Best of the Year

Our Favorite Photos of 2022

From emotional portraits to striking natural beauty to one hilarious lemur, here are some of the best photos we ran in 2022.

By Staff December 29, 2022

Beer Can Island

We love telling the stories of Sarasota—and photography is an essential part of bringing what we write about to life. Creative director Gigi Ortwein combed through our archives to pick the most striking ones we published in 2022. Happy scrolling!

November-December 2022 Cover Photo by Everett Dennison

The photo of Beer Can Island by Everett Dennison, at top, graced our November-December issue cover. Looking at it makes us remember we live in paradise—and we can practically feel the salt breeze in our hair. 

Ukrainian Refugees by Allan Mestel

Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian refugees

Image: Allan Mestel

Bradenton photographer Allan Mestel is no stranger to taking pictures in difficult circumstances. He's shot portraits of Sarasota’s homeless population, photographed migrants living in a makeshift Mexican encampment while seeking asylum in the United States and documented Central American immigrants being deported from Texas. This March, when he saw the ongoing refugee crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he knew he needed to travel to the Ukraine-Poland border next. He was met with a sobering scene, but told us two things stood out: people’s resilience in the face of war and suffering (particularly among children), and "a tremendous amount of love and acceptance and welcoming to make people feel as comfortable and accepted as possible."

Miles Lewis by Hannah Phillips

Miles Lewis

Miles Lewis

Miles Lewis as been crabbing for more than 60 years and monitors roughly 5,000 traps spanning Anna Maria Island to Casey Key during stone crab season, which runs through May 2. Here, Hannah Phillips captured him in his natural element with a deeply dramatic sky behind him. 

Best Bars by Everett Dennison


Everett Dennison shot this vibrant photo for our Best Bars feature, which celebrates Sarasota's vibrant bar scene—from tiki huts to speakeasies to beer gardens and beyond. Click here for our favorite places to meet up for a drink.

Lemur by Caitlin Kenney

Did you know that lemurs live in family groups called conspiracies?

Did you know that lemurs live in family groups called conspiracies?

So much personality in one photo! Caitlin Kenney photographed this adorable lemur at Myakka's Lemur Conservation Foundation, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year with plans to expand its Myakka campus. Another bright spot this year: seven wiggly new lemur babies, born thanks to the foundation's breeding program. All together now: awww!

Neirda Thompson-Pemberton by Michael Kinsey

Neirda Thompson-Pemberton

Neirda Thompson-Pemberton

Photographer Michael Kinsey took this striking portrait of FUNducation founder and executive director Neirda Thompson-Pemberton for our "Listening to Black Voices" series. Thompson, an engineer, has made it her mission to inspire underserved with hands-on, fun-filled technology activities featuring computers, robotics, artificial intelligence, and coding. “Diversity and inclusion aren’t about an afterthought," she told us. "They’re about intent, from the beginning.”

Revere Quality House by Gene Pollux


The one-story Revere Quality House on Siesta Key’s Bayou Louise was designed in 1948 by Sarasota School architects Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell and built using products from the Revere Copper and Brass Company. Originally, the home was part of an innovative program to meet the housing needs of returning World War II veterans, but in 2005, the low-profile residence was expanded to preserve the original Rudolph-Twitchell structure and create a compound that includes a 4,500-square-foot companion house designed by Guy Peterson. The expansion effectively made the Revere Quality House one of the coolest guesthouses in town. We wrote about it in our March-April issue, and Gene Pollux snapped this dreamy shot.

Norah Howard by Everett Dennison

Norah Howard

Norah Howard

Sarasota, with its deep celebration of the arts, is flush with talented tattoo artists. In our September-October issue, we celebrated some of our region's most striking body art—like Norah Howard's, inked by Matt Helmer at Oddity Tattoo. Helmer excels at creating distorted figures and creatures, as evidenced by the ghoulish designs on Howard, who is often stopped by people on the street who are curious about her body art. Talk about a cool calling card.

January-February 2022 Cover Photo by Alan Cresto

Sarasota Magazine's January-February 2022 cover

Image: Alan Cresto

Frolicking on the beach in winter with our loved ones: that's what living in Southwest Florida is all about, and Alan Cresto's cover photo for our January-February 2022 issue perfectly encapsulates that. 

Zander Moricz by Barbara Banks

Zander Moricz

Zander Moricz

Image: Barbara Banks

Zander Moricz—who's still in his teens—accomplished more during his teens than many of us do in a lifetime. When Florida legislators proposed and then passed what activists dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which effectively bans classroom discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation, Moricz co-hosted a well-attended rally near Sarasota’s bayfront and organized a walkout at his alma mater, Pine View School, as part of a statewide effort. At the beginning of May, he learned from Pine View’s principal that his graduation speech would be cut off if he mentioned his activism or his role as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (He gave the speech, replacing the word "gay" with the phrase "curly hair" instead.) Pine View’s decision brought Moricz national media attention, including pieces in Rolling Stone and on NBC. We profiled him before he went off to Harvard University—alongside this striking portrait by Barbara Banks—here

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