A remarkable year in photographs

Still photographs have the ability to sear places into our collective memories. Successful visual storytelling not only has the strength to educate, it also has the power to compel us to feel, to think carefully and even to take action. Light, composition and gesture are all vital, but to inspire, provoke and teach through seeing is our ultimate goal. For 2019, we selected some of the most memorable images and wove them together into a rich visual narrative illuminating a momentous year. — The Washington Post photography team

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

President Trump talks to reporters as he walks to board Marine One at the White House.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

A Secret Service agent stands guard as Marine One departs from the White House with President Trump on the 24th day of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, takes a break from his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment hearing.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during a meeting about Syria between President Trump, lawmakers and Cabinet members.

Shealah Craighead/The White House/AP

People are seen on a staircase leading into the dome of the U.S. Capitol.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

An image of Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15, is displayed during a memorial service at Horizon High School in El Paso. He was one of 22 people killed by a gunman at a Walmart there.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Samuel Klug, left, and John Neff place candles around a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

A child enjoys a ride at Funland, an amusement park and arcade on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk in Delaware.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

The color guard prepares before the arrival of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings's casket to the east side of the Capitol.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Bob Krocak repairs some of his farming equipment as his nephew's son, Logan Krocak, 7, looks on as they race to get seeds planted in Montgomery, Minn. Tariffs and the weather made it a difficult year for many farmers.

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

As night falls in Syracuse, N.Y., "Kendo" relaxes with friends and neighbors where Interstate 81 slices through a public housing complex. Residents are worried about the effects if this section of highway is torn down.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Scaffolding surrounds the Jefferson Memorial during a roof makeover and repair in Washington, D.C. One observer said that the memorial now looks "like a bald guy with thinning hair."

Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

A Rolling Thunder participant cools off under water sprayed by a firetruck as people gather near the Pentagon.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

An opposition supporter clutches a stone and stares down a group of Venezuelan National Guard members during clashes in Urena after opposition groups attempted to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Tear gas spreads amid anti-government protests in Hong Kong.


Police detain protesters and students after they tried to flee outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in which pro-democracy protesters had barricaded themselves.

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

People gather near Notre Dame the day after a massive fire destroyed parts of the Paris cathedral.

Cyril Zannettacci/Agence VU for The Washington Post

Smoke and flames rise from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

Flames consume a home as the Kincade Fire tears through Sonoma County, Calif.

Noah Berger/AP

Fabio Losurdo comforts his horse, Smarty, at a ranch in Simi Valley, Calif., near where a wildfire was burning.

Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

Discarded items are seen in Newtok, Alaska. It once had a dump, but it eroded into the Ninglick River. The village has been besieged by thawing permafrost, sinking tundra, erosion and flooding, forcing the residents to relocate.

Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post

Smoke billows from a fire in Altamira, Brazil — one of hundreds of fires raging in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil.

Victor Moriyama/Greenpeace/AFP

Chinese ethnic Lisu honey hunters Dong Haifa, top, and Mi Qiaoyun stand on a makeshift rope ladder as they gather wild cliff honey from hives in a gorge near Mangshi, China.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A fisherman exits Lake Maracaibo along the polluted shores of Cabimas, Venezuela. Dozens of ruptured pipes are releasing oil and gas into the lake. When asked what he caught that day, the fisherman replied, "Petroleum."

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Abou Traore, 15, from Burkina Faso, dries the sweat on his face as he works on a cocoa farm in Ivory Coast with other children. He has been working the cocoa farms there since he was 10.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Border Patrol agents load migrants wrapped in mylar blankets to keep warm into a transport van to take them to a nearby holding facility in El Paso. Many of the Central American migrants are families asking for asylum in the United States.

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post

Police officers and paramedics respond to an apparent overdose outside of a bar in Taunton, Mass. Police believe he overdosed on fentanyl.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

A group of migrants live in a school converted into a shelter in central Tripoli, Libya.

Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post

Jennie Harlow, 26, dances during a waltz event in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. The building was built before air conditioning, so dancers are cooled off by several fans positioned around the dance floor.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Children play on the shores of Golf Beach in Guediawaye, a suburb of Dakar, Senegal.

Jane Hahn for The Washington Post

An emotional cleansing ceremony and tribute to ancestors is conducted by a group of Queen Mothers at Buckroe Beach in Hampton, Va., during an event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in Virginia at Point Comfort.

Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post

Floodwaters surround a farm near Craig, Mo. Midwest states battled some of the worst flooding in decades.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Rosa Tomas, 27, and her 1-year-old son, Dionisio Eduardo, stand in front of their destroyed home in Buzi, Mozambique, after the area was hit by Cyclone Idai, which killed hundreds.

Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP

A girl cries during her father's funeral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The funeral was organized by government opposition amid a period of often-violent protests against corruption.

Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

People are evacuated to safety as security officers search for attackers in Nairobi, Kenya, after a large explosion and sustained gunfire sent workers fleeing at an upscale hotel and office complex. Over 20 people were killed.

Dai Kurokawa/EPA-EFE/REX

Militia members clash in Tripoli, Libya.

Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Post

These prisoners, who were asked to turn away from the camera to protect their identities, are accused of being Islamic State militants and are being held in Qamishli, Syria.

Alice Martins for The Washington Post

People sift through the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas. The storm made landfall on the island as a Category 5 hurricane.

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post

Scientists and volunteers with the Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences perform a necropsy on a beached gray whale in Tiburon, Calif.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist who has inspired mass youth protests, joins others for a demonstration outside the White House to demand action from political leaders on climate change.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Dejani Louistan, who was displaced by Hurricane Dorian, stands in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, with the only belongings she managed to salvage.

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post

Horses graze in front of the wreckage of a Soviet-era Mi-4 helicopter, last flown in the 1980s when this pasture was an airport, outside the Siberian town of Zyryanka, Russia.

Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post

Marty Krocak gives his wife, Sarah, a kiss while pulling weeds from their soybean field with their kids in Montgomery, Minn. The Krocak family closed their dairy business in May 2018 and is trying to keep the farm afloat for the next generation.

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Marvel Carrillo Lucas, 5, plays on his father's coffee farm in Guatemala. With coffee prices low, people in the region are struggling and many are migrating north. Rodrigo Carrillo Ordoñez, 48, would soon try to cross with his son into the United States, where his wife and younger son have already been for several months.

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Valeria, lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Tex.

Julia Le Duc/AP

Undocumented migrants make their way into the United States after crossing the Rio Grande River in McAllen, Tex.

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

A girl carries her belongings toward a truck at a screening point near Baghouz, Syria, to take civilians — some suspected of being families of Islamic State members — to a camp.

Nicole Tung for The Washington Post

A child is seen in a makeshift classroom in an evacuation camp in the Philippines. It has been more than a year since the Philippine military declared the Muslim-majority city of Marawi “liberated” from Islamic State-linked militants, but the ravaged city is still waiting for billions in promised infrastructure and aid to arrive.

Hannah Reyes Morales for The Washington Post

Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III arrives to appear before the House Intelligence Committee for a hearing. The former FBI director publicly addressed questions about his investigation of President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Anthony "Italian Tyson" Russo, 23, of Frederick, Md., celebrates a mixed martial arts match victory during a Streetbeefs event in Winchester, Va. Chris "Scarface" Wilmore started Streetbeefs to keep violence from erupting in communities and to solve the disagreements in the ring.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Katelynn Cox, newly crowned Miss Washington, D.C., waits with Boy Scout Troop 55 from Falls Church, Va., before the start of the annual National Independence Day Parade in Washington.

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) does a pinky swear with a little girl while campaigning to be president at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) flips hamburgers while campaigning to be president at the Iowa State Fair.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks to voters in Dubuque, Iowa, while campaigning to be president.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to voters at the Iowa State Fair while campaigning to be president.

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post

Allie Campbell of Hollis, N.H., and others wait to hear South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speak while he campaigns to be president in Nashua, N.H.

Cheryl Senter for The Washington Post

Supporters cheer before President Trump arrives to speak at a rally in Manchester, N.H.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

European Union supporters react after it was announced at the House of Commons in London that Brexit would be delayed.

Simon Dawson/Reuters

Taleen Khleifat, 20, of McLean, Va., cheers a second goal by the United States in the FIFA Women's World Cup Finals against the Netherlands during a watch party at National Harbor in Maryland. The U.S. won 2-0.

Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Fans celebrate the World Series champion Washington Nationals during a rally for the team in Washington.

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

The Washington Nationals celebrate beating the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the World Series in Houston.

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud celebrates with seconds to go on the clock before the team won its first WNBA championship, beating the Connecticut Sun 89-78.

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

Virginia Cavaliers players De'Andre Hunter and Braxton Key celebrate after beating the Auburn Tigers 63-62 in the NCAA men's semifinal game in Minneapolis. The team would go on to win its first NCAA championship by beating Texas Tech in the finals.

John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Simone Biles of Team USA performs on the uneven bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. She would go on to break the record for the most world medals earned by a gymnast, male or female, winning 25 in her career.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

This photo by NASA astronaut Christina Koch shows the launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket as seen from the International Space Station.