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Rites of Passage

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Published Aug 19, 2019 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 24 Contributors

    24 photos selected by

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Through this assignment, your images have transported me to communities of all sizes around the world. Each day the Your Shot feed was filled with images that chronicled significant and transformative moments in people’s lives. What a treat!

    I anticipated that a large number of submissions would come from universal life experiences like birth, marriage and death. But, I was struck by the variety of ways we mark these ubiquitous moments around the world. The rites of passage you shared were often unique, depicting sacred customs and traditions celebrated by people from a particular region, specific belief system or culture. And, the moments were sometimes unexpected, revealing the beauty and significance in the otherwise routine.

    There are a lot of "firsts" in climbing. First time climbing outside. First time taking a lead fa...

    #rocks #climbing

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas, who wrote, "Wow, what an awesome portrait of this person's commitment to the sport." This is an intense detail shot, Sam! I love yo... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Adolescence is a particularly difficult time for children. They are experiencing all kinds of new...

    #water #boy #underwater #portrait #love #swim #blackandwhite #action_camera

    Editor's Note

    Wonderful, Stefano. I agree with Your Shot Producer David Lee who wrote, "Such a powerful portrait of your 15-year-old son Stefano, not just visually but in the deep reflective sentiment you are sh... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    For my daughter's 10th birthday we took her in to get her ears pierced. She asked that they do bo...

    #girl #birthday #jewelry #earings #earpiercing

    Editor's Note

    I love the eye contact we are able to make with your daughter, Joanna. This is a milestone for many young people and I feel a sense of magnitude in her quiet but intense expression that you've capt... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A teenage Hamer girl is sitting and waiting for whippers while other girls are dancing. Omo Valle...

    #ethiopa #omo_valley #omo_child #hamer_tribe #hamer_girl

    Editor's Note

    I like the way you've chosen to compose this picture. The moment you've capture is accentuated by the relationship between the foreground and background. And, I appreciated the additional caption d... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    This Sogdian Bride is taken to her new village where she will live with her new husband from now on

    #wedding #bride #newhome #tajikistan #newphaseinourlives #horsride #sogdian

    Editor's Note

    What an amazing scene to witness through your image, Adriaan. I agree with Your Shot photographer Steven Sweeney, who writes, "This picture encompasses a beautiful blend of landscape, culture, and ... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Shooting fireworks on the Fourth of July in the US is an all-American tradition and often a memor...

    #fireworks #family #independence_day #yourstory #fourth_of_july_2019

    Editor's Note

    I like Your Shot photographer Carol Worrell's comment: "The lighting from the sparkler adds just the right amount of golden highlights! Love all the different expressions. You captured this beautif... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    On our family farm, riding the transplanter is a privilege reserved for younger people who have d...

    #farm #family #father #son #grandfather #tractor #milestone #ritesofpassage

    Editor's Note

    Meg, I appreciate the detail you've shared about life on your family farm and how riding the transplanter is a privilege reserved for those who demonstrate they are mature enough to handle the resp... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A father is proud to see his son threshing his grains using their family cattle...he probably is ...

    #home #kid #family #father #son #cattle #threshing #occupation

    Editor's Note

    A wonderful moment here. The way you've chosen to compose your photography help us find the dad looking towards his son.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    In Nigeria, we say that those who do not work hard should not eat. My father died at the age of 5...

    #people #nigeria #village #labourers #abagana

    Editor's Note

    This is a powerful image, Cletus. The body language, and the expressions on Ikem, Josef and John's faces, quietly communicate the information you've shared in your caption. "Hard work is our rite i... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Teresa (28) visits her grandmother almost every day. She is in a nursing home that specializes in...

    #old #windows #people #ancien #black1white #grandmther

    Editor's Note

    Ricardo, you've captured a tender moment between Teresa and her grandmother. The window light is soft and matches the gentle gesture of the granddaughter. Your photo also resonated with National Ge... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    The calm and stillness within this scene was beautiful. The spotlight literally on the new parent...

    #shadows #light #birth #blackandwhite #newborn #birthphotography #postpartum

    Editor's Note

    Danielle, I think this is an amazing picture. Compositionally, you've divided the scene into thirds with each communicating a unique aspect of the birth story. The lighting is epic, while the postu... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Lake Pulicat is one of my favorite places to shoot flamingos during WInters. Thousands of flaming...

    #birds #sunset #india #nature #colors #silhouette #flamingos #migration #tamilnadu #pulicat

    Editor's Note

    Rakesh, your picture strikes me as elegant in it's simplicity of composition, use of silhouette, golden hues and glistening light. You've captured the flamingos in various states of movement. But, ... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    It is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Colombia. Normally there are no churches or...

