Love Snap

Published Mar 14, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    27 photos selected by

    Lynn Johnson
    National Geographic Photographer
    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor
    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer
    • 0

    Nikon d7000

    #moment #wedding #love

    Love. How do you see it? How do you translate the intensity you feel toward the person breathing beside you in bed at 4 a.m. into a two-dimensional slice of light and form? 

    Amid the torrent of babies and puppies, we applaud those of you who refreshed the clichés. You brought the romance back into the 1950s American wedding-kiss fantasy—using the bride’s veil as if it were a filter for intimacy. We admire those of you who found the more unexpected moments of tenderness—a father releasing a bird, or a girl and her grandmother spinning in matching polka dots. And we are especially grateful to those of you who shared heartfelt stories of loss and recovery.

    If only you could have heard the three of us going at it as we narrowed our favorites down from hundreds of images to a mere 27. Each of us championed our pet frames, warriors on your behalf, arguing the importance of the backstory versus the visual finesse, the power of the light versus the insight of the shooter. Luckily we have known each other for 30 years, so absolute honesty and respect ruled as we learned from each other. We hope you find the same sanctuary for your work here in the Your Shot community.

    Ask yourself why you photograph. To share the fun times? To document the unbelievable? To preserve a moment that might never survive as a memory without that picture you shot?

    Forgive us if we sounded demanding. We wanted to goad you into a deeper originality, a raw authenticity going beyond the slick, idealized ads promising love in impossible ways. Don’t settle for anyone else’s ideas. Only you can create your own true vision of love. 

    I composed and shot this during early morning hours , few days prior to this couples wedding .

    #couple #anticipatethemoment #love #people #places

    Editor's Note

    A scene right out of a Bollywood musical number, from the camera angle of a blessing angel. The lovers’ bodies at a diagonal against the backdrop of blossoms, their bare feet, the flare of the woma... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    My Grandmothers hand wearing the two rings. One belongs to her and second to someone who is gone.

    #bw #death #old #granny #hand #ring

    2 lovers at the train station.

    #lovers #train #station #bench #love #people

    Oliver getting ready to go out. When he sees his mommy smiling at him, he emits love beams!

    #crib #oliver

    Editor's Note

    Who could resist the baby critter in his protective pen, fitting right into this pastel storybook world with its own map? The lighthearted vibe can’t help but inspire happiness.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    When Cecilia was born, we spent 6 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was barely 2 lb...

    #kiss #father #beloved #dad #black_and_white #baby #birth #infant #love #nicu #premature #film

    As my cousin and I were getting ready to leave for a concert, she was enjoying a few minutes with...

    #cats #twins #family #home #love #children

    As I was shooting the streets of Brooklyn I met a woman on a government food line,hungy, to colle...

    #streetphotography #nyc #black_and_white #hungerandhope #daily_dozen #love #humanity #document

    Editor's Note

    First of all, to the photographer, Donato, thank you for writing a complete and informational caption. It makes such a difference for a photograph like this. I love knowing the story of how you fou... More

    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer

    A father and daughter enjoying the cabin life.

    #cabin #love

    Maja & grandma

    #woman #people #girl

    A home is something that signifies togetherness and the bond shared between the family or the peo...

    #daughter #mom #love #smile

    Daughter looking at her Mom under the bus stop light.

    #daughter #mother

    In-home care of elderly woman. Granddaughter gives a glass of water and medicines to her grandmot...

    #care #grandmother #caregiver #elderlyperson #aging

    Upside down.

    #kids

    Editor's Note

    My sisters and I used to hang over the edge of the bed in just this way, our hair dangling. We all bring our own emotional associations to any photo, don’t we? But of course it’s the echo of the d... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    A beautiful double rainbow in the Arizona desert! Out jumping in puddles after a downpour and cou...

    #life #desert #ginger #potofgold #rainbow #redhead #aftertherain

    How innocent. That is the message of this photograph, and every quality of the image reinforces that—the light, the color palette, the way the child is standing in space, the expression on her face, the symbolism of a double rainbow. We all want to believe in the pot of gold at the end, and this photo makes a convincing argument for just that. Whenever a photographer can bring all the qualities of an image together, they increase the power of the image beyond the visual.

