Story

Family Portrait

Published Jan 7, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 16 Contributors

    16 photos selected by

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    my kids together in our garden during the summer

    #child #sibligns #family #portrait

    Since the launch of our first Your Shot assignment last spring, we’ve published ten stories of your pictures ranging from night photography to foodscapes to the changing world around us. In this assignment, we asked you to tackle perhaps the most personal of subjects: your own families.

    With the nearly 7,000 images submitted, you shared with us your most private worlds, relationships, and stories, and for that I thank you. The pictures were made compelling by how many of you brought emotion to your photographs. The authenticity of the moments and people in your submissions was what made this assignment meaningful.

    My grandpa at his 90 years.

    #detail #grandparent #closeup #man #90 #grandpa #portrait #old

    Editor's Note

    I love this portrait because it really connects the viewer to the subject in a close, real way. The tightness of the frame and simplicity of the background draw you into the man’s eyes and expression and make you wonder about him. He looks deep in thought, or perhaps perplexed - and after lingering on th... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    According to tradition, the man in front, the groom, is shaved by the godfather with a knife and ...

    #people #family #wedding

    Editor's Note

    This picture is a great illustration of family dynamics. My eyes go first the the groom laughing... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    celebrate with happy moment in Eid With Family .

    #people

    Editor's Note

    I like that this portrait really shows the child within the context of his greater family and com... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    My father sorting his mother's belongings shortly after her passing, in her home of 50 years. He ...

    #father #family #grandmother #grieving

    The 16 images I’ve selected for this story capture many of the facets of family life that we can all relate to. The passing down of traditions and wisdom between generations and the unwavering loyalty between family members were a couple of these universal themes I saw in many of your pictures. I was drawn to the pictures that were not only technically well executed and creatively framed, but those that captured genuine moments and illustrated the notion of family in an unexpected way.

    My nephews with their grandfather, playing in the fields.

    #grandfateher #togheter #grandpa #kids

    Editor's Note

    The boys look curious and intrigued by the towering sunflowers. For me, this image is about the ... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    This is my dad and my younger step-brother playing a kite last summer vacation. Its always a joy ...

    #father #people #relationship #kite #monochrome #dad #nature #blackandwhite

    This photo really shows the trust and love of a father and his children. A self portraight that ...

    #trust #love #underwater

    Like captured birds...Childhood is a golden cage, pure and carefree...

    #light #sun #kid #family #children

    Editor's Note

    This image has a nice nostalgic quality to it. It really illustrates the comfort of the domestic... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    Twin brothers wrapped up in the towel of their beloved soccer team 'Manchester United'.

    #uk #twins #beach #portraits #family #men #teenagers #siblings #boys #male #people #bond #close #brothers

    Editor's Note

    I like the simplicity of this portrait. The symmetry of the photograph highlights the similariti... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    This is my son, from the US, getting a soccer ball handoff from his cousin, who is from Belize. B...

    #soccer #family

    -

    #chicago #people #portrait

    We have three dogs; Markus (Siberian Husky), George (Toy Poodle) and Poochie (Chihuahua Mix). Amo...

    #family #black_and_white #portaits #bestfriends

    Editor's Note

    What makes this image compelling to me is the personalities of both the woman and her dog that co... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    father and his son Alan . First encounter with the sea .

    #father #bw #people #child #sea #hands

    When we convert the sofa into a bed the kids love to play on it. Rebekah (age 5) "pancakes" her ...

    #brother #sister #candid #livingroom #family #play #domestic #fun #children #portrait #kids #house #bed

    It would have been my parents 50th anniversary but my dad didn't make it by two months only. I wa...

    #mum #affection #parents #humanity #family #elderly #dad

    Editor's Note

    This portrait of an aging couple is powerful and beautiful in the way it captures the relationship between the two subjects. Because of the caption we know the husband died shortly after the picture was made, although there is a solemness to the image itself that already informs us of that to some degree.... More

    Ben Fitch
    Associate Photo Editor, Traveler Magazine

    Thank you, again, to all who submitted pictures to this assignment. Collectively, your images have created a family album of sorts that represents not only the Your Shot community as a whole but the greater world of families outside it as well.

    Although there were many great pictures submitted to this assignment, not all could fit within the story. Look out for a post on our Your Shot blog where I will be featuring some of my favorite images not selected for the story!

    About the Editor
    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 ...
    107 comments
    Miguel G.
    Miguel G.

    Hello Mr. Ben Fitch, I get noticed in my inbox my photo for family portrait  was publisher 3 months ago, but when I went to check I don't see the photo.!

    Ceney Dugas
    Ceney Dugas

    Enjoyed this very much, a real talent!!!!!

    Margaret Metcalfe
    Margaret Metcalfe

    I loved all these photos, especially the one of the dad and his three kids underwater and the older couple at the end, a close reflection of my own family. What an amazing assignment, to reflect our families through the lens... freezing a moment to capture the essence of our closest relationships. I didn't submit any photos but it has got me thinking about how to take photos that we can look back on and feel what we experienced. Family is one of the cornerstones of life... get it right (by which I mean, instill family values like respect, love, loyalty, trust, care and concern, good communication and lots of fun), and these values get handed down to the next generation. Well done!

    cathy macleod
    cathy macleod

    I really enjoyed the last photo, I felt as though the photo told an entire story.

    Angela Teles
    Angela Teles

    Amazing works! The first portrait is amazing.

    Edith Lassonde
    Edith Lassonde

    Beautiful choices….All celebrating the core of family with love and trust in each photo. My favorites are the young children hanging onto Dad swimming and the couple holding hands still in love even at death.

    Lawrence Huggins
    Lawrence Huggins

    If only the rest of the world were like this!  Please let us see more.

    asim khan
    asim khan

    Very nice photographs indeed. Shows the closeness  of family.

    Abdol Mehdipour
    Abdol Mehdipour

    After the all activities we see in the previous pictures we were very happy, but at the last one which shows

    the end of the story I in the deep thought .

    JACINTO SIA
    JACINTO SIA

    Timely. We need to focus our attention on the family, the core of our society, 

    Diane Barnes
    Diane Barnes

    Wonderful photos! The camera captures more than images. Very heartfelt.

    steve wesenberg
    steve wesenberg

    Hopefully someone can take something away from each and every photo

    jackie c.
    jackie c.

    So much expression and emotions in these photos they just pull the viewer into them.

    Leah Wahl
    Leah Wahl

    Lovely photos, taken with passion and joy.

    David Matyczynski
    David Matyczynski

    Many beautiful images.... thank you for showing beauty is everywhere around us....

    pamela smith
    pamela smith

    wow is all I can say ...beautiful memories

    Sharon Belley
    Sharon Belley

    Wow, wow, wow....Sean Scott's underwater picture is simply amazing...kind of etherial and quite unforgettable....

    Tarak Dhulia
    Tarak Dhulia

    This is just near to the heart. Mind can never think this to happen. Its so natural, live, selfless, adorable, wordless. You can just see yourself in every picture.  

    Márcia Matias
    Márcia Matias

    This images are so powerful. Just a beautiful thing to see 

    Leonardo V.
    Leonardo V.

    I did not join this assignment. I wanted to have submitted at least one picture, but unfortunately I can say that I could not. It's weird, but I think it's natural. I like the idea that we can spend some experience ahead hoping to help other people and this time my tip is: sometimes a failure can become something productive and, above all, acceptable. An admirer of the complicated things of the woods who failed in an interesting angle of his own family! No other assignment could have taught me so much. I realized here what I could have lived a lifetime without realizing; a weakness that should be crafted for allowing me to be a bit more dynamic, flexible and complete. Congratulations to all for the exciting images submitted, especially those selected for this story. Beautiful job, Ben! Thank you again, YS' friends!

    Veronika K-Ko
    Veronika K-Ko

    Dear friends,please vote here,let more people see the story,of poor leopard! Would be nice if we,somehow,could help these amazing,intelligent,powerful animals,if we protect and safe them!We have to fight against the hunters,killers of these wonderful creations!

    http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2757168/

    Amit D Chury
    Amit D Chury

    Congratulations to all those who captured such amazing shots.... never thought family can be discribed in such a manner as well.... superb...

