Here you will find our photographers’ favorite photos from this year and the stories behind them. I hope you enjoy looking at the world through the lenses of our cameras.
The Michigan Daily’s 2021 Year in Photos can be found here.
Allison Engkvist – 2021 Managing Photo Editor
Generally speaking, I prefer bright, naturally-lit photos that are captured during the day. As any Michigan photographer knows, photographing outdoor events at night can be a bit of a challenge. Yet somehow, after battling the ISO and shutter speed all night, I put together this photo. One that appropriately conveys the feelings of Chuck Christian, a survivor of the late athletic doctor Robert Anderson. To say that that vigil was one of the most emotional events I have ever photographed would be an understatement. While there was frustration and grief, there was also unity and passion. More than 100 people stood in solidarity to support the victims. Tears were shed and friends were warmly embraced. Every word from every story shared that night sat deep in my chest. Even months later, editing these photos still evokes all of the emotions from that night.
Madeline Hinkley – 2021 Managing Photo Editor
As tradition states, the Managing Photo Editors at The Daily photograph the Ohio State game each year. Throughout the season, I looked forward to this game because of the emotions that surrounded it. There’s a particular energy each year that brings all Michigan fans together to “Beat Ohio”, despite Michigan’s likelihood of winning. This year, that feeling was exponentially grander. From the yellow streamers waving above the student’s heads to Hassan Haskins’ celebration after each of his five touchdowns, this game was remarkable in its energy and excitement. Then at the end, fans stormed the field and the looks on everyone’s faces were ones of pure joy. The pandemic took away so many classic college experiences. Photographing this once in a decade win with all the excitement that surrounded it made for one of my favorite memories of the year, and of my college experience.
Julia Schachinger – Senior Sports Photo Editor
Aside from “The Game”, this year’s matchup between Michigan and Michigan State was the biggest football game of the regular season. Both teams went in undefeated, and fairly evenly matched. The atmosphere at the Spartan stadium was unlike any other I had experienced at a college sporting event. Until the fourth quarter, it was a great game for Michigan. There were many high moments, like the photos I chose to include. If it wasn’t for Michigan falling apart in the fourth quarter, like they always seem to do, this game would be remembered as the one when freshman Andrel Anthony made a name for himself at a collegiate level. These photos remind me of the highs Michigan football experienced that game day and the calm before we threw away a huge lead and a potentially undefeated season.
Becca Mahon – Senior Statement Photo Editor
This photo was taken at the beginning stages of widespread vaccine availability, shortly after the Michigan Stadium pop-up clinic opened for people 65 and older. With every person that walked through the clinic, there was an overwhelming sense of relief and joy. At the time, the availability of vaccines marked the beginning of an end to the pandemic, something that we now know was not necessarily the case. Now, looking at photos from this day reminds me of the importance of booster shots and continued vaccinations to bring back the sense of finality and relief that people at the Michigan Stadium clinic felt at that point in January.
Emma Mati – Senior Multimedia Photo Editor
I chose this photo of Graduate Student Eli Brooks for a few reasons. First, Michigan obliterated Nebraska, 102-67, in their first Big Ten game of the season in Lincoln, Nebraska. This photo was taken at some point during the 4th quarter. Looking back, it amazes me that, even with such a big lead, Michigan took this timeout seriously; the team was locked-in. Second, it’s rare in sports photography that an athlete will look directly at your camera. I’ll never know if he was actually looking at my camera, but for a few moments, I felt like we were having a staring contest, and he had no intention of losing. Third, this was my first Michigan Daily road trip in over a year. I, along with the men’s basketball beat, woke up at 5 am in the morning and drove from Ann Arbor to Lincoln for the game later that evening. It was a fun trip, and these photos serve as found memories of our adventures.
Miles Macklin – Senior Audience Engagement Photo Editor
Michigan football kicks off its seasons under the bright lights with a dominant performance over Pac-12 opponent Washington in a maize-out game. Hassan Haskins (pictured) and Blake Corum combined for over 300 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on their way to a 21 point victory. Haskin’s touchdown pose shown here became a common celebration of his throughout the remainder of the season. It was the first meeting between the 2 teams in 19 years when Washington traveled to Ann Arbor in 2001. Also returning to Ann Arbor was Junior wide receiver Giles Jackson who transferred from Michigan to Washington just a year earlier.
Grace Beal – Assistant Photo Editor and 2022 Managing Photo Editor
I joined Photostaff in the middle of the pandemic, so in-person news stories were few and far between. Just two days after President Mark Schlissel announced his early retirement, I got to cover his State of the University address. The University has endured so much since the pandemic first struck in March 2020, which Schlissel reiterated during his speech. He also reminded me how much the students and faculty have accomplished while bouncing between Zoom and masked classrooms. I admit, I initially selected a football photo for this project. However, as I step into my new role as Managing Photo Editor, the academic achievements of the brilliant students and professors are what I wanted to highlight. The Michigan Daily has given me so many incredible opportunities, and as I reflect on the year, like Schlissel, it is easy to pick out some amazing moments amidst a difficult time.
