As another year quickly comes to a close, it’s safe to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other in our lifetime. The past 12 months have given us a whirlwind of events that included heartbreaking wildfires, a horrifying global pandemic, emboldened protestors fighting for social justice, and a seemingly never-ending political cycle. Emotions really ran the gamut throughout the year—from terror to anger and exasperation to hopefulness and inspiration.
Most of the year was greatly guided by the unknown, taking shape as the devastating COVID-19 pandemic raged on for months (and continues to ravage our world). Over 1.5 million people have died worldwide with over 283,000 of those deaths being in the United States. Travel has nearly completely halted, many businesses have shuttered their doors, unemployment is at unsettlingly high levels, and face masks are now a common accessory in everyday wear. Despite the coronavirus’ deep impact on the entire world, life has managed to move forward as Earth completed another revolution around the Sun, SpaceX successfully delivered astronauts to the ISS, animals were rediscovered, new babies were born, and the United States elected a new President alongside a history-making new Vice President…despite the ongoing pushback.
And through it all, photographers found a way to eloquently document all of these events and capture the beauty in our world. Much like a sculptor with chisel in hand, photographers grabbed their cameras and shared the wondrous scenes around them. Even amidst mandated quarantines, they found a way to capture new perspectives on people, places, and things. Whether it’s the emotional embrace amongst protestors, the empowering stance of a young Black girl fully embodying the beauty of her natural hair, the awe-inspiring scene of natural phenomena within our solar system, or the normally overlooked elegance of everyday birds in one’s own backyard; photographers have truly outdone themselves in this challenging year.
Join us as we take a look back at some of the most breathtaking, heartwarming, wanderlust-inducing, and undoubtedly inspiring photos of 2020.