Story

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
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine
    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer

    Nikon d7000

    #moment #love #wedding

    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 .

    #people #places #love #couple

    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 woman’s skirt in the shape of a flower—all bathed in morning light—give the scene its idyllic feel.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

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

    #bw #ring #old

    2 lovers at the train station.

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

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

    #oliver #crib

    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
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

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

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

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

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

    As I was shooting the streets of Brooklyn I met a woman on a government food line,she was there t...

    #streetphotography #humanity #black_and_white #canon5d #nyc #brooklyn #love #getclose #leica

    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 found the woman, that you went back home with her, that she told you her story in the first place, that you met t... More

    Maggie Steber
    National Geographic Photographer

    A father and daughter enjoying the cabin life.

    #cabin #love

    Maja & grandma

    #people #girl #woman

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

    #daughter #smile #love #mom

    Daughter looking at her Mom under the bus stop light.

    #mother #daughter

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

    #elderlyperson #care #aging #caregiver #grandmother

    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 doll, punctuating the glowing bed, that adds an extra fun twist.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

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

    #potofgold #rainbow #desert #redhead #life #ginger #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...

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

    True Praise. Daraja Children Choir of Africa

    #praisehim #410bridge #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...

    #dream #kid #ballet

    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 !

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

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

    #friendship #spontaneous #ferry

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

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

    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 is inviting the viewer in to share the moment he's spending with his elder. He is brave, lying there beside o... 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 #dying #grandchildren #grandparents #dementia #lovesnap #up_close #intimate #love #people

    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. It's subtle—light coming from behind the people, creating a more moody frame. 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 were young and still at the beginning of their lives. I love to say that nothing can describe what your mother l... 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
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine
    Elizabeth Cheng Krist is a senior photo editor for National Geographic. A St. Louis native, she previously worked at Asia and Fortune in New York. Krist has judged grants and competitions for FotoVisura, PDN, Critical Mass, and Aftermath, and with her colleagues has won awards from POYi, the Overseas Press ...
    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 ...
    138 comments
    Kiran Kasture
    Kiran Kasture

    I liked it really good...awesome...timely clicked.

    jitender Dhir
    jitender Dhir

    Very good  captures from various  aspects of  life. Respect judge's  decision for the published one.

    Heersare Muxumed
    Heersare Muxumed

    I like these pictures, because wonderful photos are selected. 

    Jignesh Oza
    Jignesh Oza

    I like the pics which are showing types of feelings forever ...!!

    Tim Driscoll
    Tim Driscoll

    all of it just makes me feel that much stronger in my heart and soul and id.they all have the reason of and for the moment and my forever.thank you everyone.

    swastyayan saikia
    swastyayan saikia

    amazing selection indeed! I am so moved and impressed by the amount of thought put behind each selection! Kudos.

    Jade Warren
    Jade Warren

    These photos set in stone the absolute raw beauty of introspective love. 

    Dibakar Dutta
    Dibakar Dutta

    Good collection of thoughtful compositions and very good shots.. great compilation by the editors and congratulations to all the hardworking contributors...

    B. Yenior
    B. Yenior

    To the submitters; Thank you.  Your photographs were very touching. 

    Don Caskey
    Don Caskey

    Is this gallery still open for submissions?


    Sydney Hongsakornprasert
    Sydney Hongsakornprasert

    Don't you just love this amazing gallery!!!!  This helps a lot to improve our skills, perspective of photography. Good job everyone. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Christopher Palmer
    Christopher Palmer

    Great job to everyone that submitted a photo and congrats to all that got published. Photography is a way one can express a talent. One might be able to draw, paint or write novels. 99% of the time I do not read the story with the photo due to I want to feel the story of the picture and let my mind enjoy what I see and not what I read.

    Ursula Dare
    Ursula Dare

    I have only been taking pictures for the last year, and am totally in love with my camera, I love walking around, it is as if I am seeing the world for the very first time.  I totally love this website, and looking at all the amazing pictures and thinking, Am I ever going to be half as good as all these talented people? Awesome 

    marin packer
    marin packer

    I can't believe for years I've been missing out on such an amazing website. Now I am totally addicted to Nat Geo "your shots".. so much talent!! Great work!

    Lynn Johnson
    Lynn Johnson expert

    i just love how everyone is keeping the love going! and thanks to many of you for some more thoughtful words to replace "subject" - i particularly like...focus, purpose, composition, balance and moment!

    Jai Sikand
    Jai Sikand

    Love the pics selected by the editors in the story on love. Thank you for putting together such great collection. 

    Pat Yeaman
    Pat Yeaman

    What an excellent collection of images to illustrate this love story.  I especially appreciated the editors' notes.  They were quite beautiful and put into words what made the photos powerful, what we felt when looking at them.

    Leonardo V.
    Leonardo V.

    Brilliant pictures! Congratulations everyone! I'm sad to be away from Your Shot and my explorations in the last weeks, but all return is rewarding. Beautiful story! #LetsExplore!

    Raúl Arámbula
    Raúl Arámbula

    i just had to like every single one of these pictures. all of them were so amazing. congratulations to all the photographers who were selected.

    Maggie Steber
    Maggie Steber expert

    Many congratulations to all the people who ended up in the final selection but congratulations to everyone who took the time to think about this idea of love, to photograph their ideas, their loved ones and places, and to post it on Love Snap.  Spread the love, baby!!!

    Lynn Johnson
    Lynn Johnson expert

    Hello Love Snap community. I have another challenge for all of you. Can we please find another word for the people, animals, loveliness and power of the world that we find in front of our lenses other than SUBJECT!!!!! That term has always felt so objectifying to me and I refuse to use it.

    What are your ideas please?

    Alissa Jade
    Alissa Jade

    @Don Caskey This assignment is closed now,Don. It ended on the 6th. There is a new assignment going on now :)

    Leonardo V.
    Leonardo V.

    @Don Caskey Hi Don! We have the assignments, the curation stage and the published story, which is the final result of all the process. Love Snap is a published story now, which means that we can no longer submit photos on it. But take a look at the new opened assignments we have here from time to time. There are many interesting ones to come soon! http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/assignments-stories/ 

    Happy clicks!

    Jai Sikand
    Jai Sikand

    @Lynn Johnson  I like what you have shared. I will be mindful of using more meaningful words that connect more with my true emotions, than using a general word subject or subject matter. 


    Kalsoom Saleem
    Kalsoom Saleem

    @Lynn Johnson   Kindness, Humanity, Life, Happiness, Justice, Honesty, Peace, Balance,  etc...
     These may be abstract but an integral reason why the world is beautiful.

    Leonardo V.
    Leonardo V.

    @Lynn Johnson  Moment. For the subject to exist, its moment must exist first. Photography is all about the moment and you, the time frame in which only you and nobody else can attend in face of eternity. The moment does not segregate elements. It is exclusive, a state of grace and harmony.

    Lynn Johnson
    Lynn Johnson expert

    All good. Let's keep going. Thank you Marie. More please everyone.

    It's about respect flowing both ways and curiosity and engagement and collaboration. A great beginning.

    Members Published In the Story