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L.A. Taco’s Year in Review: Our Best Photos of 2020

11:54 AM PST on December 31, 2020

[dropcap size=big]L.A.[/dropcap] TACO's contributing photographers had a hell of a year documenting the streets of Los Angeles. Here are their favorite photos from 2020.

Lexis-Olivier Ray

My camera helped me maintain a sense of normal during the early surge of coronavirus. And later in the year, while covering the protests, my camera lens played a pivotal role in protecting me. Above all, I’ve been blown away by all of the amazing images that have been produced during these turbulent times by my friends and other photographers. - Lexis-Olivier Ray

Benjamin Burgos by Lexis-Olivier Ray

Janette Villafana

Street vendors are such a huge part of Los Angeles that it has been an honor being able to highlight and capture their stories, hard work, and endurance during such an intense year. Witnessing the constant hustle and pride they have for their work despite the many obstacles they go through to be able to sell has been both eye-opening and inspiring. - Janette Villafana

Sean Maung

The Flower District has been present in the collective memory of so many Angelenos that were
raised out here. Absent from the mainstream narrative of what L.A. is "supposed to be."  I was
enamored by place; a flower district, a neighborhood of independent vendors dominating a space
in a city that is so quick to sell out culture and space for more money. I had been teaching at
night school in South L.A. and some of my students were working and owning businesses in the
flower district. Brenda, Rogelio, and Elvis would tell me stories and show me pics of their
creations in class. I respected the symbolism and story of each arrangement. They are artists
facilitating a feeling through their hands, cultivated into a bouquet for a wedding, a funeral, a
celebration and so much more. - Sean Muang

This was a year of massive growth as a photojournalist and human being. Photographing protests and the impact of the pandemic on immigrant communities further instilled a drive to be intentional about the imagery I’m making and how it affects the way people understand history. While I documented moments of struggle, there was also equal amounts of hope and resilience as communities came together to support each other. - Samanta Helou-Hernandez

Deserie Muñoz

Memo Torres

I went from shooting taco stands to turning around and shooting the streets. A year where the city lit up with protests, tragedy, and celebrations, I felt a duty to be out there and document as much as I could. There was so much going on that the last thing I wanted to do was retreat to my safe space and be a mere internet spectator. There were days with more than 20 actions going on at once, and our small team at L.A. Taco had to jump to several each day, spending our days in the streets, confronting police, protests, and history in the making. It was my first time covering the streets this way and although my photography experience was amateurish, I was able to capture some important moments that needed to be told and documented forever in Los Angeles. - Memo Torres

Erwin Recinos

Looking back at the year, 2020 will be like no other in the history of L.A. TACO and our city of Los Angeles. From the protests, to the championship celebrations to a pandemic. The year 2020 has brought our newsroom to think outside of the normal boxes and establish a new lane for local news. The next ten years for TACO is promising and exciting. - Erwin Recinos

Kemal Cilengir

Brian Feinzimer

Demonstrators face off LAPD while protesting police violence at Los Angeles City Hall. (Brian Feinzimer)
Demonstrators organized by Black Lives Matter LA gather in front of LA mayor GercettiÕs house to protest police violence, the proposed LA city budget of 54% to the LAPD and the death of George Floyd. Brian Feinzimer
Leaders and volunteers of Black Women Lead pose for a photo during the gourmet meal giveaway. (Brian Feinzimer)
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