Hopeful Images From 2020

This has been a year like no other, and moments of joy were difficult to come by. The few happy events that took place did so despite harrowing circumstances—or, in many cases, as a response to overwhelming adversity. Health-care workers took on enormous burdens, saved countless lives, and earned the gratitude and admiration of millions. Celebrations and public events were modified for safety, but many still took place. And new vaccines against COVID-19 are starting to roll out. I have made it an annual tradition, after rounding up the often painful “news photos of the year,” to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past 12 months—an effort to seek out and recognize some of the abundant joy and kindness present in the world around us, even in the midst of a truly awful year. The following are images from the past year of personal victories, families and friends at play, expressions of love and compassion, volunteers at work, or simply small and pleasant moments.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Veronica Cardenas / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Firefighting Goats, Lake Chair, Saint Javelin

    A fancy-dress evening in Versailles, a destroyed industrial area in Ukraine, a mass wedding on the Uyuni Salt Flat, mourning families in Texas, Fleet Week in New York City, and much more

  • Qassem Al-Kaabi / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Sandstorms Sweep Across Parts of the Middle East

    A series of sandstorms has sent thousands to hospitals with breathing problems, and caused the closure of airports, schools, and government offices.

  • Sergione Infuso / Corbis via Getty

    Photos of the Week: Garbage Suit, Mesquite Heat, Bog Commander

    A fashion show in Burkina Faso, images from battlefields in Ukraine, the Witches and Wizards Convention in Brazil, a sandstorm in Iraq, electric-scooter racing in England, and much more

  • Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

    Water Levels in Lake Mead Reach Record Lows

    Images of Lake Mead, which has reached its lowest water levels since the 1930s