Tess Crowley – Assistant Photo Editor and 2022 Managing Photo Editor
Looking at this photo nearly eight months after it was taken brings up an array of emotions and brings new meaning to the photo. Students at this University have historically fought for social change, holding the President and this administration accountable over the years. As the Black Lives Matter movement has grown in momentum over the past couple of years, students have continued to protest outside President Schlissel’s door, calling for anti-racism initiatives. Now, as I look at this photo, I can’t help but think of people like Johnathon Vaughn, one of the survivors of former athletic doctor Robert Anderson’s numerous sexual assault allegations. The University, despite knowledge of Anderson’s actions, failed to hold Anderson accountable. Vaughn has been camping outside of the President’s house since Oct. 8. I’m writing this on Dec. 21. That’s a long time to be outside in the cold, all to demand a conversation between the survivors and President Schlissel. Looking at this photo, I see not only the BLM and Anderson protestors, but I see Schlissel, invisible in the warmth of his house, turning a blind eye to groups of people that, as president, he is supposed to support and protect. The President’s house, as seen in the background in this photo, is emblematic of the character and very essence of the University. From Vietnam War protests to Black Live Matter protests today, the President’s house will continue to serve as a meeting place and backdrop for those that demand change.
Kate Hua – Assistant Photo Editor
Although the lighting at the stadium was terrible and the game wasn’t the most exciting one of the season, photographing the football game at Maryland was definitely a highlight of my time at The Daily. I joined Photostaff last winter when all classes and events were virtual and my weekly assignments were mainly taking stock photos. Even though I was able to shoot sporting events almost every weekend, they weren’t the same without a stadium full of fans cheering for their team. At Maryland, I was shocked to see the stands full of Michigan fans (half, if not more, of the crowd was wearing maize or blue). There were several times during the game when the crowd of Michigan fans was cheering louder than Maryland, and, for a brief moment, I would forget that I was 500 miles away from The Big House.
Jarett Or – Assistant Photo Editor
I took these photos at a protest on May 15, 2021 in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the largest populations of Arab Americans in the United States. Hundreds of people, possibly over a thousand, came out on a Saturday afternoon to protest the recent actions taken by the State of Israel, including the eviction of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, and a recent assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites for Muslims. At the protest, there were also calls to President Biden to cease aid to the Israeli Defense Forces. The protest was a communal event filled with joy, hope and excitement, but also anger and determination. Many people who came out were extended families, who treated the time before the march as an opportunity to reconnect with one another, share stories and take pictures together. Every generation was accounted for amongst the people, all there to voice their outrage and show solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and occupied Palestinian territories. As the march progressed, they turned off the main road and walked through neighborhood streets of Dearborn, and to my surprise, many people actually came out of their homes and spontaneously joined the march, increasing the size of the crowd even further. Many cars that drove past honked their horns or waved their own flags in support, and at one point an entire wedding reception came outside of a venue to cheer on the crowd and were given Palestinian flags to wave. Through the chaos of a crowd of that size, I was not able to get the young girl’s name or the name of the man lifting her up, but I often wonder about this young girl, what her life is like, and how experiences like that one will shape her life.
Dominick Sokotoff – Assistant Photo Editor
This was a moving moment in a long year where a community battered by COVID and severe storms saw relief on the horizon. I’m glad I had the opportunity to cover news affecting Washtenaw County communities beyond Ann Arbor, and it was touching to see how residents felt their needs were being heard by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle during a time of crisis. The supplemental appropriations bill will provide funding for disaster relief for recent flooding, child care assistance, state police, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
Gabby Ceritano – Staff Photographer
On Tuesday November 30, 2021, our community experienced a tragedy that, for some, hit too close to home. On that day, a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School, killing four students and injuring many more. I grew up about 20 minutes from Oxford, so I was deeply affected by this tragedy. I have been passionate about bringing an end to gun violence in America for as long as I can remember. When I was 16, I dragged my dad to a Students’ Demand Action protest following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, insisting that I needed to be a part of this movement and photograph the event to spread awareness. I never thought an event like this would unfold so close to home. How many more school shootings will it take to prove that our country is in desperate need for gun reform? It was so touching to see students rally together and comfort one another in a time of sadness. It brought hope and closure to the students who needed it most, and it is an event I will never forget.
Jeremy Weine – Staff Photographer
This fall, I was greatly humbled and moved by the opportunity to document the efforts of Jon Vaughn and so many others that are trying to make campus a safer place for all. This rally was one of several Hail to the Victims events I covered for The Daily this fall, and each time I was blown away by Vaughn’s ability to bring people together. It has been incredible to witness his words and actions inspire those around him.
