PhotographyYour Shot Photos of the Week

Your best photos of the week, April 19, 2019

Each week, our editors choose stunning photos submitted by members of Your Shot, National Geographic's photo community.

The Your Shot community photographers span all skill levels from all corners of the planet, and my team and I have the immense pleasure of seeing what they see every day. I love when photographs beg me to take a second look and dig deeper into the visual narrative.

This week started with news of smoke coming from Notre Dame de Paris. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in horror watching the footage of Notre Dame billowing with red-hot flames and smoke filling the Parisian skyline. I’ve always been a history and art nerd and my heart hurt for Paris, as it would for any community that lost an integral part of their home.

Within a day, Your Shot photographers were sharing images of the famous cathedral and recounting their love for this place. When I came across Florent Serfati’s image of a firefighter on a balcony of the cathedral, surrounded by the skeleton of the former roof, I was breathless. I hadn’t yet seen such a tight composition of the disaster, and I was beyond impressed that Florent knew exactly what image had to be made of the moment: a firefighter tirelessly trying to keep the flames at bay.

I’m always excited when Your Shot photographers document major events around the world while finding ways to build a visual narrative in news images. The moment I saw Florent’s image, I knew it would be in the final running for my weekly photo series. It made me stop and take a second look, and it left me thinking about it for days.

Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas looks at daily uploads from Your Shot, starting each day by sifting through thousands of photographs. This series is a selection of her favorites from the past week.