    Kiran Nasir
    Kiran Nasir

    Congratulations to the story contributors. I agree with the selections except the 1st one, which is just a portrait of an old man and doesn't fit in the category of family .

    GIANCARLO MERLOTTI
    GIANCARLO MERLOTTI

    excelent choice, i like the photo of Adelina Lliev and coroieu octavian, simple beautifull photos. Congratulations.

    Richard Sullivan
    Richard Sullivan

    One of the disheartening thing about the internet is trying to fathom others' comments, as here. That so many do not recognize or acknowledge "family" in these photos is troubling.

    Vanessa Hirsch
    Vanessa Hirsch

    Congratulations to the story contributors.  I was interested in reading all the comments and discussion and am on the side of those disappointed in the story since it did not really meet my vision of family. Like Tanya Popove though, I can see family in each of the photos chosen but for the most part they were not my favorites of those submitted to the assignment. I admit to disappointment that my own photo "New beginnings" was not part of the story.  It was chosen as an editors favorite (by Monica not by Ben) and had a lot of "votes" from the community. I was not terribly surprised though since I don't think the viewpoints and likes of the members are really a major consideration in the choice of either DD or the Stories. It really is the vision of the editor in charge and sometimes I am in agreement and sometimes not. For example, I loved "Imagine If" and I love the way Jay Dickman is handling the latest assignment by highlighting a wide range of images during the submission phase which gives more images a chance for visibility in the community. Overall though the assignments have been discouraging and a little frustrating.

    Gabrielle Borggaard
    Gabrielle Borggaard

    Beautiful photos, well chosen! I love the simple crisp day to day feel of most of them! I can imagine it would be very hard to narrow down :-D

    Tanya Popove
    Tanya Popove

    I just read all of the comments and  thought about Glasser S.'s comment while I went back to the images again.  As I looked again, I was able to find family in every image. It wasn't what I would typically call a "family portrait" , but there were family moments and all were great photographs.  I think that it goes to show all of us that we all see life in different ways.  What means something to someone may mean nothing to another. Congratulations to all who participated and the winners as well!

    Iman Emadian
    Iman Emadian

    I cant believe the kinds of photos you publish!! some of them are not even good and they are indeed outrageous

    Srimanta Ray
    Srimanta Ray

    @Veronika K-Ko thanks for make kind attention on that picture..... I read the story and voted too.... very sad news as per information given b the photographer.... thanks again... regards... :)Sri

    Diane Sawchuck
    Diane Sawchuck

    @Iman Emadian With the Foodscapes assignment I suggested that for all assignments the editors: 1) State how and why the photo meets the assignment guidelines, 2) comment on the technical aspects of the photo and 3) comment on the emotive aspects of the photo - otherwise it's pure personal bias and you don't need the title of NG Photo Editor to do the job (this comment is not reflective of my opinion of the photos chosen, but the process/accountability of why/how they're chosen). I actually just wrote NG this morning commenting that they're choosing cover photos on Your Shot (e.g. Adventure) that are obvious software compositions and requested that to avoid confusion and inconsistencies, not to mention the encouragement of such compositions, they either stick to their own guidelines or change their guidelines regarding submission of unrealistic images. 

    Iman Emadian
    Iman Emadian

    @Diane Sawchuck @Iman Emadian 

    I agree with you Diane. we all each go through trouble of making photographs in the hope that we make it to the NG publicatoin but yet the editors carelessly denies us at his/her pleasure. Thanks for your support!

    nahed h.
    nahed h.

    @Glasser S. @Iman Emadian  I think that most, but not all of these pictures are good ones, and that Fitch did a good job in this respect. But I was a little perplexed on how he got to be the editor when I read about his background  on his profile page. But I guess, more seasoned photographer probably are harder to get. But hey, congratulation to him for landing this interesting position.

    Iman Emadian
    Iman Emadian

    @Glasser S. @Iman Emadian 


    Yes I totally agree with you. The real art has been so diluted down to a point that it has lost its real value. Real editors must be beyond the photographic artist and must be well aware of all photographic techniques and trends But, it seems like that's surely not the case!

    Members Published In the Story