Maria Deckmann – Staff Photographer
Picture this- it’s your first day as a Wolverine and you step onto campus and you experience the magic of Ann Arbor for the first time. I don’t know about the rest of you, but even as a junior, I still get that heart-fluttering feeling when I cross the Diag. This campus, this town… it’s truly larger than life!
Anna Fuder – Staff Photographer
Though many great sports photos capture the peak of action – a player’s foot touching the ball as they pass it, a ball leaving the quarterback’s hands as he throws a touchdown – what often captures my attention is the moment after the action. It’s the time when the players’ raw emotions show most, telling a story that couldn’t be told nearly as well when their focus is on the game. After far too many days spent watching sports from our couches, athletes playing surrounded by empty stands and immersed in a widespread feeling of something missing, those emotions have become magnified. Though the story behind this photo surrounds a goal being scored, the emotion shown in Bucknor’s celebration says a lot more. The affirmation of the roaring cheers of fans, the hilarity of the chants coming from the student section, and the realization that we finally made it back to some sort of normality culminate into a photo that, on its surface, is merely a goal celebration.
Ali Chami – Staff Photographer
One blistering cold night while taking stock photos for The Daily, the realization hit me: “I am really living out my lifelong dream”. Growing up, everything was about Michigan, from my clothes to the wall decor in my bedroom, and even my phone case, it was always Michigan. I was known by many as the biggest Michigan fan out there. When going to visit campus with my family, we would always stop at the State Street Theater and just stare in awe at the big, bright lights before getting ice cream from across the street. It was really nostalgic just staring at the theater from a distance as the realization hit that I am finally doing what I always wanted to do. It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders, I finally felt home.
Lila Turner – Staff Photographer
Since joining the Daily I’ve attended and photographed many interesting and even fun events– the “Hustle for Housing and Walk to End Homelessness” being one of them. This image is one of my favorites for many reasons; the three girls pictured were full of energy from the very beginning to the very end, and it’s my first photo to be published in print. Like many of the participating community members, I showed up to Liberty Plaza with a hot cup of tea as well as a hat and gloves. Minutes later these girls, all bundled up, jumped onto the small wall around the plaza, waving flags and cheered on cars that honked in support. They didn’t require any caffeine to bring joy and encouragement to this rally. Over these past few months, I’ve photographed a few different events and with all I’ve experienced the pleasure of talking to many attendees and subjects of the events. During the 2-mile walk as I went back and forth through the crowd, I was introduced to many dogs, told which side were people’s better side and that (as I ran to the front of the procession) I “‘better hustle!” These three girls throughout the 2-miles started chants, proudly held up signs and kept a strong and serious pace. In the current society and political sphere, it’s easy to feel that the problems keep adding up, but watching those girls bring energy and happiness to an important cause I was reminded of why we continue to protest for change, so that there is a better future for younger generations. So while it is disheartening to know there is a current housing insecurity within Ann Arbor and many communities, I am hopeful that the voices of the communities, both young and old, will continue to bring awareness and inspire change.
Jenna Hickey – Staff Photographer
Being on the staff for only two months did not give me a lot of pictures to choose my favorite from. However, this photo from a volleyball game is one of my favorites. After 2020 and a year of sports with no fans, it was incredible to go to a game and see fans flowing into the arena decked out in maize and blue, prepared to cheer on the Michigan Wolverines. I never realized how much the fans contribute to the game. The fans bring an excited energy, the band brings joyful music and the students bring passion. During the game, the volleyball team beat Rutgers in three straight sets which was the perfect way to end the night.
Julianne Yoon – Staff Photographer
As a new staff photographer, I was lucky to have the opportunity to shoot a sports event. Being able to watch Olympic athletes and high-achieving swimmers, racing between the maize and blue lane lines, was an exciting and somewhat nostalgic experience. Looking at this photo, swimming appears to be an individual sport, which in some sense it is. The LED screen reflects on the pool, recording each individual swimmer. The lanes are only occupied by one swimmer at a time. But watching the swimmers and coaches cheer at each dive and finish, I could feel the close camaraderie in the swim team. It underlined the team aspect of the sport, especially the crowded pool at the end of the meet where the swimmers cool down together.
Keith Melong – Staff Photographer
I remember feeling many emotions on my first news assignment. It was nauseating to hear the victims’ stories, how Dr. Anderson exploited his patients, and even more so to hear about the University’s efforts to cover it up. It’s not often that you see a grown man cry. It’s chilling. Despite the somber atmosphere, I also felt proud. These students pictured are so young and yet already so passionate, so determined to help make this world better. To call them fellow Wolverines is a great honor.
Senior Multimedia Editor Emma Mati can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.