Mission: To give amateur photographers the chance to connect with professional photographers and editors through virtual assignments, get direct feedback on their work, and participate in a unique, photography-based community.
Background: Established in 2006, Your Shot began as a way for NatGeo readers — who were invited to submit one photo a month — to get their work published in the magazine. In 2013, the site was relaunched as a platform with real community functionality, enabling NatGeo readers to create a profile, upload their best photos, add comments to other readers' photos, and receive feedback from NatGeo editors. The relaunched site also allowed NatGeo to create assignments and curate stories around user images with the help of NatGeo photojournalists serving as guest editors. Themed assignments typically stay open on the site for about a month, and as photos are submitted editors review them and have the option to provide feedback. NatGeo editors also engage the community at large through Daily Dozen photo selections showcasing the top twelve submissions on any given day. There's no fee associated with joining the Your Shot community, and members are rarely paid for images used on the site.
Outstanding Web Features: Your Shot community members are encouraged to set up a profile before they begin uploading photographs. A handy tool enables members to share images, take part in assignments, and get feedback. Photos on the site can be searched a number of ways, including keyword, location, and date uploaded, or by feature ("Photo of the Day," "Editors' Favorites," "Published in the Magazine"). Registered users also can peruse a listing of open assignments, review stories curated by other members that include commentary by NatGeo editors and staff, vote on the daily Top Shot, join in discussions with other members, and stay abreast of changes to the site through the editor's blog.