What your 2020 looked like in photos, part 2

From hundreds of submissions, here is a selection of our favourite images.

by Ryan White
28 December 2020, 8:00am

Normally at this time of year, we reach out to a handful of photographers and regular contributors and ask them to submit a selection of photos under the heading: My Year in Photos. It’s a chance for the artist to look back and remember their year via images from their archive that may have otherwise gone unseen. (If you’ve never checked out the series before, find it here).

But 2020, of course, has felt very different to the years that came before it, and with that in mind, we wanted to honour this dramatic shift with a different perspective on the last 12 months. So we opened up submissions to everyone and asked i-D followers — be it a professional, amateur, or rarely-ever photographer — to submit a single image that attempts to encapsulate their 2020, if such a thing was possible.

There were hundreds of responses, from all over the world, and – sadly – too many to publish altogether. But we’ve narrowed it down to 100, 25 per day for the final five days of 2020. There’s tears, laughter, embraces, isolation, protests and moments of peace, that, without wanting to fall too deep into cliché, speak to a shared experience felt from Tanzania to Taiwan, Wuhan to the West Country.

man holds money to his ear

Junior Sealy, 33, Barbados

"This image represents a moment in this year where a gap of socio-economic and personal beliefs were bridged and fused in a way that created a symbiotic equilibrium."

student halls windows

Flo, 14, Surrey

“Freshers didn't go to plan this year, at least Laura's got it all under control.”

two woman in an apartment in wuhan

Jinger, 25, Wuhan

“I took this photo of my family members at my grandparents’ flat, where we normally had gatherings. 2020 got me to understand the relationship between human connection and space in a very different way.”

a man standing in front of a black lives matter sign

H’Abigail, 22, Greensboro, North Carolina

“This is America.”

a prada trainer stuck in mud

Zara Truman, Kent, 18


a man screaming

Cinque Mubarak, 26, Oakland, California

“From the killing of George Floyd to the kids locked in cages at the border… This image, taken a month before George Floyd’s murder, represents the ineffable pain and strife we all have not only felt this year but since the inception of America.”

a naked man on a bike

Tom Kneller, New York

“It comes in waves.”

a woman with facemask crying

Esther Mollie Vöge-Widding, 19, Copenhagen


a woman stood in a window

James Glover, 27, London

“For me, the photograph encapsulates the feeling of isolation experienced by old and young alike; three-generations cut apart by the pandemic that started this explosive new decade.”

a woman lying topless on bed

Jessica Madavo, 20, London

“2020 has been a year of major change which for me has led to a lot of introspection, which has led to growth, in a way I didn’t expect — the same way I didn’t expect to turn the camera back onto myself.”

a women wearing louis vuitton tights on the berlin subway

Mariel Chio Ibarra, 27, Berlin


a black lives matter protest

Nazir Wayman, 21, Philadelphia

“Seemed like this year would never come to an end. Through endless acts of injustice, we fought and will fight! Even if it involves putting our lives on the line.”

a train window

Gwen van den Boogaard, 17, Haarlem, The Netherlands

“In 2020 I felt like I was going nowhere, like I was getting nowhere, and this image strongly represents that feeling for me.”

a dirty car

Lewis Robinson, 27, London

“Nowhere to go and feeling stuck.”

a blurry woman's face

Chiemeka Offor, 17, Los Angeles

“This photo sums up my 2020 because of how surreal it was, this year shifted my perspective in so many ways.”


Siena Saba, 22, New York

“2020 has been filled with uncertainty, struggle, hope, and has challenged the meaning of family. I am so beyond grateful and proud to end the year knowing my friends and I finally have a home where we can create and build memories together.”

hauser and wirth gallery in somerset

Freya White, 21, Bristol

“I took this photo at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset on March 14 (before the first lockdown) and I like how ominous it is — perfectly representing how uncertain the year has been. The random layout of the chairs foreshadowed social distancing too.”

A tv screen and a fireplace at night

Ellie Shields, 20, Devon

“This is just a photo I took on my phone — I think this year has been a good time to catch up on things at home. In my case, getting through my ‘Films to watch’ list.”

a woman in ppe

Manuel Garcés, 14, Ecuador

“This picture represents the optimism during the difficult times, in summary, my mood during this year.”

a man floating in water

Dushan Zofka, 22, Geneva, Switzerland

“Overwhelmed by feelings, as good as bad.”


All images courtesy of the artist

my year in a photo