arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Strong Women

  • 0

Published Apr 18, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 28 Contributors

    28 photos selected by

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer
    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Portrait of a Tanzanian woman during an interview about nutrition for a project in a rural area o...

    #tanzania #lights #africa #rural_africa #research #portrait #nutritionresearch #people #travel

    It has been an honor looking through the thousands of photos of Strong Women and reading the stories behind them. We saw moments of friendship, love, motherhood, hard work, grief, bravery, vulnerability and beauty. In documenting these women with your camera, you celebrated their lives. Thank you for letting us be a part of that.

    My daughter wants to fly to the moon. I wanted to create a surreal world with the balloons in whi...

    #ngmadventure #oheka_castle #ngmcreate_1 #astronaut #portrait #followme

    Editor's Note

    Juan, I love this photo because it perfectly illustrates your love for your daughter, and your encouragement in the pursuit of her dreams. By making this image a reality for your daughter, you have... More

    David Y. Lee
    Associate Photo Editor

    In this picture my wife seems to double in two, just like a superhero.Infact, If I have to think ...

    #water #natgeoinspires #my_love #blackandwhite #ngmspace #woman #underwater #strong_women

    Editor's Note

    I adore this black-and-white photo. It is stunning in its simplicity. Not sure if this was posed, but her stance and positioning add to the graceful quiet quality of the image.

    Jeanne M Modderman
    National Geographic Photo Producer

    Pilgrim on her daily predawn walk by the Ganga Ghats.

    #predawn #light #peace #minimalism #varanasi #glow #mystery #street #pilgrim #shawl #walking #india #fog

    Editor's Note

    I like how this pilgrim is walking into the unknown which is hidden by the fog; there is a fantastic, and mysterious mood to your photo. I really love how you've captured the pilgrim in a perfect m... More

    David Y. Lee
    Associate Photo Editor

    Fatumah is a single, teenage mother living in Mukono, Uganda. Like many girls around the world, s...

    #mundane #uganda #africa #strong #mother #woman #muslim

    Editor's Note

    This image has beautiful color and light and a wonderful moment. Really nice shot for the assignment.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    After the war, life recovered thanks to the strong will of people. The independence of women is o...

    #scarf #leisure #meeting #coffee #circle #people #table #culture #round #talk

    Editor's Note

    Really nice composition and repetition of circles - the hand resting on the other woman makes the image for this assignment. Well done!

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    Alison, mother of eight, breastfeeds her youngest daughter, Sarah, 2, at the kitchen table in the...

    #motherhood #redwoods #housing #housingcrisis #breastfeeding #mother #family #children #forest

    Editor's Note

    Nice frame that captures this mother's strength within the chaos and complexity of her life.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    A kurdish woman with readable expressions,anxiety, sadness, hope, a full life. She has no way,...

    #portraitsofstrength #woman #kurdestan #iran

    Editor's Note

    This is a beautiful moment, conveying such a range of emotions. Well done.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Stella. A photo is one of the last ones from summer 2015. That summer was for me as a mother do ...

    #moment #cold #life #blackandwhite #childhood #portrait #girl

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful, intimate composition and I am drawn in by the goosebumps - they conjure emotions of fear, or being vulnerable to the cold.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    When strength is described in lace and high heels. 23rd Street, New York City

    #streetphotography #lace #newyork #people #bike

    Editor's Note

    I love the contrast of the rough old bike, the fancy lace and feminine shoes. Not showing a face leaves room for my imagination to take over about who the rider is - wonderful.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    Woman walking along the road from Sacsayhuaman to Cusco with her Alpaca.

    #peru #built_to_walk #strongwomen #quechua #portrait #cusco #animal #people #travel #keepwalking

    Editor's Note

    I Love the portrait of this couple, how they are connected.

    Robin Schwartz
    Fine Art/Editorial Photographer

    This pic was taken at a brick kiln where the women were transferring bricks from the kiln to the ...

    #brickkiln #life #workers #gujarat #envirnment #klin #brick #india

    Editor's Note

    I love the graphic quality of this image.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Roma, Romics 2016 , Dancers

    #sony #sonya5000 #dancers #2016 #dancer #italy #lazio #prove #roma #italia #rome #ballerine

    Editor's Note

    I love this frame: the energy, the composition, the limbs, the angles. Nice moment.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Dr. Floarea Ciupitu, 61 has been a family doctor in Gangiova for the past three decades. In Roman...

    #village #countrydoctor #rural #social #romania #medicine #documentary #photography #doctor

    Editor's Note

    This is a nice moment - with the doctor at work, and a room full of onlookers. Plus a detailed caption.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    A 23 year old Khanti mother helps in the tribes bull selection while carrying her daughter. Every...

    #reindeeer #zebomba #khantis #mother #strongwoman #russia #herder #yamal

    Editor's Note

    A beautiful moment for the assignment and I love the textures in this image.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    My daughter Milena with her father during boxing lesson in our garden. The bag hit her. She was u...

