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.