Assignment

Family Portrait

This assignment ran from Dec 3 to Dec 24, 2013.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and the term has never been more all-inclusive or had so many different meanings than it does today. Your brothers and sisters, your sports team, your classmates, even your larger community might be thought of by you as family. What I’m interested in seeing with this assignment is how family is defined differently across the Your Shot community—and what you choose to explore and reveal about family through your photos.

In order to best tell your family story, you should strive not only to make beautiful images but also to capture the moments and qualities of your family life that make it unique. What does your family look like, and how would you like it to be remembered? More...

Curated by:

Ben Fitch
Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine
Assignment Status
  • Open

  • Closed

  • Published

Published Jan 7, 2014.
Thank you for your contributions!

Connection

Posted dec 18, 2013

Part of what makes photographing members of your own family so interesting is the close relationship you have to them. Unlike with photographing strangers, in this assignment you know your subjects extremely well and can achieve a connection and intimacy with them in your pictures that would be hard for an outsider to do.

Most of my favorite photos submitted thus far have been those that couldn’t have been made by someone with zero connection to the people in the pictures. Be sure to use your comfort with and knowledge of your family as an advantage in this assignment—and show us images that highlight that closeness and realness.

This assignment closes in five days. Best of luck as you make your last images to submit before next week!

Diversity!

Posted dec 12, 2013

A week into the assignment and we’re nearing 3,000 submissions. I’d like to thank everyone who has submitted pictures so far—a lot of nice work has come in!

Many of the pictures that have been submitted at this point have been portraits, which I would expect and encourage in this type of assignment. However, I don’t want you to think too literally or straightforward about this assignment, either.

I encourage you to show diversity in your edits and use each of your three pictures to illustrate family in a different way. If you submit a portrait as one of your three allotted submissions, think about what your other two pictures might show. Perhaps it’s the scene of your family carrying out a tradition that’s been in your family for years, a detail shot of meaningful heirlooms passed down between generations, or a landscape of an area important to your family’s upbringing.

Lastly, don’t forget to send in detailed captions with your pictures. A thoughtful caption provides insight into a picture and gives it more meaning.

Be creative, think outside the box, and challenge yourself to tell your visual stories in meaningful, interesting, and unexpected ways.

Good luck!

Legacy

Posted dec 3, 2013

Last month I spent a weekend with my family at my grandmother’s house in Vermont. The Yellow House, as we call it, has been in my family for nearly 60 years and has been lived in or visited by my great-grandparents and by cousins and others from different branches and generations over the years.

Tucked away in old bookshelves and cabinets throughout the house are faded envelopes filled with old pictures left behind by various family members and dating back decades. Whenever my family visits the Yellow House, we find ourselves looking through these old pictures, handling each one with great care, treasuring the images that provide glimpses into the everyday lives of our relatives, some of whom we never knew.

What I love about family pictures is how well they can pass down the story of a family through a series of often informal and personal moments. What I hope to see with this assignment are photographs that show the intimate and meaningful connection between you (the photographer) and your subject matter. No matter how you define the word “family,” show us how yours is unique. Think about what you’d like others to know about your family story through looking at your pictures. Both posed and candid portraits are a great place to start, but also think about illustrating the important traditions, places, and personal qualities that make your family story special.

After all, if you as a photographer don’t record your family’s story, who will?

Ben Fitch

Ben Fitch

Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine
After earning a degree in Journalism and Art History in 2011, Ben Fitch set out on a journey to pursue photography that took him from Boston to Santa Fe to New York and eventually to the steps of National Geographic in Washington, DC. Prior to his current role editing photography for Traveler magazine, Ben edited photography for nationalgeographic.com.
298 comments
Nabanita Ganguly
Nabanita Ganguly

Wishing the entire family of NG a very happy and eventful 2014 :)

I AM
I AM

A merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year ahead to all my friends.

Gerard Burkhart
Gerard Burkhart

Thanks Ginger, 

Is that deadline time posted somewhere on the NGS website? A noon deadline for a contest is an oddity. Midnite the day stated is most common. Thought I had one worthwhile image for this, which is why I'm nit picking it.

Cheers

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

Hi All, Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday time! 

Here are the Family Portrait submissions I ended up with. One a classic portrait, one a silly shadow portrait, and one a depiction of my family life at home. Feedback welcome and appreciated! 

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2509216/

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2644382/

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2638046/

Thanks to Ben Fitch and National Geo for making this assignment! Thanks to all of you wonderful people for showing the world your vision of family!


