Community Over Competition: The Dream Crushers

Community Over Competition

I don’t post as much as I should and this is definitely a different post than what I normally would publish but it’s been heavy on my heart. As many of you know, I live in a small town. Even though we are a small town, you can throw a rock and hit ten photographers.  That’s okay! We are each different and have a unique style to offer those around us.

When I started my journey as a photographer, I was blessed to personally become friends with some of the best of the best. They took me under wing and showed me the ropes (how many more colloquialisms am I going to use?! Aye, aye, aye… the literary lunatic in me is dying a little). They lived the saying “community over competition” and I learned not only how to become a better photographer, but the joy in sharing that knowledge as well.

This week has been a bit of a mess in the photography world. Someone did something that pushed the boundaries, ruffled a few (thousand) feathers and caused a lot of strife. I enjoy art as an expression and  can play the Devil’s Advocate quite well, but even I agreed with the masses. Aside from all the turmoil, one of the things that struck me the hardest were some of the responses left by a few of the biggest names in the photography community.

“You all? The large groups of incredibly stupid people?”  ” Who are you again? Right.”  “They’re SOMEBODY. You’re not.” “What’s neat about you is you’re a nobody and it’s all you’ll ever be so you can spout off.”  “People like (opposing thought photographer) are sad, sorry individuals. No talent, no life, no self esteem.”

These quotes came from influential people in response to other photographers questioning their (very questionable) work.  I was baffled. HOW CAN ANYONE TALK TO SOMEONE THAT WAY? Especially people who have such a large following?

Don’t be a Dream Crusher

As photographic artists, we put our hearts into each session, photo and detail.  If someone doesn’t understand our art, and hurts our ego, that does NOT give us the right to belittle them and tell them they are nothing, nor will they ever amount to anything. Imagine a photographer with a mass following telling someone that. Imagine the potential negative impact that could have on a budding artist. That’s devastating.

Jenn carroll photography, community over competition, tampa photographer, florida photographer, zephyrhills photographer, anti bullying, stop bullying, thumper, advice

Let us not forget what Thumper’s mother (or would it actually be Thumper’s father?- watch the clip) taught us all.  “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” (Yes, it’s a double negative but let’s not dwell on technicality and just enjoy the sentiment. LOL )

Don’t be a Dream Crusher. There’s enough assholes on this Earth; there’s no need to be one.

Support a Need Instead

As you have noticed, I have not used any names. As the old adage goes “any publicity is good publicity” and honestly I find it sickening how much attention these people receive from pushing the limits, pissing people off and degrading/banning/shaming anyone who disagrees with them.

So, instead of googling anything to give credit to these bullies, here are two foundations that need our help and awareness.
Jenn carroll photography, community over competition, tampa photographer, florida photographer, zephyrhills photographer, anti bullying, stop bullying, end human trafficking, human trafficking, children trade, abolish slavery, advice
Throwback to a circa 2015 Jenn Carroll Photography photo.

On a Local Level:
Tampa Bay Advocates Against Human Trafficking exists to connect passion with action for those who desire to do more to help prevent human trafficking and to assist survivors of human trafficking in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding counties.

On a National Level:
Bridging Freedom’s mission is to combat domestic minor sex-trafficking by bringing restoration to those rescued and victim prevention to those we reach with our message

Let’s be nice to one another and uplift each other. Community over competition is such a beautiful concept and I am so grateful for those in our photography community who have walked the walk.

Octopus Hugs & Unicorn Magic,

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  • Larry TSeptember 2, 2018 - 8:55 pm

    Jenn I think your work is wonderful! You definitely have an eye for taking pictures! 
    In my book you are top notch! Second to none!  ????????????❤️ReplyCancel

  • LynnSeptember 2, 2018 - 9:32 pm

    Loved this, so well said ❤️ReplyCancel

    • Jenn Carroll PhotographySeptember 2, 2018 - 9:39 pm

      Thank you, Lynn! I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. <3ReplyCancel

  • SamanthaSeptember 2, 2018 - 9:51 pm

    Jenn! I love this, also no idea how I don’t know you ( I’m in the Tampa Bay Area too!!! ) hopefully one day we will cross paths! Love your message here and your work is beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing <3 ReplyCancel

    • Jenn Carroll PhotographySeptember 2, 2018 - 9:54 pm

      Hey Samantha! Thank you so much for the compliment and for taking the time to read my post! I would love for our paths to cross one day! Your work is gorgeous. <3ReplyCancel

  • cheryl a rogersSeptember 3, 2018 - 1:19 pm

    Jenn, I have no idea what the chaos from this week that  you’re talking about was.  Somehow, I missed it but  I still love the sentiment of what you’ve written.  None of us need to flex muscles to tear down others and it seems so much better to spend the same energy shoring  one another up.   ReplyCancel

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