Jamie & Valor | Farmingdale, NJ and #communityovercompetition

girl with mustang in paddock

So there’s this popular hashtag on Instagram #communityovercompetition. It’s pretty self-explanatory in the context of photography – there are a zillion and one photographers out there and many of us are marketing to the same people, and it can become a competitive situation. But isn’t being a part of a supportive, like-minded community waaaaay more appealing? I tend to think so. Jamie Baldanza (check out her work – it’s gorgeous) and I connected when I put out a model call this past winter. I recognized her name immediately and thought I’d reach out and ask her if she was interested in doing a swap shoot – like each of us take photos for the other. As photographers we’re always taking pictures of someone else with their horse – even if we’re photographing our own horses we’re not in the photos ourselves. When she agreed I was so excited – here’s an opportunity to connect with someone who gets it. Photography can be a bit solitary as far as connecting with others in the same line of work and area – it’s not like an office environment or a job site where you have lots of other people around. So long story short – we agreed to meet and take each other’s pictures and not only did we each end up with portraits of us with our horses, we ended up with a new friendship, which is pretty dang cool. So anyway, she’s awesome, her work is beautiful, and I’m so glad we got the chance to connect. If any other local photographers are reading this – reach out! Let’s meet up and get coffee! It doesn’t have to be cut throat for us – even if we have the same clientele we have so much we can gain from each other if nothing else than having someone to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, and talk to. I mean it – email me or DM me on Insta or FB or whatever – but I’m so down to meet other local equine photographers.

But back to Jamie! I was nervous before her shoot because she’s another photographer – but turns out there was no need to be, because she and her family were so laid back and welcoming and easy to photograph. Case in point – these images with her mustang gelding Valor. To quote Jamie, “Valor is such a hunk” and I have to agree. He’s still very young but he was so quiet and easy going, just standing for us and giving me angles. I am so so glad I had the opportunity to make these portraits with Jamie – check out the portraits she took of Ollie and me! So yeah – to sum it all up – #communityovercompetition is awesome and I’m grateful for the chance to get to know my fellow photographers. Reach out and connect!

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