arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

The Gift of Life

  • 0

Published May 8, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 23 Contributors

    23 photos selected by

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    After undergoing a myomectomy to remove 11 fibroid tumors, Kim hoped to conceive a son. She was s...

    #joy #birth #birthphotography #infertility #giftoflife #surrogacy

    What an honor it has been to curate this assignment for the Your Shot community. We asked for you to reflect on your life and what you are grateful for, and what I read and saw were moments of pure joy, courageous uphill battles, and many gut-wrenching moments that transformed you. You pushed yourselves to view your pictures in new ways. And many of you added depth to your photographs by writing captions that made me care about your imagery and left me wanting more. I have been captivated by the quality of your submissions.

    Her life began suddenly. After I experienced massive blood loss, a major abdominal surgery was th...

    #newbornphotography #familyphotojournalism #documentaryfamilyphotography

    Editor's Note

    Your photo is powerful — and then when I read your caption, I can feel what you wrote: "It was a moment I absolutely took for granted with my previous children." Thank you so much for sharing your ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My son watching the sea lions in amazement. After years of infertility I feel very lucky that we ...

    #aquarium #sealions #vironica

    Editor's Note

    I love this image Vironica. The story behind it makes it even better. Thank you for sharing your struggles and allowing us to appreciate your son and his zest for life in this image more than we wo... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Time is the greatest and most precious gift.When you give someone your time, you are giving them ...

    #people #family #time #blackandwhite #gift

    Editor's Note

    I love how intimate this photo feels — that the child would prefer to be held and spend time with his/her loved one, rather than play with any of the stuffed animal toys available to play with.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Tra Que vegetable village in Hoi An is not only pretty well known because of its traditional plan...

    #vietnam #love #farmer #vegetable #hoian #old_couple

    Editor's Note

    I absolutely adore this image Ly, the joy of this candid moment these two are sharing is infectious. I love this couple already and I've never even met them! Great job capturing a their love and ze... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Two years ago, father used gasoline to burn their house in a moment of anger. The pitiable girl (...

    #children #asia #vietnam #people #life #kid #love #education #indoor #teacher #gift #lowlight #midland

    Editor's Note

    Thank you so much for sharing this powerful story about Mai Dieu. Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed caption that provides me the necessary information to understand and care about t... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    With Calvin's rare and progressive disease, we don't travel or vacation. It's too risky. Instead,...

    #summer #kids #siblings #wellness #simplejoys #giftoflife #giftoflifeassignment #raredisease

    Editor's Note

    This squirt gun fight between your children is such a classic kid's moment caught with a beautiful sun-kissed sky. Reading your caption regarding your son's health and that his disease limits your ... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Children are truly a gift of life. As Walt Streightiff has said there are no seven wonders of the...

    #kids #ecstacy #thegiftoflife

    Editor's Note

    Manir-I have come back to this image several times because it has stayed with me. The pure joy that these children are experiencing is infectious. I loved your caption as well. Children truly are a... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Watching my sister fall in love with her prince charming under the rainbow made it feel like we h...

    #africa #falls #view #nature #summer #people #travel #couple #rainbow #victoriafalls #giftoflife

    Editor's Note

    This is a lovely photo made more special with your caption. Congratulations to your sister and her Prince Charming... I like how wide you shot this frame; it feels so intimate. Like the two of them... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Being a single Parent is not a life full of struggles...rather its a journey for the STRONG. Trie...

    #life #family #work #love #care #fatherhood #bond #journey #singleparent #gift_of_life

    Editor's Note

    Navin, I really like this photograph and caption about being a single parent. It's a candid shot that shows your devotion to your son. The apron you are wearing makes the image for me, it shows a d... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    No story of my father's was ever told to me with as much emotion as the time he visited Great San...

    #park #life #hiking #silhouette #adventure #father #dream #solo #explore #black__and_white

    Editor's Note

    Tom, this photograph is striking without the caption, but when I read your connection to this special place and that you were able to enjoy it in complete solitude I find myself connected to the im... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Spent last night under the stars with my Grandma, Rella. This was her childhood home since 1937. ...

    #night #prarie #home #dakota #family #stars #love #country #longexposure #badlands #milkyway #tinyhouse

    Editor's Note

    Donny, this image is breathtaking and the story behind it is even better. What a moment you captured. I find myself wishing I could see what the home looked like when your grandma slept in the dini... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    In transition a mother is trying to provide solace to her son whom she knows will soon die, The m...

    #portrait #love #souls #beaautiful #time_ #mother__son #famifly #inspiring_experiences

    It is not always easy to share photographs or stories that are intimate to us. When my daughter was hospitalized and waiting for her heart transplant, I photographed many difficult days alongside the happy stuff. I wanted people to know her truth, her battle. By using my imagery and her story, I wanted to encourage people to register as organ donors and say “yes” to the gift of life. Guess what? It worked. Many have signed up because of her story. The point is not to pat myself on the back, but rather to remind you that your photography and your words have power. You can influence those around you by being purposeful and thoughtful in your art. I believe this assignment has proved just that.

