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We Love Animals

This assignment ran from Jun 25 to Jul 16, 2018.

This assignment is simple: I want to see beautiful photos of animals — from your pets at home to the wildlife roaming their natural habitat. I want you to share moments of when you experienced a connection with an animal. I want to feel our love for animals.

Last year I curated an assignment inviting you to share photos and stories documenting why we love pets. It sounds like an easy assignment; all pet owners have a special and favorite photo of their pets that they believe is awesome. But I want to remind you that as viewers, we do not have a personal relationship with the photographed pet, so we can only rely on what you share with us. My advice for that assignment was to make me feel something about pets — both in your photograph and in your caption — and why people love them.

That advice remains true with this assignment, except this time, I am expanding the theme to include submissions of both domesticated AND wild animals. I will be looking for photos that are more than just a snapshot of an animal. I want to understand and recognize why you love animals. Take advantage of the beautiful light, stunning landscapes, intimate moments, and your captions to make me and the entire Your Shot community really feel our shared love for animals.

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 Aug 1, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

My Best Photos of August 2018

Posted aug 27, 2018

In case you missed it, I launched an assignment inviting you to share your best photos taken during August 2018. You have two submissions, deadline is September 4, 2018 at 12PM EST. I plan on repeating these "My Best Photos of (Month)" assignments to encourage you to take new photos.


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

Final Story Discussion

Posted aug 3, 2018

Taking advantage of our new discussion board, I created a post inviting you to ask me questions about my curation thought-process for the "We Love Animals" final story.

In the meantime, everyone participates in my "I Want to Go There…" assignment. I just opened it up to a fourth submission today. Submission deadline for this assignment is Monday August 6, 2018 at 12PM EST.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Update 04

Posted jul 19, 2018

Two nights ago, I went through the over 12,500 photos submitted to this assignment. It was so much fun. I won't lie, I miss being a photographer. I miss being out in the field. I miss meeting new people and listening to their stories. Fortunately for me, as a producer here at Your Shot, I get to experience the world through your images.

For this assignment, I have already selected over 1,000 Editor's Favorites that made me feel the reasons why we love animals — from being cute and bringing a smile to my face, to seeing their majesty in their natural habitat, to reading about your personal connection to the animals you love.

As I begin to curate for the final story, I encourage you to re-read your captions — are you helping me realizing why we love animals? I do not have pets, I have never been to Maasai Mara, I have never swum in the ocean with whales, but that does not mean I don't love animals. Take advantage of your captions to help me recognize why we love animals.

If there is a photo that you love, I highly encourage you to leave a comment. Don't just say "Nice photo" but leave a thought note that articulates WHY you love their photo — I have been featuring well-written comments in my Editor's Notes.

In the meantime, I am curating a new assignment called "I Want to Go There…" where I invite you to share photos that evoke that response: "I want to go there…" It is that simple. And because Your Shot is a global community, this assignment will transport to places around the world as I sit at my desk in front of a computer in Washington DC.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Opening Up for a 4th Submission...

Posted jul 12, 2018

Today (July 12, 2018) I am opening up "We Love Animals" for a fourth submission.

I have favorited a lot of lovely photos of animals. However, I want more than just pictures of animals. With this fourth submission, I challenge you to better reveal the theme of the assignment: We Love Animals.

For my final story, I am going to select images that make me feel that "we love animals." Maybe this love is depicted in your photo, maybe you describe it in your caption. I just want to feel love and not just see pretty pictures of animals.

Remember I was not there as you photographed these animals, I was not there experiencing what you did. All I have available is your photo and caption. So, with your fourth submission, I encourage you to share with me, share with us that "we love animals."

And with your previous submissions to this assignment, I encourage you to re-read your captions. Is there more you could have written to make me feel that "we love animals" — is there a story behind your photo and/or experience? Make me recognize and feel love in your captions.

I also want to thank Your Shot photographers like Shannon Hunt, Rose Ungvari, and Sukanya De who are leaving thoughtful comments — which I am featuring in my Editor's Notes — and insightful feedback and advice on the assignment discussion board motivating you to be better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers. I love it. I hope you will all follow their lead. I find it so inspiring...

The submission deadline is July 16, 2018 at 12PM EST.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Update 02

Posted jul 5, 2018

I am having fun looking at your photos of animals. I have already favorited 378 images, and the submission deadline for this assignment is July 16, 2018. Please keep up the good work.

These Editor's Favorites are pretty pictures of animals - maybe it is the light, maybe it is composition, maybe it is the moment being documented. Right now, in this stage of my curation process (for this assignment), I am not concentrating too heavily on your caption. I just want to see beautiful images. I just want to be captivated.

However, for my final story, I am hoping to select images where the caption discusses and reveals the theme of the assignment: We Love Animals. Yes, I want to feel the love in your photographs, but I also advise you to take advantage of your captions to describe this love. Pretend like you are talking about your photo with your friends, whatever you might tell them should be considered for your captions. Yes, there is a limitation in character. Take advantage and challenge yourself to tighten your thoughts. Only include the words that are absolutely necessary. It is not easy, this is great practice. And trust me, as an editor, if I have to choose between two photos - one with a good caption, and one without, I will almost always select the photo with the better caption.

If you are reading this Editor's Note, it means you have already submitted to the assignment. Think about your caption. Is it good? Can you improve on it? Are you making me feel the theme of the assignment: We Love Animals. If no, I advise you to edit your captions and re-write them.

You might also notice in my Editor's Notes I have been featuring Your Shot photographers and their comments. I hope this inspires you to write more thoughtful comments to each other, and truly articulate WHY you love someone images.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot


Posted jun 25, 2018

Using my previous assignment "Why We Love Pets" as the foundation, I'm developing a series called Your Shot Pet of the Month to be published on National Geographic Domesticated. Using the hashtag #WeLoveOurPets, share photos and stories that reveal why you love your pet, and why your pet is special to you. Make me feel something-make me care! Make me wish I had a pet, too.

Good luck! I look forward to "meeting" your pets and introducing them to the global National Geographic audience.

David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

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.