    Children enjoying swings in slums next to railway line and that's what love is ..and i feel for l...

    #swing #streetphotography #street #joy #children

    Childrens busy in playing after their school

    Timamo, my 15 year old neighbor rushes home, completes his chores as quickly as possible, then be...

    #hands #africa #fabric #soccer #love #football #mozambique

    True Praise. Daraja Children Choir of Africa

    #410bridge #praisehim #darajachildrenchoir

    Editor's Note

    Fortunately, this photo doesn't need an extensive caption—although the photographer could have wr... More

    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer

    Someday...

    #ballet #dream #kid

    This picture was taken in a picnic day, we found a wounded humming bird that flew and crashed on ...

    #fatherandson #hummingbird #love

    Love comes in many forms and a peaceful morning can be full of it !

    #colours #moments #happines #light #child #life #shadow #simplcity #painting #love #beauty #smallcats #cat

    unstaged photograph on a ferry of my friend looking out the window.

    #friendship #ferry #spontaneous

    Măuţa Nedelcu, age 37, and Florin Nedelcu, age 34, are crying in front of the place their eight-m...

    #tragedy #daughter #dead #romania #love #cry

    Editor's Note

    I remember scrolling through the thousands of images submitted for the Love Snap assignment, wond... More

    Lynn Johnson
    National Geographic Photographer

    My mom was dying from colon cancer. My nephew came in and asked her if she wanted him to curl up ...

    #grandson #hospice #coloncancer

    Editor's Note

    It's not a conventional image. It's a moment in life that makes most of us uncomfortable. We might even turn away. But there is something about the child’s eyes that hold us. It feels to me that he... More

    Lynn Johnson
    National Geographic Photographer

    My 5yo daughter visiting my father in a hospice inpatient care center. I wasn't thinking about ge...

    #death #grandchildren #lovesnap #dying #love #whendeathcomes #yourshotbook

    The little girl’s visit to her grandfather, though it records a similar time in life, is seen quite differently than the photo above. Also powerful is the photographer's use of nuanced light and sense of color. In this case we are observers. There is no eye contact, but we are permitted to be present at a time of sharing between grandparent and grandchild. Both images are important moments in lives young and old, visual records that emphasize relationship and moment—the essentials of great photography.

    Giacomo e Maria

    Editor's Note

    This photograph is the perfect illustration of the power of photography. It's an older woman holding photos of herself and her husband, who just passed away. The small photos show them when they we... More

    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer

    Having the opportunity to review thousands of photographs several times over, we were starstruck by this idea of the democracy of images. This is such a powerful idea: Images from all around the globe are brought together on a venue almost everyone with Internet can access, with pictures posted by the very people who took them in the most equal way—no first or last, just there growing by the moment.

    Love Snap offered us a collective chance to see what we think is important, how we see the world, and even how we see an emotion like love. There were many more beautiful, thoughtful, powerful images than we could ever hope to highlight. Collectively, you should all be proud, and we have cherished the opportunity for all of us, thousands of us, to come together in this most democratic way to share how we view the world in a democracy of images.

    About the Editors
    Lynn Johnson
    Lynn Johnson
    National Geographic Photographer
    Photojournalist Lynn Johnson has been photographing the global human condition for the past 35 years. A regular contributor to publications like National Geographic and to various foundations, Johnson brings a subtle perspective to tough issues—the scourge of landmines, the value of threatened languages, and rape in the military among others. ...
    Elizabeth Krist
    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor
    Elizabeth Cheng Krist was a long-time photo editor with National Geographic. She curated the Women of Vision exhibition and book, as well as an auction for Christie’s. Krist has judged grants and competitions for Visura, PDN, Critical Mass, Aftermath, and the State Department, and with her colleagues has won awards ...
    Maggie Steber
    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer
    Maggie Steber has worked as a documentary photographer in 63 countries. Her photos are included in the Library of Congress collection and the African Diaspora collection at the University of Miami, where she serves as a visiting lecturer. A collection of Haiti photographs from her longtime work in the country ...

    Photographers Published In the Story