Good luck to all!

Gerard Burkhart
Gerard Burkhart

If this assignment ends on the 24th why are the submissions closed?

Your cover page says "Ends Today" not "Ended Yesterday"

Hiren Vadiya
Hiren Vadiya

Hi Every One, wishing you all Merry Christmas. 

Shyam Pandya
Shyam Pandya

hello everyone and merry Christmas. I think it would be great if we are able to share resources(names of books, videos and weblinks, etc.) that we may have come across or refer to understand photography. I find this site quite helpful: www.photoshelter.com. 


In the meanwhile, i have posted some new shot at http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/135724/


cheers!

Raju Gurung
Raju Gurung

Great to see all amazing talents out here. You are all very awesome. I also want to share my perspectives to you all. 

My portrait picture takes a form of experimenting with lights, shadows of us human at Sai Kung, Hong Kong. Through this picture, I want to show that with the light-dark cycles of nature, we grow up every day physically and mentally.

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2625472/

Julie Good
Julie Good

Hello!!!! I just wanted to wish all my dear NGO YS friends and staff a very Merry Christmas and happy new year!! I have been busy learning photography and my shutter settings, I have been spending much time on the Mississippi river watching eagles and I have captured a few shots, next month I will finally have a DLSR in my hot hands.. I have uploaded a few to my gallery already,


I wish you all well and I am so excited to see the published stories! This was a fun one!

srimanta ray
srimanta ray

Respected Editors & All Of My Friends,

The concept of all of the Assignment is superb; I feel it. Because all tease assignments are creative and I realize its these are the steroid of creation and very needful and helpful too....after  'The Night' Assignment I tried several times to catch something new; I wait for the Foggy Night and also think source of light and object; because here in the night the object and light is a rare thing-this is a very remote place in India. But luckily  yesterday I got it-The Fog, The Light and The Subject too....I don't know that this is a god picture or not, but happy to capture and enjoy the foggy night on the road...I think all credits goes to my all of NG Friends those who appreciate and inspired me and Specially The National Geographic Editors and there Views and the ASSIGNMENTS too... Thanks again to all of you... LETS EXPLORE>>>>>Regards....Yours Friend.... :)Sri

Deborah Guyette
Deborah Guyette

The Editor's favorites. 

These are the best out of (5673) pictures. May I ask out of all the favorites that where picked, is that where the editor is going to make the choice for the Family Portrait

Brenda Villegas
Brenda Villegas

I Love taking pictures and I am practicing , I recently took pictures at a weeding so far I believe it went great. I will post some pictures, I do appreciate feedback please.

SamanthaLyn Samuelson
SamanthaLyn Samuelson

That is an awesome site...took forever to load, but was so worth it! Lots and lots to see!!

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

@Gerard Burkhart Hi Gerard, Your question sent me looking back through assignments to find the deadline posted, and the last one I could find was for the "Spontaneous Adventure" assignment. So, it seems weird that there have been a few assignments since with no guidelines posted. Anyway, they seem to be adhering to the same time frame each time, which is that the assignment closes at 11:59:59 AM on the date posted. I can't tell you why it closes at basically noon, but that's how they do it. Hopefully your image is something you can submit in the future for a different assignment!

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

@Gerard Burkhart Hi Gerard, I have learned that the assignments close at 12 noon, Eastern Standard Time on the date they have posted. So, it closed at noon EST today (for me that was 9 AM). So where I live on the west coast US, I just have to think of it as ending in the morning of the day they say, and I get submissions in by the day before... 

Sorry if it means you missed submitting - that happened to me last time. There will be more assignments, though! 


Linda B.
Linda B.

@Shyam Pandya I like your idea.  I wish there were a general discussion area for Your Shot where people could comment or ask questions outside of the assignment discussion area.  Maybe they will do that.

Ben Fitch
Ben Fitch expert

@Deborah Guyette Hi Deborah - thanks for your question/  No, the Editor's Favorite images are by no means a comprehensive edit of all of the submissions so far.  When the assignment closes, I will look at every photo that has been submitted and after many rounds of editing I will select the pictures to be featured in the story.  In the meantime, I have been periodically monitoring the assignment, and favoriting images that catch my eye on a not-so-regular basis.  Therefore, if I have not favorited your photo yet - it still has an equal chance of being published in the story.  

Karri N.
Karri N.

@Deborah Guyette I have always been curious about this too, not just for the Family Portrait, but for every assignment lately. I hope the editors don't limit their choice of images for the story from just their favourite section.

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