Introduction by Bill Reader, Pacific NW magazine editor
Photographs by Seattle Times staff photographers

It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

Seattle Times photographers, videographers and photo editors share stories about their craft, talk about how they create the photos and videos that illuminate our coverage, and project their great work on a big screen.

This year, it’s Jan. 30, in a new spot — the PACCAR IMAX Theater at Pacific Science Center.

Our photo staff will tell behind-the-scenes tales, discuss what inspires them, maybe dish out a few secrets, share their inspirations and stick around to answer your questions. They’ll talk about capturing emotion, and truth, and finding the perfect storytelling moment.

On Jan. 30, you can hear how they do it.

Please join us

Seattle Times photojournalists will lead a conversation about our Pictures of the Year, this year at a new location, Pacific Science Center. Complimentary tickets will be distributed at Pacific Science Center’s north entrance after 6 p.m.

7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30 (doors open at 6:30)
Pacific Science Center’s PACCAR IMAX Theater
200 Second Ave. N., Seattle

Hard to Say Goodbye
July 6, 2018

Erika Lopez, far left, looks at her husband, Juan Lopez, as their family says goodbye to Erika’s mom, Linda Cazier, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Erika and Juan raised their two children in Hoquiam. They made the difficult decision to move together to Mexico as Juan was being deported. I worked on this story with reporter Nina Shapiro and video editors Corinne Chin and Ramon Dompor. While photographing birthday parties, kids’ sleepovers and softball games, I witnessed how much their community cared about them and struggled with seeing them go. — Erika Schultz

Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Putting on a Show
November 16, 2018

Southern resident orcas in the J and K pods were making an extended visit off the south end of Vashon Island, performing tail, pectoral and dorsal fin slapping and breaching in a wonderful display of social behavior before swimming northward. I shot this with a Canon 5d MK4 camera and a 70-200mm lens. The trick is to always look for a second breach. Orcas like to jump twice. I happily “chimped” my camera display after the breach to check sharpness, and luckily, it was in focus. — Steve Ringman

Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times; Taken under NOAA permit number 21348

Needle Pickup
July 16, 2018

Jody Grage uses kitchen tongs to pick up needles while Brad Wright gathers trash off Shilshole Avenue in Ballard. Grage said she was trained in a class on sharp-object disposal through the Rotary Club in Fremont, and encourages neighbors to call her when they spot them. “You don’t have to activate the city,” she says about hypodermic needles. “Just call me; I’ll go get it.” — Bettina Hansen

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

Smoky Summer Days
August 14, 2018

For several days this summer, Seattle was enveloped in thick smoke, which inspired some people to wear masks. I was on the Elliott Bay waterfront looking for a tour boat or a ferry obscured in the haze. Standing in the Washington State Ferry parking lot, at the water’s edge, I saw the ferry Wenatchee, right, departing, as the ferry Walla Walla was arriving. The combination of size and clarity gave the perfect scale to the photo. — Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

WNBA Champs
September 12, 2018

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird hugs forward Breanna Stewart after the Storm swept the Washington Mystics in three games to win the WNBA championship. The third game was played at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. Athletes like Bird and Stewart are rare in their talent and skill as individuals, but seeing how they pushed each other and their teammates to new heights to win it all this season was an absolute thrill, and I’m honored to have been part of the coverage. — Bettina Hansen

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

Body Language Says a Lot
November 6, 2018

I had covered Kim Schrier earlier, campaigning in Issaquah, and noticed a consistency: her arms outspread, in a number of situations. I’ve used this trick repeatedly covering politicians: Take note of body language. Pols repeat certain gestures, expressions and postures. Schrier did, although not always in a celebratory moment, but often while greeting people or speaking. On election night, I went with my gut and had a very wide-angle lens, should she win. At this moment, Schrier had not won yet, but was leading her opponent, Republican Dino Rossi, in the race for the 8th Congressional District seat vacated by Republican Dave Reichert. It would be a historic moment, the first hint of this GOP district flipping parties for the first time. — Ken Lambert

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

The Personal Side
May 4, 2018

Seattle Seahawks practices tend to be among the most uneventful things we photograph in sports. Our access is limited by time and proximity, and the practices are very scripted. It’s only when practice ends that things get interesting, and players reveal themselves in unguarded moments. So it was at rookie camp when, coming off the field, Tre Flowers was greeted by his 1-year old daughter, Bailee. Flowers positively beamed. It clearly was a good day for him on two levels: getting a tryout with the Seahawks, and sharing it with the daughter he so obviously adores. I stayed well away to let them have their moment, but watched as he playfully put his helmet on her. It’s a side of players we don’t see nearly often enough, but always serves as a reminder that they have lives and loves quite apart from the game. — Dean Rutz

Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

Tahlequah and her Baby
July 31, 2018

The plight of Tahlequah (J35) carrying her dead baby for hundreds of miles, refusing to let it go, struck the hearts of people around the world. Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes and I were out all day on a Sound Watch boat trying to find her. We finally connected in Canadian waters — in Swanson’s Channel, where she was swimming alone without her family. I couldn’t see Tahlequah’s dead calf, which she was carrying for an eighth day. Everyone else could. We followed at a proscribed distance, but at dusk, just before turning back, I caught just two frames as she surfaced with her calf visible. One frame had camera motion, so basically I made only one photo that sad day before we had to turn back. — Steve Ringman

Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times; Taken under NOAA permit number 21114

A Noisy Landing
October 15, 2018

A British Airways Boeing 777-236 makes its final approach to land on the third runway at Sea-Tac Airport. Three other planes taking off are seen below. This photograph was used to illustrate a story on airplane noise near the airport, which is growing rapidly and set to expand further as the region’s economy booms. Finding a place to make this photograph while planes were landing was my biggest challenge. — Mike Siegel

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Strong Bonds
September 25, 2018

Covering Alesia Cannady having breakfast with her 4-year-old granddaughter, Aleiyah Cannady, before taking her to preschool in Seattle was a wonderful experience for them, and for me. I could see the bond was natural, tight and loving. And when I asked Alesia, 64, how she replies to those asking what she’ll do in her situation, raising a child late in life, she didn’t hesitate. “Whatever I’m going to do, I’m going to do it with her.” — Ken Lambert

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

A Winning Team
July 9, 2018

It was a surprise when members of the sailing team Sail Like a Girl, the first all-female team to win the 750-mile, nonmotorized-boat Race to Alaska, offered to take me out on Puget Sound. I showed up to the marina thinking they maybe would pose for a portrait by their boat, but after handshakes they all agreed: “Let’s go sailing!” For much of the trip, I stayed out of the way at the back of the boat, but eventually wandered to the very front when I saw the women facing forward. As the boat rocked back and forth, I leaned so far overboard to get this photo that I almost fell off the boat. — Rebekah Welch

Rebekah Welch / The Seattle Times

Bareback Rider
September 8, 2018

This is a photo about hats and hanging on. Just out of the chute at the Washington State Fair Pro Rodeo Tour Finale in Puyallup, Kaycee Feild, of Spanish Fork, Utah, turned and is thrown back, giving us a view of the faces of the cowboys behind him. Rodeos are controversial, but this is a hard way to make a living. Feild, one of the best bareback bronc riders in the world, stayed on for the eight seconds needed to score, and received an 85.5. And he never lost his hat. — Alan Berner

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

When Goats Fly
September 13, 2018

Captured mountain goats are sedated, blindfolded and flown to a processing site on Hurricane Ridge as part of the goat-relocation project in Olympic National Park. Park officials estimate they’ll be able to capture about half of the 700 goats living on the Olympic Peninsula and relocate them via helicopter, truck and ferry to the North Cascades over five years. Goats originally were introduced to the Olympic Peninsula by hunters in the 1920s and quickly multiplied into hundreds. Their removal is hoped to halt destruction of park vegetation and spur rehabilitation of a struggling population native to the North Cascades. — Ramon Dompor

Ramon Dompor / The Seattle Times

Trump Baby
August 20, 2018

Art Chippendale and Roni Murray, right, help the Backbone Campaign try out its new inflatable Trump Baby at the group’s workspace on Vashon Island. The Backbone Campaign, founded in 2003, received the inflatable protest blimp as an “unsolicited donation” and immediately started planning ways to use it. “What I really care about is that we are strategic in its utilization,” said Bill Moyer, co-founder and executive director. “It should weaken his confidence if it is going to be effective.” I didn’t realize I was so familiar with the Backbone Campaign’s work — its Vashon Island workshop is home to some of the most visual and provocative protest imagery in the region, with the infamous Trump Baby being the newest addition. — Bettina Hansen

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

Weaving a Web
October 20, 2018

I photographed this orb weaver spider with a macro lens as it was hanging out on a pine tree at Horizon View Park. Interesting fact about these spiders: Female orb weavers are known for occasionally eating the male after mating, but the males arrive prepared. The male orb weaver has sort of a loose thread attached near the web, and to him, that he can immediately transfer to and swing away on, like Tarzan, after mating. — Mike Siegel

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Earthquake Drill
October 18, 2018

River Hendricks, 10, drops, covers and holds on during an earthquake drill at John Hay Elementary School in Seattle. When you’ve shot this drill (Great ShakeOut Day) as many times as I have, you learn that you have only 30 seconds to make a photo. The last couple of times, I’ve prepared by lying down on the ground at kids’ level before the drill. Ground level gives you the feeling of being there. After 30 seconds, I looked up at all the TV cameras sitting on tripods and knew my angle was going to rock. — Steve Ringman

Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

Sistine Chapel in Tacoma
October 6, 2018

Two colleagues in the photo department have been to the Sistine Chapel. When I saw that life-size images of Michelangelo’s frescoes would be coming to Tacoma, I thought this probably would be the closest I’d ever be to the Vatican. The presentation was dramatically lit, and visitors walked about almost in silence as classical music played. I looked at every photograph and decided to stay near the most famous one, “The Creation of Adam,” where Adam and God reach out to each other, almost touching. I stayed below it almost two hours as people lifted their phones to take pictures. In general, I don’t like photographs of people pointing something out. But in this case, I thought it contributed to the other two arms reaching toward each other. Michelangelo painted the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512. (There was one complaint from a person in Tacoma disappointed that the actual Sistine Chapel had not been transported there, only photographs of the frescoes.) — Alan Berner

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

George, the Skateboarding Dog
September 8, 2018

“That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen” or “You just made my day” are comments Marcus and Nadine Singel have heard many times about their skateboarding dog, George. George had a lot of energy as a pup, so Marcus bought him a skateboard. George didn’t know what to do with it at first, but then saw a kid skateboarding and hopped on his own. Now he never wants to get off. His owners have to take the board away just to get him to drink water. George also has taught himself how to surf and snowboard. — Ellen M. Banner

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times

April 13, 2018

Whenever a home run is hit at Safeco Field, there’s a moment when you look away from the player who hit it, and focus on the ball’s flight into the stands. It’s predictable: Fans get so excited that they forget — every time, it seems — what they are doing, or what they happen to be holding, and lunge after the ball, sending everything into the air. Given the distance from where I’m shooting into the stands, I can’t always tell what happened until I begin editing. But it’s always a surprise when liquid meets solid some 400 feet away. — Dean Rutz

Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

Time to Listen
May 29, 2018

This is one of those “this is what democracy looks like” moments. Seattle City Council members M. Lorena González and Sally Bagshaw listen to longtime activist Rev. Harriett Walden briefly testify about being upset by the process of selecting a new Seattle Police chief. At the time, the process had not included interim Chief Carmen Best. Whether it made a difference is debatable, but all we know is this: Carmen Best is Seattle Police Chief. — Ken Lambert

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

That Magic Moment
August 13, 2018

At any news assignment, like this one for new Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s swearing-in, you look for moments: little things that make the photo stand out. I photographed the obligatory swearing-in photo then, as Chief Best was about to speak, someone in the small crowd of well-wishers behind me said something that cracked her up. This was the moment! — Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

Cloud Cover
March 16, 2018

I had come to Smith Tower to shoot a story on a man who had a webcam pointed out from his office toward Puget Sound. It was an internet sensation, and it wasn’t hard to see why. This one, completely arbitrary day chosen for me to shoot the story yielded such a spectacular sunset that I found myself craving an office with a window overlooking Puget Sound. Because if this is what I’ve been missing all these years, I am a poorer man for it. — Dean Rutz

Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

Profound Grief
September 18, 2018

Miriam Gomez cries as she talks about her dear friend and co-worker Gabriela Reyes, who was killed by a stray bullet during a drive-by gang shooting in Burien. Covering a story like this is so incredibly difficult. It just breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what it must do to Gabriela’s family and friends. A beautiful life lost for no reason. I might be naive, but I just keep hoping and praying the violence will end. — Ellen M. Banner

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times

A Cold Reality
February 22, 2018

It’s hard living on the street, especially during extremely cold weather. Though it was bright and sunny this day, it was unseasonably cold, and I went looking for someone whose home was a tent on the street. Across from the Union Gospel Mission in Pioneer Square, I saw Misty Love wrapped in her blanket. She was talking with two women — a relative and that person’s friend. I gave them all business cards and asked Misty how she wound up living in one of the tents in the background. Substance abuse was the answer. I gave them the name and phone number of a person at the Union Gospel Mission who had helped me with stories. I don’t know whether she called, reached out or got help. I’ve not seen her since. — Alan Berner

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

Check That: No Head Tax
May 3, 2018

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant called a news conference outside the Amazon Spheres in support of a head tax on Amazon and other large businesses. Iron Workers Local 86 showed up to literally and loudly voice opposition to the head tax. I came early, looking for something other than a person at a microphone. Moving behind the iron workers, I used the shape of their hard hats to reflect the shape of the Spheres and provide symbolism on the issue. The City Council performed a remarkable gymnastics routine, doing a back flip on the tax after strong pushback from labor and Amazon, and the company’s threat of stopping nearby projects. The council eventually decided: no more head tax. — Alan Berner

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

Protest and Contrast
October 15, 2018

Cornish College of the Arts students were gathered outside the school on the sidewalk, protesting the college’s handling of sexual-assault cases. It was a bright, sunny day with lots of contrast, making exposures difficult. I was walking around looking for some way to take advantage of the contrast when I noticed some students in silhouette, holding signs over their heads. I kept shooting and waiting for the right composition, with the college building behind. — Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

A Mother’s Love
January 30, 2018

LaDonna Horne stands at the bedside of her son, DaShawn Horne, days after he was brutally beaten with an aluminum bat in a racially motivated attack in Auburn. Reporter Sara Jean Green tracked down the Horne family after seeing the arrest record for the attacker, which listed “malicious harassment,” Washington State’s hate-crime statute. DaShawn spent 103 days at Harborview Medical Center — the first two months of that in a coma. In November, his attacker was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for the crime, but DaShawn’s life was forever changed by the beating. This story went viral after it was published, and a GoFundMe account raised almost $125,000 for the family. — Bettina Hansen

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

It’s in the Eyes
May 15, 2018

When Mariners manager Scott Servais talked to reporters after second baseman Robinson Cano drew an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, I was stuck in a technical quandary: bright sunlight, and I didn’t have my flash. I wasn’t anticipating meeting with him on the field, since there’s a news-conference room at the ballpark. Now, I was about to miss the photo because the all-revealing eyes were submerged in the shadows, unless I figured out the exact exposure to balance everything. I’m not a technical photographer, but this became my sole aim, because without seeing eyes at a moment like this, it would just be another photo of Servais in front of microphones. — Ken Lambert

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Anything For a Good Photo
January 23, 2018

How do you show cold, rainy, depressing weather in Seattle? How about getting down on your knees in a puddle on First Avenue, in a big drop-downpour, with the camera base touching the water for that low bubble angle? I’ll do anything for a photo and, yes; I did get soaked on this one. — Steve Ringman

Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

Special Olympian
June 7, 2018

I was as excited as anyone about Seattle hosting the Special Olympics. I’ve always had an affection for amateur athletics because you meet people who compete just for the love of sport. That’s even more true in the Special Olympics, where the payoff is always in the participation. I met 9-year old Frannie Ronan as she prepared to compete, and quickly became absorbed in the beautiful little girl who was so proud and so pure in her motivation that I couldn’t help but root for her. — Dean Rutz

Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times

Marching for Rights
May 1, 2018

Jose Huerta marches during the 19th annual March for Immigrant and Workers Rights in Seattle. Some of the participants said they were troubled by the actions of the Trump Administration and the state of Washington, including the state Department of Licensing sharing information with federal immigration officials. — Erika Schultz

Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Inspiring Advocacy
December 6, 2017

Nycolle Benham kisses her daughter in the backyard of their home in Auburn. Two of Benham’s children have been chronically ill, making it difficult for her to work and provide for her family. Mary’s Place Popsicle Place program provides shelter and support to families with medically fragile children. “She is so strong and such an incredible advocate for her kids,” Mary’s Place nurse Kelly Brewer says of Benham. “It legitimately feels like a full-time job getting two kids with varied diagnoses to all of their appointments.” The experience of working with her children’s chronic conditions inspired Benham to start taking classes at Seattle Central College to earn an associate degree in nursing. — Erika Schultz

Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Taking Safety Seriously
January 25, 2018

Fawn Batten is a downtown Seattle safety ambassador who wakes up homeless people every morning and checks on them. I met up with Fawn early one morning and walked the streets with her in downtown Seattle. Fawn was well-received by the homeless people she encountered. All one woman wanted that morning was a glass of water, which Fawn got for her from a nearby Starbucks. — Mike Siegel

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Colstrip Coal
December 6, 2017

This Colstrip coal-fueled power plant in southeast Montana employs about 360 people and is partially owned by Puget Sound Energy. Some of the plant is scheduled to close by 2022 as PSE pushes toward cleaner energy. This time exposure of the factory shows Castle Rock Lake in the foreground. The lake supplies water for the power plant and the city of Colstrip. This story ran in January 2018, and photographing that time of year was brutally cold, with winds blowing at 40 mph. I stopped complaining about the cold when I was told that if I had been there in the heat of the summer, I’d have been more worried about rattlesnakes hiding in the grass. — Mike Siegel

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

A Mysterious Disease
October 13, 2018

Olga Buiter has a considerably positive yet realistic outlook about her infant daughter Zoe’s acute flaccid myelitis. I’d certainly never heard of the disease before I met Zoe, and neither had Buiter, until she and her husband noticed their newborn wasn’t using her right arm. Buiter explained that because the disease is so new, doctors have little advice beyond encouraging Zoe to try to use her arm. She took me to Zoe’s play area and allowed me to photograph the two of them as she ran through the exercises she does every day, designed to remind Zoe that her arm is there. — Rebekah Welch

Rebekah Welch / The Seattle Times

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