This past year, we all looked a little harder than usual for the bright side. For inspiring moments. For a feeling of connection. And, well, for a sense of normalcy. In thinking back on the issues we published in 2020, we here at Yankee hope we’ve been able to provide some of that — both in the stories we’ve shared and in the photographs that brought them to life.
Continuing what has become an annual tradition on NewEngland.com, this post celebrates the best images that appeared in Yankee over the last year. They let us travel to far-off places (Greta Rybus’s stunning photos of the Blue Hill Peninsula in “A World Away”). They immersed us in the mysteries of the natural world (Tristan Spinski’s documentary look at seagulls in “Gull Trouble”). They spotlighted the diversity of our communities (Séan Alonzo Harris’s eloquent portraits in “Invisible No More”). They even made us laugh (Dana Smith’s playful images of Kris Kringles in “When Santas Get Together”).
As photo editor, I’m thrilled that Yankee continues to tell its stories of New England with such unforgettable visuals. Narrowing down a full year of work to just 20 is no easy task, but I think these selections truly represent the excellence of the whole. Included with each is a link to the original story, where you can read (and see) much more.
Yankee’s 20 Best Photos of 2020
Gabriela Herman captured this cozy winter scene at Tourists, a hotel in North Adams, Massachusetts, for Berkshires-based writer Alana Chernila’s ode to her favorite regional haunts. (“The Berkshires: An Insider’s Guide,” January/February)
Maple syrup gets the star treatment in this cover photo by Adam DeTour, with food styling by Monica Mariano. (“Good as Gold,” March/April)
Boston chef Joanne Chang’s joyful personality shines through in this Kristin Teig portrait, taken at one of Chang’s Flour bakeries. (“Winter Baking with Joanne Chang,” January/February)
In a feature package devoted to inspiring ways to see New England from the water, puffin cruises earned a top spot. And Joe Gliozzo’s photo of an Atlantic puffin colony on Machias Seal Island shows why. (“Float Your Boat,” May/June)
A young man’s determination comes to life in Dana Smith’s portrait of João Rodrigues Victor of Lewiston, Maine, an asylum seeker from Angola who went on to compete in a U.S. poetry recitation contest. (“The Unfinished Journey of João Victor,” March/April)
David L. Ryan’s aerial shot of researchers circling a shark off Cape Cod provided a dramatic opener for our profile of marine biologist Greg Skomal. (“The Shark Detective,” March/April)
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Not long after Anaïs Mitchell saw her smash musical, Hadestown, win eight Tony Awards, Corey Hendrickson captured the singer-songwriter relaxing at her family’s farm in Vermont. (“The Road to Hadestown,” January/February)
This Sarah Winchester photo reveals how designer Mally Skok uses her own colorful textiles and wallpaper at home in Lincoln, Massachusetts. (“It’s Summer Inside,” May/June)
In a memorable moment caught by Tristan Spinski, a student researcher on Maine’s Appledore Island cradles a great black-backed gull chick as an adult swoops overhead (hence the protective headgear). (“Gull Trouble,” July/August)
Greta Rybus made Yankee’s cover with this typically scenic vista from the shores of Deer Isle, just off Maine’s Blue Hill Peninsula. (“A World Away,” July/August)
Nate Levesque shows why Acadia National Park is considered to be one of New England’s finest stargazing spots with this stunning image of the Milky Way above Jordan Pond. (“Night Sky Over Acadia,” September/October)
In documenting the vibrant Cambodian community of Lowell, Massachusetts, Tony Luong found this magical moment during a performance by Khyla Lach of the Angkor Dance Troupe. (“Welcome to Cambodia Town,” May/June)
Another evocative image by Tony Luong: A weathered cottage speaks to the tenacity of the community that remains on Boston’s Peddocks Island. (“Adrift in Time,” May/June)
In a collection of photographs celebrating the 50th anniversary of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, this striking image by Bridget Besaw, taken on remote Saddleback Island, was a standout. (“A Necklace of Coastal Gems,” May/June)
New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park never fails to deliver on autumn color, as proved by this gorgeous Michael Matti photo. (“Scenic Fall Drives,” September/October)
The zingy flavors of New Hampshire chef David Vargas’s cooking seem to rise up out of the frame in Liz Neily’s photograph. (“La Vida Local,” July/August)
Kris Kringles don’t come much cooler than Steve Hendrix of Massachusetts, one of the many jolly old elves whose portraits were made by Dana Smith at the annual meeting of the New England Santa Society (“When Santas Get Together,” November/December)
Jeff Bazinet’s photo of Maine’s Nubble Light dressed up for the holidays reveals a beacon of hope and joy. (“Decking the Nubble,” November/December)
“Take my picture,” she told Maine photographer Séan Alonzo Harris. The result? One of the most engaging portraits we published this year. (“Invisible No More,” November/December)
Séan Alonzo Harris
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