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Assignment

Dear Future Generations,

This assignment ran from Aug 14 to Sep 5, 2017.

Every time you take a picture, you are capturing a moment in time. You’re essentially building an archive.

For this assignment, Your Shot invites you to share photos and stories that document the legacy of our present world for future generations. Pretend that the final story will be a museum exhibition 100 years in the future. What are the landscapes — urban, natural, and social — and timeless human stories that need to be documented and preserved? I am looking for stories and photos that resonate in the present day, and will also reveal to future generations the world we live in now.

This assignment was inspired by a National Gallery of Art exhibition, “East of the Mississippi” featuring photographs from the 1890’s that “present a vision of a nation filled with natural wonder, brimming with innovation, and undergoing rapid yet unstoppable change.”

For inspiration, think about what those images, taken more than 100 years ago, tell us about now. Then imagine what the world will look like 100 years in the future, and how future generations will reflect on photos we create today. Show us those pictures. Because Your Shot is home to photographers from 195 countries, the final story will be an insightful, powerful, and global archive of images and stories for future generations to study, analyze, and understand.

For this assignment, your caption will be important. You won’t be present in the future to explain the who, what, when, and why featured in your photo — so take advantage of your caption to provide necessary details and information for the viewer. How can you make the Your Shot community—and future generations—care about that moment you’ve captured?


David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Curated by:

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

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  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Sep 18, 2017.
Thank you for your contributions!

Editor's Update 01

Posted aug 25, 2017

I am having so much fun curating this assignment. I really love how thoughtful people are being in their photos AND captions. I didn’t expect people to write their captions like letters to the future generations; what a wonderful surprise. I love it.

I’ve been going through the discussion board, and offering advice and feedback to those who are asking BEFORE submitting to the assignment. I really do think this is so smart. I cannot emphasize this enough — take advantage of the discussion board and encourage each other. Help each other. Together we will all become better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers.

I wanted to write a quick Editor’s Update and encourage everyone to participate and submit to our other assignment, “I Love You” which is curated by National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. He is inviting you to share photos and stories of love. Now more than ever we must find a way to connect with each other, to show empathy and the strength of our global community.

I really love this assignment, and hope everyone submits their photos and stories of love. As John writes in his assignment introduction, “And because Your Shot is a global community featuring photographers from 195 countries, this assignment will become a beautiful library sharing photos and stories of love from around the world. Take a minute and reflect how meaningful that will be. Photography and storytelling is a powerful medium when you have a purpose, and I hope we inspire each other through this assignment. I want us — the Your Shot community — to focus on love, and to tell others 'I love you.'"

As you share your photos and stories of love, I hope it will inspire you to also think about our future generation, and the world we are going to leave them…

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

David Y. Lee

David Y. Lee

Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Before joining the Your Shot team, I covered the White House for Time and Newsweek, and served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I also started The Waiting List, a non-profit storytelling project featuring people connected by the decision to say yes to the gift of life.