What is National Geographic YourShot, and how can it help you with your photos?

What is National Geographic YourShot, and why is it one of my goals to be published through it? The YourShot site is a community of photographers with a wide range of skill levels, talents, and interests. Members post their best work on their profiles, and other members can leave feedback on the images. Members can also indicate what they liked about the photo in regards to lighting, composition, and more. For a more detailed description on what YourShot is, please visit https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/about/ .

A strong component of each image is the story that goes along with it. You get the chance to explain why this photo is so important to you, or describe the magic moment when the image was captured.

The site has actual National Geographic Editors who look at the photos. Sometimes the editors themselves will give advice on a particular photo, which can provide valuable insight. Can you imagine having a REAL photographer from NG comment on your photo?? I have yet to have that honor, but I am hoping the day will soon come.

Assignments and Daily Dozen

Each day throughout the workweek, the editors will choose a “Daily Dozen.” These are the top 12 new photos submitted that truly stand out in either composition and story. By looking at these photos each day, you can see some truly wonderful photography. It can provide inspiration for your next photo shoot, as well as giving you ideas on how to improve your own photos.

Another component of this community is the assignments you can participate in. Each assignment has a theme, and a description of the photos the editor is looking for. Members are welcome to submit their photos to the assignment. The editor will go through the photo and choose their favorites. At the end of the assignment, the editor will then choose the top photos to be featured in the final story.

My journey on YourShot thus far

I have been a member of the YourShot community for 6 years now. Depending on the time in my life, I have either been super active (submitting to assignments, commenting on other community member’s photos, etc.) to not even logging on for months at a time. My photo that has gotten the most attention is my “Icy Purple” photo. It has 583 “likes” and over 20 comments. I have submitted it to several assignments, but it has never been selected.

My crowning moment to date is having one of my photos selected as an “Editor’s Favorite” for the Urban Wildlife assignment. It was a photo I had of a Golden Orb Weaver Spider. I remember the day I got the email saying that my photo was selected as an Editor’s Favorite. I was so excited!! My family was there, and I told everyone who would listen. I spent the rest of the assignment checking my YourShot account multiple times a day, waiting to see what would happen. Since it had been selected as an Editor’s Favorite, it had caught the eye of other community members. I received a lot more “likes” on it as well as comments. The original photo is on a different computer, so I sadly cannot share it here. If you would like to see the photo, please visit it on my YourShot account at https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/1927528/ .

My goal is to eventually be selected for one of the stories, and to have one of my images in the Daily Dozen. I will keep everyone posted with the progress that I make, and if I learn anything useful to pass on. 🙂

A bug takes flight – goals for this photographer

Hello lovely! Thank you for taking the time to visit today. As I start this blog, I am an amateur photographer at best. I have been taking photos for years, and have slowly improved upon the way. However, I am now striving to do more with lens. I started this blog to show the world where I am starting out from, how far I can go, and my progress along the way. I have always loved photography. The ability to capture a single moment in time truly amazed me. Today I am starting the journey to see how far I can go with it.

At the start of this journey, I have 3 main goals that I want to work towards:

#1 – Have one of my photos published in a National Geographic YourShot Assignment

National Geographic has a site for amateur photographers to showcase their work. This is a great place to receive feedback from some truly wonderful photographers and NG editors. Each weekday, the editors will pick out a “Daily Dozen” of exceptional photographs. There are also assignments you can go on. The editors will pick out their favorites, and sometimes leave comments on them. At the end of the assignment, the best photos are chosen and published in the final online article.

I have been a part of this group for 6 years now, and I have always wanted to have one of my photos chosen for an YourShot Assignment. This goal has eluded me. One time, one of my photos was chosen as an “Editor’s Favorite” for an assignment but didn’t make the final cut. Even though it didn’t make it to the final article, I was so excited when it was noticed by an editor! It inspired me to try even harder to capture the image that would one day make it’s way into an article.

As I work towards this goal, I hope to show you how I make this goal a reality: What worked, what failed, the struggles, the triumphs. If I can use this help another photographer reach their goal as well, it would make my heart so happy. ❤

If you would like to visit my National Geographic YourShot profile, you can view it here: https://membercenter.nationalgeographic.com/938658510590.

#2 – Participate in a year’s worth of photo challenges/scavenger hunts

I love looking at the photo challenges and scavenger hunts on Pinterest. These are the ones called “September Photo Challenge” or “Wildflower Photo Scavenger Hunt.” I love the challenge of trying something I might not have thought of before.

The added bonus is that some of these require you to take a picture everyday. By practicing everyday, you get a chance to improve quickly. I will be trying out some of these challenges to see how I can improve. My goal is to attempt a challenge each month. Then, compare my first photo to my last and see what improvements I have made.

After going through the challenge, I hope to create my own photo challenges for you to enjoy!

#3 – Become an expert in insect photography

For many years now, I have loved insects and spiders. I have been working on spreading my love to others; to show everyone that these creatures are not that scary. I would love to combine these two loves – photography and insects – to somehow become an advocate. This goal is more elusive, and I am unsure of what the

If you also want to photography insects, love the bug world, want to work on macro-photography, or want to see how this goal is reached, I would love to have you on my journey!

I took this photo of a beautiful butterfly, and I love it! I am hoping that this is something I can do more of for all kinds of insects and spiders. I am also wanting to hone my skills, so that one day this photo is my “before.”

#4 – Hone my photography skills so I can use them to stay at home with my family

My last goal does not have to do with photography specifically. I have a beautiful family that I would like to stay home with. If I was able to improve my skills enough, and utilize them in the correct way, I believe i could use my photos to help generate an income that would allow me to stay home. This is probably the largest goal I have set for myself. It is also a hard one to admit I have, because it is the one that is near and dear to my heart.

I know that there are others out there who have the same desires. I invite you to join my journey as well: Learn from my mistakes and successes. Help grow your own blog, or just see if it is possible.

Thank you everyone! I am excited to start this adventure with you! I hope that you will learn and have fun along the way.

Let the journey begin. 🙂

-Amanda