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Photo of the Day

This assignment ran from Nov 14 to Dec 1, 2016.

Let’s celebrate our community. What better way to do so than with an assignment dedicated to stunning photos from all of you?

I’m proud to announce that National Geographic’s Photo of the Day feature is now completely powered by Your Shot. For several months, Your Shot photos have been appearing in more than 90 percent of each month’s roundup. It only made sense that we make it the full 100 percent.

As you probably all know by now, photo editors see differently. One month in as the new editor for Photo of the Day—or POD as we call it here at headquarters—I’m looking for photos that evoke wonder, curiosity, and inspiration. I look for precision more than perfection. The photos should be works of art that make you say, I wish I would have taken that!

Captions are as important as ever for Photo of the Day. Each photo must have a solid caption with information about how you got the shot and any anecdotes that would enrich the photo. Please don’t watermark your photos.

Photo of the Day is one of the top performing features on, and previous editors include Your Shot assignment curators Alexa Keefe and Janna Dotschkal. You’ll hear from them in upcoming editors’ updates, along with writers Liane DiStefano and Brett Weisband, who write the captions and titles. They’ll give you guidance to help guarantee your selection for POD. Read more in the Editors' Update below. 

Curated by:

Jeanne M Modderman
Former National Geographic Photo Producer
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 Dec 10, 2016.
Thank you for your contributions!

Photo of the Day: Best of 2016

Posted dec 6, 2016

Hi Your Shot, 

I’m busy editing your amazing photos, all 13,993 of them! I know you’re excited to see who will get selected to become a future Photo of the Day (I am too!). While you’re waiting for the weekend when the story publishes, I wanted to share the gallery I edited for this year's Best of Photo of the Day. It’s so rewarding to see our community represented with the highest quality and standards in photography. Let’s keep making Photo of the Day a top feature on National Geographic with your stunning images. And a big thank you for making this our highest commented assignment ever!

Go to Photo of the Day: Best of 2016 

Hear From Past Editors

Posted nov 21, 2016

“I looked for pictures that told a story in a single frame. There needed to be enough going on that the viewer would be compelled to pause for a moment and take it in. I came across many images of the same situation, but it was the ones that had something unique—the light, the composition, the palette, the mood—that caught my eye.” —Alexa Keefe, Photo of the Day editor, February 2011 to August 2015

“When looking for photos for Photo of the Day, I always searched for photos that gave a strong sense of place, were technically perfect (or nearly so), and brought awe to the viewer. For me, Photo of the Day is a chance to see something unexpected. Strive to produce photos that are broad in scope but also show detail. Give the eyes plenty to feast on.” —Janna Dotschkal, Photo of the Day editor, September 2015 to September 2016

What Makes a Great Caption?

Posted nov 17, 2016

The photographers are actually the ones who provide not only the compelling image but also the building blocks of a great caption to go with it. The information they share when they submit their images intuits the questions the photo will inspire, and then answers them—the caption can write itself with the right information. The more we can incorporate the photographer’s voice, the better—we want the photographer and the image to be the star. Here’s what we love to get from Your Shot photographers:

1. Location, location, location! Where was the image taken? If it shows a different way of life from what we’re used to, or especially if it inspires wanderlust, the audience will want to know where the photograph is taking them.

2. What lengths did the photographer have to go to the get the shot? Did they get up at the crack of dawn to ensure perfect lighting? Did they have to hike for miles for a chance to see an elusive subject? Or was the capture totally serendipitous—a lucky shot? In short, we want to go behind the scenes. What’s the story behind the photo?

–Liane DiStefano and Brett Weisband, writers, Photo of the Day

Don't Forget

Posted nov 14, 2016

Photos published in the story will be selected as an upcoming Photo of the Day to be shared across National Geographic, including on global websites and the @natgeoyourshot Instagram account. Please choose your four submissions carefully. Photos from your archive are allowed, but please limit them to the past two years, 2014 to present. The assignment closes on December 1, 12pm ET. Good luck! 

Jeanne M Modderman

Jeanne M Modderman

Former National Geographic Photo Producer
As the former Your Shot photo producer, Jeanne would edit and produce the top performing features Photo of the Day and the Daily Dozen. With a degree in photojournalism, she has worked as a photographer in D.C. and S. Korea with former positions at the Smithsonian and the U.S. Dept of Interior. @jeannemodd