    #christian #candle #baptisim #holy_spirit

    Editor's Note

    I totally agree with Your Shot Producer David Lee in his original EN. He wrote, "I like Your Shot photographer Sue Lockhart's comment: "What a beautiful moment you have captured here Delio and such... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Family & friends dancing & celebrating at a festive Upshernish ("shearing") ceremony, the ritual ...

    #celebration #dance #family #tradition #mitzvah #judiasm #ritesofpassage #hair_cutting_ceremony

    Editor's Note

    Thank you, Rory, for capturing this moment and then explaining the ceremony and celebration through your caption. I love this particular image it emphasizes how the rite of passage is recognized an... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A jagged smile of my son. Dropping milk teeth is a very important stage in the wishes of every ch...

    Editor's Note

    What a joyous image, Magdalena. This is such a fun moment that is captured in a simple, yet creative way.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Creating this final story was a fun challenge. From the over 5,000 images submitted, I came up with a wide edit of 241 pictures that I felt were the most compelling from a visual or informational perspective. I then revisited each picture in this edit multiple times. I considered the quality of the moment captured, the creative and technical quality of each frame and the level of storytelling shared in the caption information. Each image in the final edit had to achieve a balance of these three ingredients, though the recipe is a little different for every picture.

    Starting its 70th year, the Moorhead, MN, Dairy Queen always opens on March 1, no matter the weat...

    Editor's Note

    I love the unexpected nature of this rite of passage, and how you've captured the scene. Your picture tells a great story. And, I appreciate how the weather has not prevented the tradition from con... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Getting your first fashionable haircut is often a right of passage. Transforming you instantly fr...

    Editor's Note

    I love this scene - not just the young man waiting for his cut, but the way the other patrons are looking on, too. You've taken a fairly mundane task for many and captured it in a way that feels su... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    French storm chaser and member of our team poses in front of a tornado in the American Great Plai...

    #storm #landscape #weather #photographer #tornado #supercell

    Editor's Note

    I love the unexpected nature of the rite of passage captured in your picture. Not to mention the scale of the tornado approaching on the plains behind this storm chaser is impressive.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    The joys of travelling and finding everything hoped for, makes for a memorable adventure, well wo...

    #surf #ocean #wave #adventure #surfer #surfing #oceans #tube #wanderlust #pov #gopro

    Editor's Note

    You have taken me inside this wave, Neville, and shared the surfing experience. It feels pretty magical...and I love that distant glimpse of the shore!

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    For 44 years, my grandma and her seven siblings have been gathering with their families at the La...

    #ski #family #tradition #heritage #reunion #legacy #lakeoftheozarks

    Editor's Note

    Your choice to focus on the entire scene, as opposed to just the action itself, reinforces the storytelling you share in the caption. I love this statement, "...being born into this family means be... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A kid jumps in front of his father in the sea water of the Grotta della Poesia in Italy, as if to...

    #water #sea #italy #ocean #dive #jump #kid #family #europe #leap

    Editor's Note

    Guillaume, I love the position of the boy's body in you picture, and the sense of eye contact between he and his father. A second earlier or later and I think the moment would be slightly diminished.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    The Pastor, middle left, and church members perform a baptism for an enthusiastic man. (in the ...

    #religion #capecod #baptism

    Editor's Note

    You've captured a tremendous moment, Curtis! The emotion is further accentuated by the gentle and supporting hands of the people around the man being baptized.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    My daughter Sophia on the bottom of the lift has "graduated" to the more advanced USA synchro tea...

    #pool #swimming #artistic #synchro #synchronized_swimming #rite_of_passage_assignment

    Editor's Note

    This is a terrific picture, James. I agree with Stephanie Thomson's comment, "I love how the younger swimmers are looking at her with a sense of awe and astonishment. What a great moment..." You've... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    For many children and young people living in the most disadvantaged areas of Rio de Janeiro, trav...

    #beach #children #silhouette #rio #brazil #shots #ipanema

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot user Neelima Azad, who writes, "I love the POV and the kids having fun at the beach on this sun kissed day." Your perspective on this scene, along with all the people in dif... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Rites of Passage assignment. It is so poignant how the pictures from the global community of Your Shot photographers allow us to ponder the distinct differences our world offers while also celebrating the commonality across cultures. Remember in addition to the obvious rites of passages, every day there are also smaller moments that commemorate our journey as humans. Observe, anticipate, and document these intimate moments in your lives. I encourage you to use this final story as inspiration to continue documenting the rites of passages in your own lives and sharing these special moments with the rest of the Your Shot community.

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Click HERE to see her previous Your Shot story, “Inspiring Experiences”

    About the Editor
    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
    Jenn Poggi is an assistant professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. She joined RIT after working as a picture editor and deputy director of the White House Photo Office under President Barack Obama. Poggi began her career with the Associated Press and later joined U.S. News & ...

    Photographers Published In the Story