The Picture Show : NPR

Stella McDaniel

Long lines mostly comprising seniors and their caretakers during the first day of the mega vaccine center at Fair Park in Dallas on Jan. 11. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA


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Keren Carrión/KERA


Long lines mostly comprising seniors and their caretakers during the first day of the mega vaccine center at Fair Park in Dallas on Jan. 11. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA

“Photojournalists capture moments of celebration, perseverance and the beauty of everyday life,” Brian Munoz, a multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio, says.

We asked photographers from NPR’s member stations to contribute memorable images from 2021. They shared stories of grief along with moments of joy.

In another year where the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, vaccines were distributed to Americans, old and young. This year we saw unsettling weather events and natural disasters where communities were fighting off wildfires in California to residents assessing damage after tornadoes struck Missouri.

There were still things that brought joy during this tumultuous year, including graduations, race cars and cowboys. Throughout the images, there is a strong focus on what binds communities together.

“While out creating photographs, I spend time trying to understand people’s experiences,” Dee Dwyer, a photographer at WAMU in Washington, D.C., says. “My goal is to show all aspects of human life with the primary focus being humanity.”

Here is a selection of memorable stories from this year.

Kiersten Vicknair celebrates the inauguration of Biden and Harris in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20. Full Story

Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist


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Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist


Kiersten Vicknair celebrates the inauguration of Biden and Harris in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20. Full Story

Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist

Brooke Penaluna and Kevin Weitemier filter samples of river water on the banks of the Santiam River’s south fork east of Cascadia, Ore. Full Story

Bradley W. Parks/OPB


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Bradley W. Parks/OPB


Brooke Penaluna and Kevin Weitemier filter samples of river water on the banks of the Santiam River’s south fork east of Cascadia, Ore. Full Story

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

Apr. 14, 2021 – As Capitol Police officers salute, an honor guard carries the casket of Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans up the steps of the Capitol. Full Story

Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist


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Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist


Apr. 14, 2021 – As Capitol Police officers salute, an honor guard carries the casket of Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans up the steps of the Capitol. Full Story

Tyrone Turner/ WAMU/ Dcist

Al Action is overjoyed when he speaks in Boston about the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin on April 20. Full Story

Jesse Costa/WBUR


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Jesse Costa/WBUR


Al Action is overjoyed when he speaks in Boston about the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin on April 20. Full Story

Jesse Costa/WBUR

Lauren Alexander is vaccinated against COVID-19 in Seattle on April 15. Full Story

Megan Farmer/KUOW


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Megan Farmer/KUOW


Lauren Alexander is vaccinated against COVID-19 in Seattle on April 15. Full Story

Megan Farmer/KUOW

Glenda Cardenas cries after moving clothes from her late husband, Miguel Torres, at their home in Waterbury, Conn. Cardenas, a mother of two, awaits whether she’ll be granted legal status in the U.S., or face deportation to Honduras. Full Story

Joe Amon/Connecticut Public


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Joe Amon/Connecticut Public


Glenda Cardenas cries after moving clothes from her late husband, Miguel Torres, at their home in Waterbury, Conn. Cardenas, a mother of two, awaits whether she’ll be granted legal status in the U.S., or face deportation to Honduras. Full Story

Joe Amon/Connecticut Public

Anne Laurie Pierre, a recent graduate of Everett High School, stands outside of her home in Somerville, Mass., on June 15. She juggled a job and caring for younger siblings with remote classes. Full Story

Meredith Nierman/GBH News


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Meredith Nierman/GBH News


Anne Laurie Pierre, a recent graduate of Everett High School, stands outside of her home in Somerville, Mass., on June 15. She juggled a job and caring for younger siblings with remote classes. Full Story

Meredith Nierman/GBH News

(Left) Anne Laurie Pierre dusts off a photo of her father who contracted COVID-19 and died in April of 2020. (Right) Pierre says goodbye to her mother, who is battling cancer, as she heads to a local hospital for a bone marrow transplant.

Meredith Nierman/GBH News


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Meredith Nierman/GBH News


(Left) Anne Laurie Pierre dusts off a photo of her father who contracted COVID-19 and died in April of 2020. (Right) Pierre says goodbye to her mother, who is battling cancer, as she heads to a local hospital for a bone marrow transplant.