    I was struck by the light while trying to find a quiet place to regroup while dad was in ICU. Odd...

    #waiting #hospital #icu

    Editor's Note

    This image and caption really touched me. I can too relate to these waiting rooms as I have had to sit in them worried for my daughter during long surgeries or procedures not knowing if she would b... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    This is the last memoir of my father who suffered with esophageal cancer. Even knowing that the f...

    #people #father #dad #last #documentary #cancer #ngmhealth

    Editor's Note

    I think you did an amazing job of capturing your father's truth, the reality of what cancer took from him. I am so sorry you had to watch him suffer like that. I am glad you chose to document this ... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    When I got the call from my sister Krista (pictured), telling me that Dad may not make it through...

    #life #celebration #death #illness #humanity #cancer #hospice

    Editor's Note

    I am very sorry for your loss Eric. Thank you for sharing such an intimate and private moment with us.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    As a global health physician I have worked all over the world. I took this photograph (with perm...

    #mongolia #ulaanbaatar #healthcare #inequality #hepatitis #globalhealth #organtransplant

    Editor's Note

    You captured a truly storytelling image. I can feel the anxiety this man if feeling, wondering if he will live long enough to receive his transplant, completely unsure of his future. Your caption d... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Bringing the gift of life. Surgical team from New York Presbyterian Hospital flying to Virginia....

    #surgeons #transplant #donor #becauseofanorgandonor #thegiftoflife #whenigotthecall

    Editor's Note

    Juan, this is awesome. I am so eager to know the back story about this photo and how you ended up on that plane with the surgeon. I love this moment you caught of them planning this life-saving ope... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    This is what a resuscitation room looks like after a "code blue." I'm an emergency doctor and I'v...

    #hospital #er

    Editor's Note

    Thank you so much for what you do every day as an emergency doctor — you truly "work in that narrow space between life and death." And by showing us an empty room that is not yet clean and organize... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My uncle had just passed away a couple days before this photo was taken. I went to stay with my ...

    #family #grandfather #va #togetherness #papaw #hard_times #grand_father #family_bond #heart_break

    Editor's Note

    I love how you included the table; this perspective makes me feel like I am sitting at the table with your grandfather. I feel his sadness; I feel like I am watching him as you "often found him sta... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My personal relationship with this shot goes well beyond the unique experience of traveling to An...

    #water #penguin #ice #antarctica #iceburg #gentoo #giftoflife

    Editor's Note

    Thank you for sharing the back story to this image. Your father would be very proud of your photo — I love how simply you shot this frame, composing the penguins small on this iceberg. Understandin... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sometimes looking back is a good thing because you can see all the path you made to reach where y...

    #nature #island #adventure #mauritius #gopro #riskeverything #risk_photography #views_from_top

    Editor's Note

    I really love your take on this project. I think you were smart to translate the winding road in this image with the idea that we are all on this road we call life, we have a path behind us and one... More

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    Was just wandering around a field on a summer evening with my lady and our pups, a pit named Driz...

    #summer #girl #dogs #field #dress #backlit #figure #pittbull #mutts #firefly

    Editor's Note

    In the "Gift of Life" assignment intro, guest editor Joni Schrantz shared: "I look forward to telling (my daughter) Juniper her story one day. A story about a tiny baby who entered the world not on... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    So many of your stories and photographs have left a lasting impression on me. So thank you, Your Shot community, for taking this assignment so seriously and for showing vulnerability in your submissions. I am humbled to have been an editor for such a meaningful Your Shot assignment, and to have interacted with such talented artists from around the globe.

    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer

    I completely agree with what Joni has already written. When Joni began sharing her daughter’s story with my project, “The Waiting List,” I never could have imagined that three years later, she would be curating a story about the gift of life for National Geographic’s global photo community. The photos and stories you have shared exceeded my expectations, and I thank each of you for being a part of it. Never forget that through your work, you can inspire a positive action to make a difference. Please say yes to the gift of life and register as an organ donor. Your decision and final act of kindness might save someone like Joni's daughter. Thank you.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editors
    David Y. Lee
    David Y. 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.
    Joni Schrantz
    Joni Schrantz
    Photographer
    Joni Schrantz is a professional photographer and part-time pediatric nurse in Denver, Colorado. Her daughter Juniper received a heart transplant at just 7 month old. While waiting in the hospital by her daughter’s bedside, she documented Juniper's long wait for her life-saving organ transplant. She continues to photograph her daughter’s ...

    Photographers Published In the Story