From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt, “Everyday Moments” (September 2018) // “Do you ever feel as if the world is moving so quickly that we sometimes forget to slow down and take it all in? Your Shot gives us the opportunity to take time each day to experience the world through the lens of our global community. These 12 images really speak to me as I visually tell your story, rich in tradition, beauty, adventure, and heartache — but most of all love. Your love of photography shows the world that through all our stories, good or bad, we are capable of great things. You have taken us to places we never imagined seeing. Our photographic collaboration as a community has created a powerful collection of images that represents a visual history of 2018, one that shows the exceptional and dysfunctional parts of our humanity while hopefully bringing us to a better understanding and acceptance of each other. That is the power of Your Shot.”
I invited three Your Shot photographers — Shannon Hunt, Rose Ungvari, and Sukanya De — to each select their 12 favorite photos from the 18,880 submissions to the “My Best Photos of 2018” assignment; this is THEIR story. They have earned my respect through their hard work and positive attitude. Shannon, Rose, and Sukanya have established the quality standard of what I expect in future Your Shot mentees. Throughout 2019, I look forward to continue identifying exceptional Your Shot photographers who articulate WHY they love the photos of their peers in thoughtful comments, and offering them opportunities to edit assignments and curate stories.
From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari, “Superstitions Around the World” (October 2018) // “’My Best Photos of 2018’ is a celebration of the best in photography captured by you, the Your Shot community. I am drawn to incredibly deep rich colors, gorgeous lighting, and tonal moods. The 12 images I selected ignited a spark in me. They moved me like a roller coaster, taking my emotions to spiritual heights with exciting twists and turns. They made me pause and look deeper, they made me wonder out loud what it would feel like to be there, they made me question if I would have the courage to climb those heights. They became my bucket list of places I would like to travel to and visit one day, to explore and to experience. The beautiful landscapes and intimate scenes inspired me, your stories touched me. I was pulled into your world and what you had to say. Each image conveys a visual story, an energy, a deep moment — and collectively as a group, they are a journey of life, your life and the life surrounding us all. Thanks for sharing your stories, dreams, and adventures, and for giving me a glimpse into your lives, even if for a moment.”
From Your Shot photographer Sukanya De, “Opposites” (November 2018) // “Every year we grow as photographers and storytellers by discovering more of life, by observing, feeling, and expressing transcendental moments in powerful narratives. Through your images, I have experienced your emotions, cherished your perspectives, and lived your dreams. These 12 photos connect and communicate to me in powerful dialogues of light, moment and composition. Through your powerful imagery, I could travel to exotic destinations, feel the warm emotions of affectionate cozy homes, gain courage to explore untrodden worlds, and meet the most difficult adventures. I could connect to cultures and traditions from all over the globe, behold this beautiful world in a new light, and once more feel grateful for this life. I cherished this thoughtful bond with all of you and your world. Our diversity in thoughts and perspectives makes us unique, yet makes us realize how we are deeply connected through our meaningful expressions of photography. Together we can inspire the narratives of our future.”
I am very proud of Shannon, Rose, and Sukanya. They exceeded my expectations as mentees, and I look forward to the next class. I remember what it was like starting out as a photographer, and how important it was to have mentors encourage and challenge me to be and do better. Your Shot is my way of giving back in appreciation of those editors and photographers who gave me an extra five minutes out of their busy schedule.
However even more important was the role my peers played in my growth as a photographer. That is what makes Your Shot such a special platform, you are a global community of photographers who all aspire to be better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers. Everyone starts somewhere, and by being a member of Your Shot, you are not on this journey alone. My best advice is to connect with Your Shot photographers, help each other, and have constructive discussions together.
In December 2019, Your Shot will again be running a “My Best Photos of 2019” assignment. Many of you got a head start by participating in the “On January 1, 2019, I…” assignment. “My Best Photos of January 2019” assignment launches on January 25, 2019. Every month I will be curating a “My Best Photos of (Month)” assignment. This is your advance notice. These assignments are designed to encourage to go out and keep shooting, to make new photos. This is how you will get better, one photo at a time.
David Y. Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot