Best of TDS Photos in 2016

Our favorite photos from 2016

After the Cavs packed a million people into Cleveland, it was time for that Kid from Akron to return home, the conquering king. Shane Wynn came back with some killer photos while Ilenia Pezzaniti shot a beautiful video that captured the excitement we all shared for the Cavs championship run. (photo by Shane Wynn)

Ilenia comes from an Italian family herself with roots in North Hill so she was the natural choice to bring along for this profile of Akron’s new mayor, Dan Horrigan, (“Dinner with Danny & the Fam”) in the March 2016 issue, which marked our first full year in print. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

Svetla’s playful photo of the folks behind the Big Love Network perfectly fit Noor Hindi’s March profile about these passionate community organizers who built Big Love Fest to be, as Beth Vild says, “…the hearth fire of Akron, where people can collaborate, congregate, communicate and celebrate their ideas and special talents while setting the stage to build the best Akron we can build.” (photo by Svetla Morrison)


Early last year, McKenzie Beynon, a photographer who graduated from the University of Akron, transformed the space at Uncorked into 22 High St. Gallery with the goal to showcase both established and student artists. She told Andrew Leask, “Eventually, they’re going to graduate, and they’re going to become the new established artists in Akron anyways.” (photo by McKenzie Beynon)

This photo of Diamond Alexander was taken during a protest by black students, staff and faculty about unaddressed issues at the University of Akron. Originally, these images were going to run in the June issue but Scott Scarborough resigned as we were going to print so we had to hold this piece to cover that late breaking news. We used those images when addressing the next CDO in November. (photo by Shane Wynn)

Jennifer Sullivan’s recovery story is one of the toughest and most beautiful we’ve published. This photo of one of her twin girls and their dog is striking, in part because it’s just so normal, which you forget is true for people in addiction when all you read are headlines. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)


Gary Dean, the photographer whose work adorns this month’s cover, came home for a visit and swung through Musica for the Keepers of the Art’s concert featuring Grandmaster Flash, Gza and O.C., and the moments he caught were amazing. (photo by Gary Dean)

The only time Andy Bixenstine gets to ride bikes anymore is when they’re testing them out before putting them out for sale, but that’s part of what makes this photo one of my favorites: Andy just looks so damn happy, even moving that bike a few feet around the parking lot. Ilenia also wrote this story and did a good job capturing how Blimp City Bike & Hike got started. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

The sold-out crowd was in hysterics on a hot summer evening when ‘The Liberal Redneck’ Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester, Drew Morgan, Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng and Akronite Sarah Jones took the stage at Musica. (photo by Svetla Morrison)

The reason our coverage of the opioid epidemic has focused on recovery instead of the mounting tragedy of more overdoses is because Red Birchfield let us into his home and told us his story months before we published our first piece. In December, we finally released the first part of his story and the photos Ilenia were instrumental in capturing who Red is and has become. (photo by Ilenia Pezzaniti)

One of my favorite projects this year was our “Self-Portraits of Akron” at a Rubberducks game in Canal Park where professional photographer Shane Wynn set up a photo booth to let regular ol’ Akronites shoot their own selfies with pro lighting and a fancy camera. There were so many good ones but I’m keeping myself to two: Silvia Reed, who looks like she’s being shushed by Aaliya and Isabella, and this one of Conor Fleming and his friends, which is my favorite photo that didn’t appear in print because there was another we chose for them. (Photos by Shane Wynn)