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10 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World

Here are some of the most interesting and powerful photo stories from across the internet.

Posted on January 9, 2021, at 8:01 a.m. ET

We had a good run, 2021.

Like everyone else, we're grappling with the harsh reality that this is who we are as a nation, and that it will take a lot of work to counteract the divisiveness and misinformation that permeates American soil. And while we are frustrated, bewildered, or just tired, we're also turning to the internet to show us the pictures from the year we just entered, and the one we just left.

First, we rounded up photographs of the riot and attempted coup at the Capitol building. Next, we loved looking back with Pro Photo Daily's collection of their best stories from 2021. The New Yorker shared decades of self-portraits by Nancy Floyd as she watched herself age. The Guardian profiled Hector Retamal, who took photos in Wuhan, China, over the course of the last year. And Aaron Vincent Elkaim looked at the legacy of hydroelectric energy in Canada for World Press Photo.

Looking forward, we asked photo industry leaders about their predictions for 2021. We loved the dreamy images from Black women photographers, and the founder of a new site that aims to spotlight and support them. And caught in the middle is photographer JR, who looks forward to a retrospective opening soon in London.

For more photography from what promises to be a momentous year, sign up for our newsletter below.


"Intense Photos Show What It Was Like As Trump Supporters Took Over The Capitol" — BuzzFeed News

Trump-supporting rioters storming the Capitol building in, with two men standing on the hood of an armored car and others waving flags
Bill Clark / Getty Images

"The Photographer Who Set Out to Watch Herself Age" — The New Yorker

Two images side by side of a woman taken thirty years apart; on the left she is with her mother and on the right she is alone
Nancy Floyd / Gost Books

"This Is What Congress Looked Like After The Trump Mob Trashed It" — BuzzFeed News

A "don't tread on me" flag hangs between broken and smashed windows between two walls made of marble at the Capitol building
John Minchillo / AP

"'I Tried to Become Part of Wuhan': Hector Retamal — Agency Photographer of 2020" — The Guardian

A woman wearing a face mask walks on the banks of a river with a city in the background
Hector Retamal / Getty Images

"What Will 2021 Look Like? We Asked 10 Industry Leaders For Their Predictions" — BuzzFeed News

A beach scene with people talking, looking at their phone, holding. a blanket
Naima Green

"These Photos Show What The #EndSARS Movement Looked Like" — BuzzFeed News

A woman in a mask raises her fist in front of a #EndSARS protest in Nigeria
Etinosa Yvonne

"The Year That Was: 12 Pro Photo Daily Highlights From 2020" — American Photography

A woman's eyes are visible as she peers over and pets her cat
Madame d’Ora

"A State of Erosion: A Legacy of Hydroelectric Energy" — Witness World Press Photo

A young girl in a baseball cap kneels by a riverbank in a long-sleeve shirt that says "rock and roll"
Aaron Vincent Elkaim


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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