27 Powerful Photo Stories That Captured Our Attention This Year

In 2016, photographers and curators used images to tell more than a few worthy stories.

12/30/2016 04:21 pm ET

Various Photographers

Another year over, a new one about to begin. What better time to remember the visual stories from 2016 that reminded us humanity is a beautiful, complicated mess?

From a ballet program in Kenya to the real-life mermaids of Korea, the fearless LGBTQ youth of Jamaica to a married couple dealing with depression in the U.S., the best subjects from this year were better captured in pictures than words. With that sentiment in mind, here are the photo projects we discovered, adored and shared this year:

1. These photos of the ballet program bringing strength to one of Africa’s biggest slums:

Fredrik Lerneryd

Fredrik Lerneryd spent a year and a half photographing ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi.

Read more here. 


2. This series that took us inside the last generation of Haenyo, Korea’s real-life mermaids:

Mijoo Kim

“These women divers are carrying on a Korean legacy and will be the last of their kind," photographer Mijoo Kim explained to HuffPost.

Read more here.


3. The photographer who documented what students were wearing when they were sexually assaulted:

Kat Cambareri

Photographer Katherine Cambareri challenges the ease with which people resort to victim blaming.

Read more here.


4. The photographer who chronicled her husband’s depression through intimate portraits:

Maureen Drennan

“Where words failed us, the pictures filled in the blanks,” photographer Maureen Drennan explained to HuffPost.

Read more here.


5. The nude photos that celebrated the fact that “big and beautiful” people have love stories, too:

Substantia Jones

“Fat femme” photographer Substantia Jones is the brilliant mind behind The Adipositivity Project.

Read more here.


6. The photographer who documented early motherhood in unflinching detail:

Anna Ogier-Bloomer

"I hope viewers see their own mother, or all mothers, in a new light," Anna Ogier-Bloomer explained to HuffPost.

Read more here.


7. The aerial photos that captured just how differently the rich and poor live:

Johnny Miller/Rex Shutterstock

Photographer Johnny Miller’s “Unequal Scenes” shows wealth discrepancy from above.

Read more here.


8. The historic photos that reminded us what the North’s fight for civil rights looked like 50 years ago:

CHARLES BRITTIN/Getty Research Institute.

A photo of civil rights advocates picketing next to the American Nazi Party put our country's current politics into sharp relief.

Read more here.


9. The breathtaking photos that captured Cuba’s legendary ballerinas dancing in the streets:

Daniela Fabelo & Daniela Cabrera #OZR_Dance || #

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