One File, One Year

We asked for moments that marked 2021. You delivered.

A collection of photographs and documents, including a signed certificate, and photos of a table of food, a woman in a field, and people in a forest

It was a year that’ll go down in the history books. Here are some moments that represented a version of 2021. Good, bad, introspective and absolutely unforgettable.

Grateful for the Village

“This photo was taken in Ile Ife Park behind a school called The Village of Arts & Humanities. I've done work with the organization in the past, but in 2021 I achieved not only several career milestones through the work I did with them, but they're also responsible for aiding in the knowledge I am applying to advance my business as a whole.”
Daniel - Pennsylvania, US
A man sitting in front of a colorful mural that includes different types of birds
A brown and orange drawing of a woman with a watermelon

It was a year of patience and caution. Not yet out of the pandemic head space but things are moving along and it’s giving us hope. But I can’t help but feel melancholic when I think about what used to be.

Lay Hoon - Autumn in Vancouver, Canada

At a Restaurant at Last!

“Everyone said that I'd get good at cooking if I just stuck with it long enough. During the pandemic, I sure stuck with it. But only because I didn't have a choice. And I still didn't get any better. This is the first meal that we had in a restaurant after a very long time of being too afraid to do so. We ate at a local Szechuan joint and all I can say, horray! Nobody has to eat my cooking anymore, not even me.”
Emma - Burnaby, Canada
Plates of Szechuan food on a table at a restaurant

Goofy Selfie

“This goofy selfie of my husband and I reminds me to make space for fun in the midst of change and uncertainty. We don't take a ton of pictures, but we've been pushing ourselves to take more so we remember these little joyful moments that make our life worth living.”
Kendrea
A man and a woman taking a goofy selfie in a bathroom mirror
A still from a video of a man holding a squirrel

Earlier this year, we discovered a nest of 4 squirrels living in our ceiling. Months of troubleshooting, traps, and visits from Tony the Wildlife Trapper later, all 4 of them were captured and removed (out of a hole knocked into our ceiling). Felt like foreshadowing for all the unexpected surprises looming over our heads in 2021.

Etienne - New York, US

Life After Getting Vaccinated

“This picture was taken at Storm King in New York 4 months after being fully vaccinated. I was there with my lifelong friends and their new baby. It was the first family outing and my first time traveling to this part of New York. Life after getting fully vaccinated has been nothing but domestic travel enjoying times with the ones I love. 2021 promised me a vaccine that would help return us to some sort of normalcy. This photo is me enjoying that fulfilled promise.”
Karen - New York, US
A woman wearing a blue shirt, standing in a green field

Our Last Cali Day

“This was from our last few days in California before we moved back to Chicago. Fitzgerald Marine Preserve was one of the first places that made me fall in love with Northern California. I'd been waiting 8 years to see the sun cut through the fog like this. I'll always remember my 2 year old running through the light and trees.”
Liz - California, US
A man with a child on his shoulders, walking through a sunlit forest
Three people standing in the road surrounded by the Arizona desert landscape

I packed a new camera, four lenses, a drone, and a GoPro. But this photo was taken on an iPhone. By a stranger. And it’s probably my favorite photo of the trip. It perfectly captures us enjoying each other’s company in the middle of nowhere. Just goes to show you don’t need anything fancy to capture the moments that matter.

Jason - Arizona, US

Meeting My Nephew

“My nephew was born at the end of February 2020 in Dallas, and I had big plans to travel from DC to go meet him at the end of March 2020. You can imagine how well that turned out! In September 2021 - 18 months later - I finally got to go see him, and we had a very tearful (me) meeting at long last. And immediately became the best of friends.”
Liz - Texas, US
A woman reading a book to a child sitting in her lap

Ready to Ride!

“My partner got me into motorcycling and after having to reschedule twice due to COVID I was finally able to take a motorcycle training course to get licensed. Now that I've done the safety training and the paperwork is out of the way I'm going to get a bike for myself so that we can go riding together.”
John - California, US
A signed California motorcyclist safety program certificate
A bride and groom kissing each other while being showered with confetti

One of the most beautiful days of 2021 is when we exchanged our wedding vows surrounded by our loved ones.

Juliette - Savoie, France

Art Saved My Life

“The 2020 Pandemic was the hardest moment in my entire life. Not only did I lose my business but also my sanity. As a result I entered a circle of depression. Mural art saved me and worked as therapy for me in this hard time. In this photo I was coping with dark emotions, so I decided to put all my energy and mind into delivering a good work.”
Male - Playa El Zonte, El Salvador
A woman, surrounded by palm trees, painting a mural on a wall

Twinning

“One day during a work call, I realized I was twinning with my dog, which made both my coworker and I laugh so much. Living and working from my apartment has sometimes been challenging, and finding little moments like this in the middle of the daily grind has filled my days with a nice dose of joy.”
Kelly - California, US
A woman on a video call holding a very cute dog
A man wearing a green cricket uniform and a medal, holding a plaque

Probably the only highlight of 2021 was when a 5-month long competition took place and was completed when the city had been closed for more than half of the year.

Asad - Melbourne, Australia

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