Because of Her
Before Jane Goodall went to Gombe to study chimpanzees for Louis Leakey, we knew very little about them in the wild. Because of Jane, and her close observations, our knowledge about their behavior greatly increased—and sparked further study, research, and conservation efforts. Before embarking on what would become a 55-year study of chimpanzees, Jane had no previous background in science. She was an average woman following her passion for studying animals. For this Your Shot assignment, inspired by the National Geographic Channel documentary Jane and the October 2017 National Geographic magazine story "Becoming Jane", we want to celebrate and highlight how everyday women contribute to society and our personal lives.
Take a few minutes to think about the women in your life. Your mom, wife, sister, daughter, teacher, mentor—who are the women in your life that inspire you? Maybe you’ve witnessed her love, perseverance, and achievement. Maybe you’ve documented or experienced a special moment made possible because of her.
For this assignment, National Geographic photographer Amy Toensing will be our guest curator. Why? Because of her, I am here today as a producer for you, the Your Shot community. I met Amy more than 18 years ago when I was an assistant to two National Geographic photo editors, and she was the photo intern. Even though I was just a kid just out of college, Amy took the time to listen to and answer all my questions. She inspired me. She even let me crash at her apartment when I went to go interview for graduate school at Ohio University — her alma mater. Amy gave me the encouragement I needed to follow my dreams of becoming a photographer.
And now 18 years later, I am excited to be curating this Your Shot assignment with her. Earlier this year, I produced our “Strong Women” assignment for Amy, which was inspired by her National Geographic magazine story "For Widows, Life After Loss." Working with Amy is very special for me, because I will never forget how kind she was to me all those years ago. Because of her, I have experienced first-hand how special it is to receive advice and encouragement from someone at National Geographic. Because of her…
We look forward to being inspired by the women in your life.
David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
National Geographic Photographer
Incredible Photos of Real-Life Wonder Women
In the theme of inspiring women, check out this Nat Geo Adventure gallery of 31 images taken by Your Shot photographers featuring female athletes tackling extreme adventures: "Incredible Photos of Real-Life Wonder Women."
Keep up the great work everyone. I hope you all take the time to encourage one another on the assignment discussion board by favoriting each others' photos, and leaving comments and feedback. Because to me, that is what makes Your Shot special: we are a community — not a contest — where together we will become better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Editor's Update 01
The “Because of Her” assignment is still going, and we’ve seen some really inspiring images come in. We want to share a few with you as you continue photographing the women in your lives.
Here are some examples of beautifully captured relationships:
We love how these images convey a feeling more than a literal moment or portrait of a woman:
As you continue working on this assignment, take your vision a step further and strive to communicate on an emotional level — these are always the strongest images. For example, we love this image of a woman as teacher and role model: "She is also a teacher" by Tuan Truong. We saw a number of images addressing this theme, but this image uses light, color, and mood to communicate on a more emotional level.
Keep introducing us to the women in your lives who inspire you!
Amy and David