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Explore Your State

This assignment ran from Sep 10 to Oct 1, 2018.

This assignment theme received the most votes from our User Submitted Assignment Suggestion Poll.

Hello, fellow photographers!

Thanks for voting for "Explore Your State" for the next Nat Geo Your Shot assignment. My name is Noah Brooks, and I'm currently living in Flamingo, Florida, in Everglades National Park.

When my friend and I first got our drivers’ licenses, we started exploring our state. We would take road trips all the time, and I would always bring my camera along. We would often look at the map of Florida and plan where to go next. We couldn't help but notice an isolated spot at the southern tip of the Florida mainland, deep in Everglades National Park. We said to each other, "What the heck is Flamingo?" Over the years I made a few trips down there to take photos of gators, the stars, the unique, vast landscape. Now, at age 33, I live full-time in Flamingo, almost an hour drive from the nearest town. Now I get to explore this beautiful place with my amazing girlfriend, take photos of the wildlife, and go kayaking with sharks and manatees. It's the perfect place to be a photographer.

As photographers, we are explorers by nature. This assignment is about exploring your neck of the woods. Check out a map of your state. Is there anywhere in your state you've always wanted to go? Are there any places that jump out at you? Maybe a state or national park, or a city you want to explore with your camera? You can even stay local and explore your own neighborhood and show it to the world. 

In your caption, tell us as much as you can about the journey that brought you to your final destination, as shown in your submitted photos. Submit three photos that best tell the story of where you live. 

Good luck! 
Noah Brooks, Your Shot Photographer

Submission deadline October 1st, 12:00pm EST

Senior Producer Matt Adams will be launching the assignment. Your Shot photographer Noah Brooks will be assisting with the final curation of the story.

Curated by:

Matt Adams
Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Oct 17, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Thank you!

Posted sep 27, 2018

I wanted to thank everyone for submitting their work to this assignment. I'm enjoying seeing your photographs and learning about the places where you live. We currently have more than 7,000 submissions!  There are four more days to submit, so be sure to enter your best shots. Just a reminder! Anyone can enter, this assignment is not limited to the United States.


Noah Brooks

Your Shot Photographer

Fourth Submission

Posted sep 24, 2018

Hello all,

With just one week left for submissions, I hope you have saved the best for last because now there will be a fourth submission for Explore Your State. Take this last week to get out with your camera and capture something that you find important in your location. Reminder that although the word State is used, this assignment isn't just for those in the U.S. Images can be captured anywhere around the world, show us your version of how you explore your state! 


Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot  

Caption Your Travels

Posted sep 12, 2018

Hello all,

Recently we launched a new assignment on Your Shot called Explore Your State. While talking about this assignment with our Travel team, Senior Producer Kelly Barrett, who runs the Nat Geo Travel Twitter and Facebook accounts, mentioned to me that she sees many excellent travel themed Your Shot images she would like to feature, but there is no caption regarding the location of the image. She has forwarded this note on how important captions are for when she is searching for a Your Shot image to feature.

Hi everyone. I'm the senior producer of social media for Travel here at National Geographic, and super excited to see what photos you all share on this assignment!

In fact, one of our best sources of incredible travel photography that we like to feature for Travel's 10 million+ fans comes right from this community, and I hope to publish some of the photos that come in for the Explore Your State assignment as well.

On that note: please be sure to fill in the Location field information when you submit your photo, as this increases our understanding of the photo and likelihood that we can feature it. It also helps if you can provide a sentence or two in the caption that describes the photo, so that we can add some nice context for our community to understand the story behind the photograph.

Keep up the awesome work!
Kelly Barrett

As an editor on Your Shot, when I'm looking for photos to feature whether on the Nat Geo Photos twitter account or to send to one of our social teams, I will try and find a photograph that gives me some background info where the image was taken. Or look for a great quote from the photographer about what was happening when this image was captured or how they went about finding this moment to photograph. A reminder that the editorial team isn't only ones looking at Your Shot. There are many NG staff editors always looking at the most recent images to see if they can find one to feature whether it's in a photo gallery or Instagram.

Explore Your State

Posted sep 10, 2018

Hello everyone!

I am very excited to launch this assignment, since it was a theme suggested by one of our own Your Shot photographers Noah Brooks. You may have noticed on the right side of the Assignments page there is a box where you can submit ideas for future assignments. The Your Shot team recently went through those suggestions and selected four user submitted themes that we thought would be great future assignments. We ran a poll for two weeks asking you, our community to vote for the next assignment theme. And here we are...Explore Your State was the overall winner of the poll. I asked Noah to write the introduction for this assignment and he'll be helping with the final curation of the story. 

I wanted to take this time to add that although the title is Explore Your State, you don't need to live in a state to submit to this assignment. Show us whats so interesting about your town, city center, neighborhood or even your own backyard! Your Shot is a global community so we want to see how you're seeing the the world around you right from where you live! 

Looking forward to all of your submissions!


Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Your Shot

Matt Adams

Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Matt is a Senior Producer on the Your Shot team. He curates and produces the Daily Dozen gallery as well as monthly assignments. Before Nat Geo, Matt was a photography instructor and freelance photographer working for publications such as Wired, Spin, and Pittsburgh Magazine.