Meredith Nierman/GBH News

A worker moves a trolley of freshly cooked hot dogs into the cooling at the Hummel Bros. hot dog factory in New Haven, Conn., on July 1. Full Story

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public


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A worker moves a trolley of freshly cooked hot dogs into the cooling at the Hummel Bros. hot dog factory in New Haven, Conn., on July 1. Full Story

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

Ke’ Elronn Hatley grew up racing horses in south Oak Cliff in Dallas with his 10 siblings. The Hatley family was one of the first African American families to race quarter horses in Texas. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA News


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Ke’ Elronn Hatley grew up racing horses in south Oak Cliff in Dallas with his 10 siblings. The Hatley family was one of the first African American families to race quarter horses in Texas. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA News

Clunkers-turned-race cars have their day to shine as Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park plays host to 24 Hours of Lemons, an endurance race for cars made with less than $500, in Thompson, Conn. Full Story

Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public


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Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public


Clunkers-turned-race cars have their day to shine as Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park plays host to 24 Hours of Lemons, an endurance race for cars made with less than $500, in Thompson, Conn. Full Story

Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public

Proud Boys and anti-fascist counterprotesters clash in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 22. Full Story

Jonathan Levinson/OPB


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Jonathan Levinson/OPB


Proud Boys and anti-fascist counterprotesters clash in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 22. Full Story

Jonathan Levinson/OPB

Fire crews manage a back fire in Sly Park, Calif., fighting the Caldor Fire on Aug. 23. Full Story

Andrew Nixon/CapRadio


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Andrew Nixon/CapRadio


Fire crews manage a back fire in Sly Park, Calif., fighting the Caldor Fire on Aug. 23. Full Story

Andrew Nixon/CapRadio

Emily Li-Nagy, 2, holds a “Wu for Mayor” sign at the Michelle Wu election night party at the Cyclorama in Boston on Nov. 2. This year, Boston held a historic election, voting in its first-ever woman mayor and Asian American mayor. Full Story

Jesse Costa/WBUR


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Jesse Costa/WBUR


Emily Li-Nagy, 2, holds a “Wu for Mayor” sign at the Michelle Wu election night party at the Cyclorama in Boston on Nov. 2. This year, Boston held a historic election, voting in its first-ever woman mayor and Asian American mayor. Full Story

Jesse Costa/WBUR

Irene Felsch, 7, reacts as resident physician Riti Chokshi (right) administers the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital on Nov. 9. Full Story

Brian Munoz/STLPR


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Brian Munoz/STLPR


Irene Felsch, 7, reacts as resident physician Riti Chokshi (right) administers the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital on Nov. 9. Full Story

Brian Munoz/STLPR

A Christmas tree stands in a home that was severely damaged in Defiance, Mo., on Dec. 13. A tornado ripped through the community of roughly 150 on Dec. 10, killing one and several damaging over a dozen homes. Full Story

Brian Munoz/STLPR


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Brian Munoz/STLPR


A Christmas tree stands in a home that was severely damaged in Defiance, Mo., on Dec. 13. A tornado ripped through the community of roughly 150 on Dec. 10, killing one and several damaging over a dozen homes. Full Story

Brian Munoz/STLPR

Lakisha Lowe spends time at home in Washington, D.C., with her son, Channing Jr., and framed items of Miamor, her daughter who died three weeks before Lakisha’s due date in 2018. D.C. mothers of all races experience higher rates of infant mortality than the national average. Full Story

Dee Dwyer/DCist/WAMU


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Dee Dwyer/DCist/WAMU


Lakisha Lowe spends time at home in Washington, D.C., with her son, Channing Jr., and framed items of Miamor, her daughter who died three weeks before Lakisha’s due date in 2018. D.C. mothers of all races experience higher rates of infant mortality than the national average. Full Story

Dee Dwyer/DCist/WAMU

The disco ball shines on rollerbladers on the first evening of the Texas Skatium reopening in Garland, Texas. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA News


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Keren Carrión/KERA News


The disco ball shines on rollerbladers on the first evening of the Texas Skatium reopening in Garland, Texas. Full Story

Keren Carrión/KERA News

Grace Widyatmadja is a photo editing intern at NPR.

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