See the Stunning Submissions to the Natural Geographic Cover Photo Contest

For the first time, editors invite a reader to shoot the magazine's cover.

— -- If it's always been your dream to see your photo featured on the cover of National Geographic, here's your chance.

The magazine has, for the first time in its history, decided to run a contest to choose a reader photo to appear on the cover of its December/January issue.

The magazine's photo community, "Your Shot" is accepting submissions until Sept. 22. The photo must be taken in the last five years.

Here are a few of the submissions received so far:

The editors have a few helpful hints for would-be cover shots:

1. Your photograph should demonstrate a strong sense of place. The particular location you've photographed does not have to be immediately recognizable, but the scene should not feel like a generic landscape.

2. Remember that magazine covers require a photo with vertical orientation, and that our National Geographic Traveler logo will appear across the top. Busy backgrounds can make type hard to read.

3. The very best travel magazine cover photos make readers wish they were in the picture.