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I love year-end lists. People, stories, movies, songs, books, etc. All of it. It’s a chance to watch, read, reflect, celebrate and generally catch up on moments I may have missed while I was out living my life.

I’m Angela Pacienza, a managing editor at The Globe and Mail. Visual journalism falls under my purview, so it’s no surprise I want to showcase my favourite images from 2019 shot by female photographers.

Our pages are filled with memorable images from staff photographers, but we also rely on freelance shooters to reach parts of Canada and the world we can’t always get to or don’t have expertise with. It also allows us to diversify our photographers and their creativity.

We’ve made a concerted effort over the past few years to hire more female shooters. To help us, we’ve relied on various networks like the Women Photograph group. Launched in 2017, the organization keeps a database of shooters, which now includes nearly 1,000 documentary photographers based in more than 100 countries.

In addition to the database, the group tracks front-page photo bylines by gender. Last quarter (July to September), 25 per cent of The Globe’s images were shot by women. During the same quarter last year, we were only at 12.8. The Globe’s photo team is working toward a goal of 50 per cent (with the caveat that we rely on wires for a lot of breaking news photography and can’t control who they hire).

Here are my favourite pics of 2019.

Alana Paterson/The Globe and Mail/The Globe and Mail

Through a number of visits over the last year, Vancouver-based Alana Paterson spent time with a mother desperate to reunite permanently with her kids, who were taken away by child welfare workers. Paterson faced an additional challenge with this project, as The Globe needed to protect the family’s identity, in accordance with B.C. legislation. Her work was captured in black-and-white to focus the reader on the family’s pain. This photo was taken moments after the mother’s newborn baby was removed from her and placed in foster care.

Andrea DiCenzo/Andrea DiCenzo/The Globe and Mail

Andrea DiCenzo specializes in documenting armed conflict and humanitarian issues throughout the Middle East. We enlisted her expertise this fall to cover the plight of Syrian Kurds, fleeing their homeland after Turkey’s most recent incursions. DiCenzo worked with our correspondent Mark MacKinnon across northern Iraq and Turkey, through conflict zones and harsh conditions, to help our readers understand the broader context and history of the Kurdish people. In this photo, she shows us a convoy of new refugees arriving at Bardarash refugee camp in northern Iraq. Her images can be seen here and here.

Amber Bracken/Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

Edmonton-based photographer Amber Bracken brought us the heartwarming story of Brad, an Alberta man with severe autism who built a business assembling furniture. Bracken and Globe reporter Jana Pruden spent a few days with Brad and his family, getting to know them and following Brad’s routine. This article is the result of that collaboration.

Michelle Siu/Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

Michelle Siu is a Canadian photographer now based in the U.K. She was the driving force behind this project profiling Canadian women in hip-hop – the female, queer and trans artists that are doing great work but are often overlooked. Siu’s portraits are produced using a medium-format film camera, a process that rewards patience and building a relationship with your subjects. This photo is of Toronto-born, Jamaican-Trinidadian rapper and mother Sydanie with her five-year-old daughter.

Sarah Palmer/Sarah Palmer/The Globe and Mail

Toronto photographer Sarah Palmer produced this travel story for our Pursuits section using a unique process she has become known for: multiple exposures shot on film, tracked with meticulous notes in order to create energetic and often unexpected compositions. For this story, she joined a snowbird for her annual trip south.

Lucy Lu/The Globe and Mail/The Globe and Mail

I love the portraits Lucy Lu took for this project on what it means to be a beauty pageant contestant in the modern age. This photo essay is an example of a relatively new feature in our Opinion section: visually driven stories with a point of view.

Melissa Tait/Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Melissa Tait is a photographer and video editor at The Globe who spent weeks this summer covering the manhunt in Northern Manitoba. This image shows the bodies of murder suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky in the process of being loaded onto an RCMP plane. In a worldwide exclusive, Tait was able to track the RCMP truck, shoot this image and then file it within minutes in order to make our final print deadline. It’s an example of the work our photographers often do behind the scenes – cultivating sources and following a story for weeks or months in order to be prepared for the moment when it matters.

Barbara Davidson /Barbara Davidson/The Globe and Mail

Barbara Davidson is a Pulitzer-winning photographer, originally from Montreal but now based in Los Angeles. She worked with us on this story examining the fate of the Santa Anita Park racetrack, following the death of 30 horses in the first half of 2019.

Heidi Levine/Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

Heidi Levine is a photographer based in Jerusalem. As a veteran of the region, her knowledge and contacts were invaluable in producing this story, which looks at the on-the-ground economic reality facing Palestinians in Gaza after years of armed conflict. Here, we see a group of boys walk past metal rods that have been salvaged from a Gaza building that Israeli forces recently damaged. New construction materials are harder to come by since Israel began blockading Gaza.

Inspired by something in this newsletter? If so, we hope you’ll amplify it by passing it on. And if there’s something we should know, or feedback you’d like to share, send us an e-mail at