We all have things that we want to do, but more often than not, life gets in the way. What do you daydream about doing eventually? Maybe you want to make the leap to owning your own business or spending more time with your family. Perhaps you go to the beach every year for vacation, but you dream about moving there permanently.
What's your future look like? Show us what you want to do someday.
Thank you for your contributions!
Three is Enough
We've limited how many photos you can submit to any one assignment because we want you to really think about what it is you're sending. We aren't a photo sharing site—we are a community of visual storytellers. We want to see your best. We want to see photos that mean something to you. We want to see what you think is your best, not what you think others will like or what you think the editors want to see.
Editing is tough—selecting one photo out of hundreds can be daunting. But it’s incredibly rewarding when that gem rises to the top and you know you've got the shot. We believe in quality over quantity.
So with that in mind, here are five things to think about before you submit your next photo.
- Be your own editor—only send the best.
- Tell us the story behind the photo. It’s important.
- Shoot what you care about—it shows.
- Develop your eye. You are unique; your photos should be too.
- A little Photoshop goes a long way.
Okay, so you’ve identified the story you want to tell. You’ve researched the person, place, or thing you are photographing. Now what?
Now it’s time to think about how to create a photo that tells the story in one shot. Pretend you're shooting a feature photo for a local community newspaper or website. What are the elements that need to be included so that your stand-alone image tells the whole story? Think about moment, light, and composition. What’s the best time of day or night for your subject? When will the story reach its apex—when does the decisive moment happen where all of the pieces of the puzzle magically come together? Where do you need to be to get that perfectly composed picture?
The key is to think about these things ahead of time so that you are prepared for whatever happens. The less you have to think while out in the field, the better—ideally you want to be totally present in the situation and not thinking about your next step.
Things rarely go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make one.
Someday Starts Today
Let’s assume that many of you are members of the Your Shot community to learn to become better photographers. And let’s assume that many of that group probably consider themselves beginners in the sense that there is a lot left to learn. Since we relaunched the site in May 2013, we’ve heard that some of the photographers who are just starting out feel intimidated when they view the amazing images that are shared every day on Your Shot. That somehow their work isn’t worthy of uploading, that this community isn’t for them. But the beauty of this community is that it’s open to everyone—photographers of all skill levels can share their work and their knowledge. Everyone is on the same playing field regardless of what kind of camera they shoot with or how long they’ve been taking pictures.
What matters most is whether your image tells a story. Getting the exposure right and making sure the photo is in focus are important, but they're not everything. So let’s start at the beginning. Before you go out and shoot, think about the story you're trying to tell. Spend time researching the location, the person, or the event you're taking photos of. When you get there, walk around the entire area and get to know the location before you start shooting. Strike up a conversation with a total stranger. Some of the best photographers would probably consider themselves introverts, but they're terrific at reading the person or situation in front of them.
So this week, I want you to practice the art of storytelling without, at first, taking any pictures. Give yourself time to think. Then go back out in the field armed with the knowledge of what’ve you seen and start taking pictures with intention.
The point of these assignments is to provide structure and guidance—to focus the photographer on a particular theme. Someday I want to be a better photographer, you think. Someday I want to be published by National Geographic. Let someday start today!