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The Love of Parents

This assignment ran from May 29 to Jun 19, 2018.

Editor's Note: If your photo has previously been published in another Your Shot story, it will not be selected for "The Love of Parents" final story.

The world around us is brimming with secrets, often imperceptible, just under our noses or right in front of our eyes. For example, I'm thinking of those amazing photographs of flowers under ultra violet light. The daisy or the rose reveals an unknown and secret beauty that had been there all along, just waiting to take our breath away. Once you see it, the flower never really looks the same again. Similarly, a little over a year ago, one of the world's great secrets was revealed to my wife, Amy Toensing, and me — we became parents. I knew what a parent was, but I didn't understand the secret world they live in until I became one myself.

Becoming parents has opened up a world long hidden in plain sight, full of breathtaking, fragile, life-changing beauty, full of a love and fear neither of us had ever experienced before. Am I saying this is something unusual or rare? Or that we're experiencing something unique to us and our circumstances? Of course not. Like flowers, parents are everywhere, but knowing the "secret" is a profound and beautiful gift.

For this assignment, Amy and I invite you to share photos that reveal the love of parents. Take a moment to think about how grateful you are for the love your parents have shared with you. Think about the love you have for your own children. Now visualize that feeling and share those moments and stories with us. From a portrait of an expecting mother and wife, to the beginning of a new family, from a father's love for his daughter during chemotherapy treatment, to a daughter taking care of her disabled mother, we want to feel the love of parents. As a parent, how does your child inspire you? As a child, how does your parent inspire you?

Take advantage of your captions to tell us more about your love as a parent. Share with us the story behind your photo; and help make us care about the moment within. Since Your Shot is a global community representing 195 countries, this assignment will reveal that despite our cultural and traditional differences, the love of parents is a universal theme.

Submission deadline is June 19, 2018.

Amy Toensing and Matt Moyer
National Geographic photographers

Curated by:

Amy Toensing
National Geographic Photographer

Matt Moyer
National Geographic Photographer
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 Jul 10, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Editor's Update 01

Posted jun 8, 2018

Amy and I have looked at your submissions so far and want to share our thoughts in this first Editor's Update. We have seen some really intimate moments taken with sensitivity and subtlety. We love seeing images that show real life playing out in front of the lens and that say something about the human condition.

"Happy" by Ricardo Ramos captures the quiet connection between child and parent. The photographer has disappeared from the image and we are allowed to witness this difficult but loving moment as if we were sitting in the room ourselves. It is an honor to be able to witness such a tender moment.

Another image that jumped out at us was "Mom's Love" by Ashraf R., who photographed his wife and daughter. This image, with its soft light and soft focus is more lyrical and hints at a mystery that exists in the relationship between parent and child. Mother and daughter are engulfed in the darkness but their faces glow beautifully. The body language of the mother, head slightly tilting toward her daughter speaks volumes about her love and the tenderness they share.

These types of images are extraordinarily difficult to pull off and we are so happy to be seeing images like these submitted. Of course there were many other wonderful images so keep shooting and keep submitting!

Reminder: the submission deadline is June 19, 2018.

Amy Toensing and Matt Moyer
National Geographic photographers

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 covered cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. For 4 years she documented Aboriginal Australia which was published in the June, 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Matt Moyer

Matt Moyer

National Geographic Photographer
Matt Moyer is a photojournalist committed to documenting the social and cultural issues that affect our world. His intimate photographs go behind the headlines to put a human face on the biggest issues of the day. For the past decade Moyer has spent his time photographing feature stories for National Geographic magazine and documenting social issues for non-profit foundations. He has also worked on assignment for other prominent publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, The Independent, and The Guardian. He has covered the major events of the past decade including the fall of the twin towers, security contractors in Afghanistan, healthcare in America, and the Iraq war.