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Quiet Moments

This assignment ran from Sep 8 to Oct 2, 2017.

As a companion to our recent assignment "Epic," curated by National Geographic photographer Robbie Shone, I was inspired to curate an assignment focused around a theme of quiet moments.

You may not be able to articulate what makes a quiet photo, but you can feel it. Your reaction is different from that toward an epic photo. Quiet can command your attention through subtle cues that others might miss. Show us photos from when you documented, witnessed, or enjoyed quiet moments, and then share the stories about your experiences.

Maybe you photographed a bride taking in one last moment with her father before walking into the church on her wedding day. Maybe you watched a sunset from the top of a mountain. Or maybe the city was empty in the morning, while people slept in. This assignment is a great opportunity for you to observe and document the moments before peak action.

While you can submit photos from your archives, I highly encourage you to set aside some time to take new photos that are quiet. Notice how you move differently when you’re respecting the quiet moment you're documenting, trying not to disturb the world in front of your camera. Use this assignment to not only take pictures of quiet moments, but to also quiet your mind as you work. I encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath, and be in the moment as a photographer.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Curated by:

David Lee
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 13, 2017.
Thank you for your contributions!

Vote for our next Assignment

Posted aug 15, 2018

Hi everyone —

Recently the Your Shot team went through your suggested assignment list and selected four assignment themes that were submitted by the community. We are asking you to vote on which assignment you think we should run next? This poll will be open until Monday, August 20th at 12pm EST. Assignment with the most votes will be a real assignment running in early September!

I voted for [redacted].

Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

"Inspiring Experiences" assignment

Posted apr 2, 2018

In case you missed it, I am curating an assignment called “Inspiring Experiences” that I am curating with my mentor and former editor Jenn Poggi. Submission deadline is April 9, 2018.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Be Published on the Cover of Nat Geo Traveler magazine

Posted feb 14, 2018

FYI — there is a new Your Shot assignment right now called “The Trip That Changed My Life,” which is your chance to be featured on the cover of National Geographic Traveler’s upcoming “Epic Summer” issue (June/July 2018). Click here to submit your photos.

Check out our blog post featuring Your Shot photographer Victor Lima, who was previous winner of this opportunity. Victor bought his very first camera in November 2014; five months later he made the photo that was published on the cover of National Geographic Traveler magazine. This could be you. I hope you will all submit — I know I wish I could. Good luck Your Shot photographers. I cannot wait to see whose photos will be featured.

David Y. Lee
Producer, National Geographic Your Shot

Story Published

Posted oct 18, 2017

In case you did not receive a notification, the "Quiet Moments" story has been published. Thank you all for submitting. I loved this story so much.

I hope you all submit to our "Chasing Moments" assignment, curated by Nat Geo photographer Ami Vitale. Many of your quiet moments submissions would be an excellent consideration for her assignment. Please do read Ami's introduction as I love what she writes about; it is very inspiring. Also if you go to the Editor's Update (for "Chasing Moments"), you can also watch a video from Ami where she discusses her approach on capturing moments.

Our other current assignment is "Because of Her," curated by Nat Geo photographer Amy Toensing and me. I am very excited to be working on this assignment with Amy; if you read our introduction you'll see why :)

Also if you don't follow us on Instagram, we are at @natgeoyourshot. Please do me a favor and update your profile to include your Instagram handle so we can tag you if we share your photo.  

Thanks for being a part of the Your Shot family.


Editor's Update 03

Posted oct 3, 2017

Wow! 21,052 submissions. Great job everyone. I have a huge task ahead of me. I’ve already favorited 1,163 photos. I hope you’ll join me and take the time to go engage with the community, liking and leaving comments on your favorite photos.

Now take this positive energy and participate in our “Lines, Textures, and Patterns” assignment. Two Your Shot photographers — Aya Okawa and Gloria Salgado Gispert are helping Your Shot Producer Matt Adams as guest editors. This is so cool. I am so excited for the two of them. They are doing an excellent job. I hope you will show your support by participating in their assignment. I have already submitted twice. There were a lot of photos from this assignment that would make excellent submissions to “Lines, Textures, and Patterns.” Let’s make their assignment a huge success!

Yesterday we launched a new assignment “Chasing Moments” which is curated by Nat Geo photographer Ami Vitale: “Every good shot captures a unique moment in time tells a story. Sometimes you have to chase those moments and sometimes you have to wait a while. The one thing that matters is timing. That fraction of a second is the difference between a great storytelling moment and an average image.” Re-read these four sentences from Ami Vitale and think about your photography. With the “Quiet Moments” assignment, I hope you slowed your photography down, and carefully thought about the quiet visual moments you were documenting. With Ami’s “Chasing Moments” assignment, I hope you will continue to elevate your photography, practice on your timing, and take advantage of her experience and expertise.

Next week on Monday October 9th, I will be launching a new assignment called “Because of Her” with Nat Geo photographer Amy Toensing; she previously curated our “Strong Women” and "Finding Family" story. For our “Because of Her” assignment — inspired by the October 2017 National Geographic magazine story about Jane Goodall — we are asking you to take a few minutes to think about the women in your life. Your mom, wife, sister, daughter, teacher, mentor—who are the women in your life that inspire you? Maybe you’ve witnessed her love, perseverance, and achievement. Maybe you’ve documented or experienced a special moment made possible because of her. With this Your Shot assignment, we want to celebrate and highlight how everyday women contribute to society and our personal lives.

As always, thanks for being a part of our Your Shot family.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

One More Submission...

Posted sep 29, 2017

Since I wrote my Editor’s Update yesterday afternoon, I have liked an additional 162 photos submitted to the “Quiet Moments” assignment. Because my mind often races with too much to think about, looking at your photos of quiet moments slows me down, and relaxes me. I love being transported to another place and sharing a quiet moment with you. Because you are all doing such a great job, I am going to extend the submission deadline to Monday October 2, 2017 at 12:00PM EST. You will also be able to submit ONE more photo to the assignment.

And to tease future Your Shot assignments, next week we will be launching two really awesome ones. One assignment will be curated by National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale (you can also follow her on Instagram at @amivitale). The other assignment, I do not want to spoil it, but trust me, you’ll be excited. Keep checking in next week…

Keep up the great work everyone.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Update 01

Posted sep 28, 2017

I can’t believe this assignment is ending tomorrow. You have been doing such a good job. I have already chosen 796 editor’s favorites, and I am not done. I cannot wait to finish going through all the submitted images.

Starting next week, I’ll start editing my favorites for the final story. If you have submitted to other assignments I have curated, I hope you have noticed that I choose photos for the final story with good captions that elevate my understanding and experience with your photos. My advice is to take advantage of this time and make your captions better (if necessary). Answer the who, what, why, when, and why… Maybe share me a story. Make me care.

I would love to applaud everyone for helping each other on the discussion board. You are awesome. This is what I love about Your Shot: you are a global community connected by your love of photography and stories. I love witnessing you all help each other with encouragement and feedback. Thank you all for being a part of the Your Shot family.

In the meantime, take some time and enjoy each other’s photos...

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Producer

David Lee

David Lee

Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Before joining the Your Shot team, David covered the White House for Time and Newsweek, and served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He also started The Waiting List, a non-profit storytelling project humanizing the statistics of organ donation.