People’s Meaningful Moments from 2020 – A Reflective Photo Gallery.

We asked, “what is one photo from 2020 that evokes something in you?” 37 people responded.

2020 finally came to an end, it seemed like it never would… but here we are, we made it. Although 2021 seems to have picked up right where it left off, and you may be eager to leave it behind forever, such a pivotal year deserves some reflection. It was a year of tragedy and loss, but also growth and renewal.

My partner Gaby, had the idea to ask people to submit one photo from the past year that captures something emotionally meaningful to them, amidst a year loaded with emotions. The goal being – to reflect and take the tangled mess of 2020, and weave it into something to take with us.

Here is a gallery of photos collected from family, friends and loved ones, who offered to share a small glimpse into their experience of last year.


– P.C.

This photo makes me feel happy.
Considering all the struggles of 2020 people found a way to adapt and continue enjoying life.

- O.H.

Sunset in the village of Umuele, Imo State, Nigeria.

- C.H.

When Santi became a big brother.

- A.M.

Blown away!

- G.A. 

When the world felt like it was ending, it was dark, orange, and smokey all day. 

- R.O.

This pic represents the peace and love I’ve felt while being able to stay at home with my family for most of the year. Not being able to go to classes in person or go out in public to do non essential things gave me the opportunity to spend more quality time with my family at home and really focus on myself. I don’t especially like going out to do stuff anyway so being able to stay home for most of my days with my loved ones brought me a lot of peace and comfort.

- K.C.

This picture makes me feel accomplished and happy because if it wasn’t for the stay at home order we probably wouldn’t have done this.

- A.T.

2020 was a hard year, with many stones on our way; dry of many gratifications; lonely....And many people fell, and many people left. 

- B.R.

When we went to go visit my friend Erika for her birthday. She just bought a house in the east bay, which felt a like a cool coming of age moment since we’ve all been friends since kindergarten (which i’m very thankful for). A bit sad because we couldn't actually go inside due to Covid but looking forward to better fun house party filled days ahead. 

- M.A. 

The show must go on...

- J.C. 
March 19, 2020.  The view outside the window in Oakland.  We had arrived a day or sobefore having been redirected from our journey to Caracas.  A place of safety and comfort to huddle in con la familia.  Watching the pandemic unfold.We stayed for 5

- C.G.
Celebration, resilience, surprise, pride.
- T.S. 
It was the 57th anniversary of the original March on Washington where MLK delivered the I Have a Dream Speech...  I feel both deep pride and sorrow when looking at this picture ... kinda matches my feelings about the African American experience.

- B.G.
Comfort and safety.

- T.N.
Since my two kids live very far away, I thought that it would be almost impossible for us be all together again any time soon, since this pandemic came to our life, but fortunately the universe was in my favor and we had the opportunity to be together again. I had the opportunity to live with Marcos practically the whole year. I also had the pleasure to visit Victoria in Toronto. In the end everything turns into great and I am very happy and grateful for that! 

- M.G. 
Baking became a thing...


In December, I realized that I had to use up my flexible spending account before the end of the year, so I ordered prescription sunglasses. Seems like it took forever for them to arrive, but when they came they looked way "blingier" than I expected...more flashy than I like generally like to be. When I put them on, however, I felt quite a rush! All of a sudden,  I was dreaming of summer--trips to the beach and outdoor music festivals, boat rides in Amsterdam, picnics in the park. They reminded me of how much I had to look forward to. Just hold on, I told myself. Hold on.

- L. R. 

“Explorers are we, intrepid and bold, out in the wild, amongst wonders untold, equipped with our wits, a map, and a snack, we’re searching for fun and we’re on the right track!” 

-GA. A-G.

From mid March to August, I was able to build a closer bond to my brother Steve as we walked together on many trails.

- S.B. 

Haciendo hallacas, total se dijo, “Si la naturaleza se opone, haremos que nos obedezca” Y asi lo hicimos…y quedaron divinas.

– E. G.

A reminder of our smallness and our greatness, and a moment of perspective with chaos around us.

- H.D. 

My boy with his boy sharing a moment of pure joy after catching a frog.  The pandemic didn’t seem quite so bad just then.

- A.W. 

This photo makes me think of self reflection.

- E.A. 

Thanksgiving day happiness at the best coffee shop in Yucaipa with three of my favorite children.

– S.C.

I'm doing this even if i'm frightened.

- R.A.

CHI - SF Relieved to go home, & documenting the journey.

- C.W.

This palm tree can be seen from my grandma and my backyard but super clearly from her pool. It would sway in the wind and somehow while swimming or having outdoor gatherings, I would look up at the palm tree and it would evoke a feeling of calmness.

- E.S.

Was cleaning through stuff when my mom was in the hospital back in May and found this picture of her and my grandma. I think they both look so beautiful so it’s one of my favorites. 

- M.P. 


– C.E

I chose this photo because it encapsulates the two plagues of 2020; while also as an Instagram post, it refers to the incredible role social media has played in the trajectory of our society.  

- N.C.

So far, so close.

- M. G.

When George Floyd was murdered it sparked so many emotions in me which inspired me to write and make this spoken word to voice how I felt about all the injustice that’s been going on for far too long in this country. 

– T.M.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

- B.G.
As much grief and loss that has filled this year, I still feel hope. There has been an increased awareness in the collective consciousness. We saw the fall of Trump. We saw the first female, first woman of color, elected as VP. We’ve watched women fill the next cabinet. Despite all the callousness that can’t be ignored, I still feel hope. Hope for humankind. Hope for the future. Hope for the next generation.

- LK. S. 
La fuerza humana es increíble -dentro de nosotros tenemos an ancestral resistance that transcends pandemics and tragedies. When I dance and create movement with other bodies I feel the most anchored in me, the most powerful.

- M. M.
Just trying to keep my head above water. Taking it day by day, breath by breath. 

-GC. A-G. 

“Thank you to all participants for sharing your vulnerability and reflecting on this emotional year with me. I resonate with each one of your photos and could not be more grateful to feel your company as we enter into the unknown.”

My deepest love,

Gabriela Arroyo-Grynbal

Thank you for reading, please like, share and/or subscribe if you enjoyed it. Thank you for sticking with What’sGood through 2020, who knows what else 2021 has in store but we can blog through it together!

1 Comment

  1. I love this. And I resolve to take more pictures to document the moments of my life.

    Thanks for this blog post!!

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