buttons, and makes me look like a pro.. Not necessarily in that order, but close..

0 upvotes
Kromeo
By Kromeo (Aug 21, 2013)

nice.

1 upvote
kriztian
By kriztian (Aug 21, 2013)

There are tons of program with the same type of filter as in Instagram. It´s totally not interesting anymore. It seems to me like this is a promotion for Instagram rather than a serious Contest.

4 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Aug 22, 2013)

Since we are all familiar with the filters, perhaps it makes more sense as level ground for a competition?

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (Aug 21, 2013)

Only amateurs do the dutch angle, not professionals.

4 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Aug 21, 2013)

I wouldn't be calling Alexander Rodchenko an amateur...

1 upvote
chj
By chj (Aug 21, 2013)

While I agree in some instances photographers tilt photos for no good reason, at other times it can be used to get more items of interest in the frame without having to pull back further (which these photos do). Following generalized rules does not make a professional photographer.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Aug 21, 2013)

I agree with (Karilceland). What is with this trend of deliberately crooked photos, and who in their right mind decided this was an "artistic" thing? It comes across as being a case of someone being too lacking in talent & too drunk off their a-double-ss to hold the freaking camera straight.

0 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (Aug 22, 2013)

Rigid people = rigid photographers.

These types of people are rarely creative.

2 upvotes
chj
By chj (Aug 22, 2013)

This guy is pro. Check his Flickr stream. If the quality of his photos aren't enough, notice he gets one on one time with NYC's top chefs. He is not opposed to iphone photos, or the occasional tilt. Although judging by the title and scene in this particular one, he may also be drunk. :)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/smoothdude/7007389051

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
chj
By chj (Aug 22, 2013)

f*ck and his iphone Instagram pics make me pity my paltry skills
http://web.stagram.com/n/smoothdude/

0 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (Aug 21, 2013)

Instagram is the ultimate egalitarian art tool: it makes everything look like it came from the same photographer.

4 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (Aug 21, 2013)

Well, it makes everything look like it came from the same non-photographer

10 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Aug 21, 2013)

I would visit 'connect' more often if there was actual journalism, not this. Once again, a quickly thrown together page using a subject that hopefully getting a discussion/controversy going, trying to generate some traffic here.

1 upvote
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Aug 21, 2013)

Once again, another negative old man cliche reply thrown into the discussion.

7 upvotes
chj
By chj (Aug 21, 2013)

jeez, it's a mobile photography website, what kind of "journalism" do you want? "Mobile photo cures cancer and ends wars wirelessly!"

5 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (Aug 21, 2013)

@chj There are several websites and blogs that cover the mobile device market with excellent articles.

1 upvote
nawknai
By nawknai (Aug 22, 2013)

Which sites? Also, which one of them do you not leave comments on?

Those ones are worth checking out.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
chj
By chj (Aug 22, 2013)

@Octane
This website isn't about the mobile device market. Mobile devices do alot more than take photos and there are other websites that cover this.

At the top of the page DPR describes connect as:
"mobile photography technology, culture and community". This article quite squarely fits that description.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Aug 21, 2013)

In related news: Formula 1 drivers compete in Soap Box Derby.

.

10 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (Aug 21, 2013)

http://www.espn.co.uk/redbull/motorsport/story/116441.html

They'll do anything for publicity, y'know...

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Aug 20, 2013)

(based solely on the pairs displayed here: )

eric wins!!!
...
and there in a nutshell is the absurdity of photography as a competitive sport.

(though this does seem to be all in a good lot of fun. )

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Total comments: 40
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