    #summertime #boxing #family_portait #family_activity #child #family #girl #activity_kids #sport

    Editor's Note

    A subtle and sweet moment that beautifully portrays this father / daughter relationship and the characters of each of them - really nice.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    A Syrian woman cradles her crying baby on the shores of Lesbos after more than six hours at sea i...

    #syria #strongwomen #mother #migrantcrisis #home #refugee #greece #lesbos

    Editor's Note

    I love that this photo captures a powerful, intimate moment in the most difficult of situations. I like the link to poetry in your caption.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Mother Lanyero Christine languishes over 18 year old daughter and Nodding Disease sufferer Alaro ...

    #nodding_syndrome #uganda #villagelife

    Editor's Note

    This is a sad and impactful image. I commend the photographer for working to highlight this very devastating condition that needs to be researched further in Uganda.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    Fljurija Katunari, 18, cares for her two month-old daughter Elvira in a shack without water or el...

    #belgrade #displaced #serbia #roma #idp #baby #mother #motherhoood #poverty #marginalized

    Editor's Note

    I'm drawn to humanity in this image. I love the contrasts in between hope and despair - the rough conditions of this young woman's life contrast with the hope and future of her baby daughter. Lovely.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    This is a photo of Haddy and Awa, two Gambian models. This photo represents the strength of wome...

    #hair #braids #shadow #africa #sisters #models #family #gambia #strong_women #beauty

    Editor's Note

    What a beautiful, direct portrait. I love the lighting, and the informative caption.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    GREECE. Dodecanese. Karpathos island. Olympos village. Transportation of the groom's dowry to...

    #village #island #custom #wedding #dodecanese #karpathos #transportation #dowry #greece #olympos

    Editor's Note

    I love the repetition in this image, the different expressions of each the women and the contrast of the younger women (and girls) in the back of the line. The landscape of mountains and clouds in ... More

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    A winter hike up Mt Adams in White Mountains, New Hampshire, very windy with blowing snow

    #windy #winter #wind #whitemountains #snow #hiking #blowingsnow #mtadams #newhampshire

    Editor's Note

    I love the mood and the mystery the lighting in this image conveys.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    Jairo Escobar, Casey's full-time coach, spars with Casey in the ring to improve her strategy and ...

    #boxing #boxer #fightlikeagirl #fightlikeawoman #blackandwhite #sports #caseymorton

    Editor's Note

    What a great moment! I love the intensity in Casey's eyes as she focuses on her next move. Excellent caption. I look forward to seeing the whole series.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Transfer and fast evacuation of a wounded of the Spanish Army.

    #strongwoman

    Editor's Note

    Many people submitted portraits for this assignment. I like that you were able to capture a powerful woman in action.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Rome 2017

    #drama #hope_and_confidence #spring #street_photography #women #candid #beauty

    Editor's Note

    I'm drawn to the immediacy in this woman's face. The characters in the background add to the energy of the moment. Beautiful.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    This photo was taken on a rescue boat in the Mediterranean sea. A 9 months pregnant woman from Er...

    Editor's Note

    The energy of this moment is very well portrayed with the woman's flowing scarf and the expressions of the men helping her. I really appreciate the caption information helping to tell this very imp... More

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    A half century of wedded life, raising children, teaching special needs children for 30 years wor...

    #good_woman #time #hands_holding #woman_strong #hold_fast #mrs_b

    Editor's Note

    I like that you interpreted the assignment in this way, deciding that a portrait doesn't necessarily have to be of a face. Sometimes a detail can convey a great deal.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Nevaeha Nelson, also known as Ya-Ya, poses for a portrait at Future Boxing Club in Downtown Roche...

    #boxing #womenwhobox #strongwomen #boxing_gloves

    Editor's Note

    I like the strength and directness of this portrait. I love that you have included the quote from Ya-Ya. It reinforces the quiet confidence that she exudes in the image.

    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    For our final story, we chose images with beautiful light and a strong composition. We selected photos that delighted and moved us. We also considered the captions in our final selections. In many cases, the captions helped enhance your submissions—a pretty picture alone isn’t enough. When deciding between two equally compelling images, the image with the stronger caption made the final cut. A robust caption should include the basics (who, what, where, when, and why), as well as the intention of the picture, which gives the viewer a deeper appreciation of what is happening in the image. Some of you included a quote from the subject or a relevant line of poetry—a lovely addition. We know it takes a great deal of courage to share your work, and we appreciate having the opportunity to learn a bit more about you and the strong women in your life—thanks again.

    — Amy Toensing and Whitney Johnson

    About the Editors
    Amy Toensing
    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer
    Amy Toensing, an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people. Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her fifteenth feature story for them. She has ...
    Whitney Johnson
    Whitney Johnson
    National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography

    Photographers Published In the Story