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The Trip That Changed My Life

This assignment ran from Feb 12 to Mar 7, 2018.

Travel has the power to change our thinking, inspire our imaginations, and experience unforgettable moments. Put simply, travel can change your life.

For this assignment, we want to know about the trip that changed your life. And we want to share that inspiration with the world by putting your best travel picture on the cover of National Geographic Traveler! Maybe it was a year studying abroad, a summer road trip, or simply a quick jaunt to the next town over. Is there a place you can’t stop talking or dreaming about? Better yet—are there travel photos you took that make you feel inspired all over again? The Your Shot community never ceases to amaze us, and that’s why we’re looking to you for the cover of National Geographic Traveler's upcoming “Epic Summer” issue (June/July 2018).

Send us pictures of the places you’ve been that re-energized you and changed your outlook on the world. We’re looking for images that take our breath away, whether they be of waterfalls, mountains, heritage sites, landmarks, road trips, or adventures.

As you look through your travel photos, or set out to take new ones, here are some things to think about:

· The very best travel magazine cover photos make readers wish they were in the picture.

· Your photograph should demonstrate a strong sense of place. The location you’ve photographed does not have to be immediately recognizable, but the scene should not feel like a generic landscape.

· Magazine covers require a photo with vertical orientation. You can submit horizontal images, but we’ll have to crop them to fit. Additionally, our National Geographic Traveler logo will appear across the top, so too-busy backgrounds can make the type hard to read.

· The photograph will ideally have been taken within the last five years. Places change quickly, and the image should reflect the destination as it is today.

· As always, captions are important. In addition to naming the location, please include details about why and how this trip changed your life.

It’s a wide and wonderful world out there, and we can’t wait to be amazed and inspired by your pictures of it!

Curated by:

George Stone
Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler

Anne Farrar
Director of Photography, National Geographic Traveler

Jeff Heimsath
Associate Photo Editor, National Geographic Travel and Adventure
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 Apr 19, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Adventures of a Lifetime

Posted jun 11, 2019

Hello all!

Just wanted to make a note here for everyone that submitted to The Trip that Changed My Life that we have another Travel cover assignment running entitled Adventures of a Lifetime! Please feel free to submit your best images, we're allowing up to 4 submissions currently! This is your chance to have your image on the cover of a National Geographic magazine! Good luck Your Shot photographers! 

And the winner is....

Posted may 17, 2018

The National Geographic Traveler team in collaboration with the Your Shot team is proud to present the winner of the 2018 Traveler cover contest....

Your Shot photographer Takashi Nakazawa!

There were over 19,000 submissions to this assignment and the final 15 selections were all incredible images. Anne Farrar, Director of Photography for National Geographic Traveler, had this to say about Takashi's image. "Combine a riot pink cherry blossoms with the austere structure of the pagoda framing Mt. Fuji, and you have a winning magazine cover!"

Learn how Takashi has been photographing Mt. Fuji for over 7 years with this in-depth article on the Travel site. We also asked Takashi some questions for our Editor's Spotlight blog which you can read here

Make sure to pick up the June issue of Traveler magazine where you will see not only Taskashi's image on the cover, but also a two page feature on how this assignment came to life. We also featured some of our favorite images from the final story. Congratulations to Roberto Oggiano, Hoai Nguyen, Fabrice Guerin, and Dnyaneshwar Vaidya who were all featured. 

March 7th, New Deadline!

Posted mar 5, 2018

Hello Your Shot!

The editors of this assignment have decided to extend the deadline for submissions until Wednesday, March 7th, 12 PM EST. You have 5 submissions still to share with us an amazing travel image from the journey that changed your life! You still have time for those final submissions, so make them count!

A Fifth Submission

Posted mar 3, 2018

Hello everyone,

We have added a fifth photo submission to this assignment! A reminder that it ends on March 5th at 12 pm EST! Choose wisely for your last submissions.

Editor's Update #2

Posted feb 23, 2018

Hey photographers! I'm loving my job this week. Your images are showing me the world—including amazing places I have never seen before. Your personal perspectives are enriching my appreciation for the awe that travel brings. Trips really can change our lives! Your compositions are once again demonstrating how talented you are at crafting memorable images that capture a sense of place and true feeling. Thanks so much for sharing your images with us, we have also added a fourth submission to this assignment!  A reminder that successful Traveler covers tend to feature images that draw viewers in with depth, so that the eyes make a little journey into the image. We often like images with a focused narrative, so that viewers can become immersed in the sensations of one place or experience. Please keep sharing your shots with us. They are a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul! 


Geogre Stone, Editor-in-Chief National Geographic Traveler Magazine

Editor's Update #1

Posted feb 23, 2018

Hello everyone,

I’m amazed by the number of submissions so far, it’s hard to keep up with all these submissions! The work has been incredible too and I can already tell it will be a tough decision to pick a winner. We’ve put together a gallery of a few of my favorites so far, take a look. When submitting be sure to keep in mind that we are looking for images that give us a strong sense of place. The winning image is meant to sell the entire magazine so it needs to immediately make us want to travel to that destination. Bright and colorful images always perform best on newsstands and don’t forget that we will need plenty of space for our logo and text on the image. Keep up the good work!

Jeff Heimsath, Associate Photo Editor National Geographic Travel and Adventure

George Stone

George Stone

Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler
I'm a real curious George! I love exploring new places and discovering little details that add up to surprising stories. Travel thrills me because it's a license to ask questions, pursue passions, and get lost in the wonders of the world. I think that memorable images capture sensations, ideas, and attitudes, as well as people, places, and things.

Anne Farrar

Anne Farrar

Director of Photography, National Geographic Traveler
Anne Farrar works with print, creative, online, news and publishing organizations to focus their visual content. Her 15+ years of experience as a photo editor, designer and photographer have led her to work for major news organizations and some of the most talented photographers in the news industry.

Jeff Heimsath

Jeff Heimsath

Associate Photo Editor, National Geographic Travel and Adventure
Jeff Heimsath is an associate photo editor at National Geographic Travel and Adventure where he produces and edits visual stories. Prior to National Geographic, he worked as a photojournalist in Texas and a photo editor at an educational publishing company in Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin.