What your 2020 looked like in photos, part 3

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

by Ryan White
29 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.

a sign saying stop

Niko Tampio, 31, Finland

“'Parar' means stop in Spanish and, although 2020 was still a creative year, it also forced us stop in a way and look our lives in the detail.”

a woman sit in a car with the door open

Jheyda McGarrell, 23, Los Angeles

“2020 was defined for me by boundaries and containment, exploring the different view points of these aspects, are we trapped or how can we find freedom in a changing landscape of our reality, this sums up the feeling of wanting to escape but the inevitably of being still.”

two girls embracing in bed

Flora Scott, 22, Hackney

“This year taught me how important chosen family is and just how much I need them in my life.”

a man sat on his phone in the sun

Nína Solveig Andersen, 18, Reykjavík, Iceland

”My dad sipping his morning coffee alone in the garden instead of among his colleagues at the office.”

the silhouette of a plane

Rez Marino, 27, Doha

“This for me sums up the reality of relocating in the midst of a pandemic — as well as the adjustment to the ‘new normal’.”

a woman lying on her bed staring into space

Kali, 18, Lima, Peru

“One day I decided to document my afternoon during quarantine, so I left my phone recording myself in my room. This is a screenshot from the video. After looking at it, I realised it summed up my year: unmotivated, motionless, trapped with my thoughts between four white walls.”

a man with wings sat on a roof trying to get phone signal

Adrian Guerrero, 20, Los Angeles

“This year I was looking for a signal from the universe.”

a woman at a protest speaking on a speakphone

Anton Alexander, 20, Nottingham

“A year of self-reflection and learning, I came to see the real issues in this world and where I stand in them.”


Amalia Arieli, 25, Tel Aviv

“This year I noticed that the night monsters are revealed in light.”

a woman wearing a colourful mask

Goran Nakovski, 30, Stuttgart, Germany

“2012, we thought it was the end of the world, but definitely the Mayans made a mistake with their prediction. 2020 is the year that left a big mark and consequences for all of us. Freedom on hold. Fight for life, fight for rights, fight for normal everyday life… I hope 2021 will just be a fight for success.”

the microsoft sign

Tomas Gavriel, 20, Johannesburg

“Social distancing/living online.”

a room in copenhagen in the sunlight

Albert Meldgaard Blum, 27, Copenhagen

“I would often just sit and reflect during lockdown. So I took a picture of one of my wall staring moments. The colours reminded me that everything is gonna be okay.”

a group walking across a bridge

Leena Abdessemed, 16, Boston

“This year I learned the importance of being in the presence of people that will always make an effort to maintain a positive environment.”

a woman wearing a headdress

Chloe Curry, 28, London

“All dressed up and nowhere to go… As a performer I usually have many chances to dress up and parade around but this year I created them in my own living space to keep myself sane.”

a person stretching up to the ceiling

Vaishnavi Bhatkar, 23, Mumbai, India

“Meet yourself, treat yourself, greet yourself, repeat yourself.”

a 2020 balloon being run over

Trackie MeLeod, 27, Glasgow

“During Lockdown 0.1 I was asked to create a piece of work around the theme of ‘the future’. At this point the future felt bleak, a constant thread of bad news, 0 motivation and endless car crash telly. ‘Burst’ commemorates the year the world went off roading. I’d hope we are going into 2021 — with understanding, self-love and more resilience.”

a pigeon inside

Jeffery Jones, 46, New York

“As if the year wasn’t strange enough, I decided to fostered a pigeon named Ghob.”

a woman on her phone waiting to cross the road

Sasha Leong, 23, Sydney, Australia

“2020 was a glitch in the matrix."

a blurry petrol station

Idris, 25, Paris

"Ups and downs, but at the end everything is linked and beautiful.”

a coffee pot on the hob

Frederico Castanho, 20, Derby, England

“Coffee will definitely help with the anxiety!”


All images courtesy of the artist

my year in a photo