At Broadsheet, images are just as instrumental in telling a story as words. A photo of a beautiful dining room only adds weight to an eloquent description, and often – at events such as Mardi Gras, for example – a picture says what words can’t. Whether they’re capturing the last days of Sizzler, the early morning baking process at a fine-diner-turned-bakery during lockdown, or simply a stunning plate of food, our photographers go to great lengths to get the perfect image. Here are their favourite photos of 2020.

Sizzler – Kimberley Low
“My favourite photo, by far, is this Martin Parr-inspired tribute to Sizzler’s final days in Australia. That red. Those nails. That perfectly ripped toast. Broadsheet’s amazing photo editor Kyra and I put a ton of thought into the look and tone of the article beforehand, and when I was there the staff were beyond warm and generous, reinforcing the sense that I should do their legacy justice. The icing on the cake was sharing the experience with my partner and good friend (whose hands you see modelling the legendary cheese toast). Overall it was an unforgettable shoot marked by a bittersweet mix of novelty, nostalgia and regret, and I'm grateful to have had the experience.”

Mardi Gras – Yusuke Oba
“I always enjoy the immense power and energy that I feel at a Mardi Gras shoot. There is so much positivity and happiness I see through my lens, and it is so uniquely different to my usual shoot. This was the last major event before the pandemic took hold, and to me, it really represents the good times of 2020. Although next year’s event will be at a stadium for the first time, I am certain that the LGBTQI+ community will make this into an amazing celebration.”

Cafe Paci – Kitti Gould
“There are some significant and iconic commissions I was honoured to be sent on this year, including shooting some of Australia’s most famous landmarks completely deserted during the coronavirus lockdown. However, the series that I will always associate with the resilience, community and love shown by the hospitality industry is the Cafe Paci bake sale. It was one of the first and only times I left the house until a couple of months later, having gone into quarantine in early March. I shot Cafe Paci initially in October 2019, the week it opened. This business wasn’t eligible for the Jobkeeper grant that kept many other workers going throughout this unimaginable time. Pasi Petanen (chef and owner) explained to me he could make 36 limppu (traditional Finnish potato molasses sourdough loaves) per day, and that it takes three days to make one loaf. The intense labour of baking so much bread, while not set up as a professional bakery, barely made the takings worthwhile. But Pasi told me that while he would make no profit at all, he would continue to do it to keep money coming in for his staff. The pastries in this shot are to me the sticky, sweet reminder of the lengths that my restaurants, friends and clients will go to support each other, and the little pink rings of icing (where the doughnuts used to be) of how our community at large showed up to buy and show support.”

Arms Length – Nick De Lorenzo
“There have been lots of highlights through the doom and gloom of this year, and it’s been great to see the resilience of the industry in the face of it all. In particular, I've got to tip my hat to Arms Length. Besides topnotch cocktails and a solid wine list, they take the casual neighbourhood bar to the next level with their food – particularly the silky-smooth pate, garlic king prawns and perfect little anchovy crostini. Go try it.”

Ms Cattea Tea Bar – Leigh Griffiths
“I shot Ms Cattea Tea Bar not long before we went into lockdown. I remember it as being the last shoot before the world changed. Such a niche venue couldn’t possibly survive during such a problematic time. I was worried for her, as I was for the rest of the hospitality industry. But she’s still there, offering some of the rarest teas you can get in Australia. Go and check it out. It’s a delicious and very educational experience.”

Haven Specialty Coffee – Leslie Celis
“I’ve selected a photo of Haven Specialty Coffee, because I love the vibes and aesthetics of this spot. The design speaks for itself and showcases the passion of both the owner and the chef, who were very happy to receive us and made the photoshoot a memorable time. This photo was taken on a Sunday morning. There was so much [foot] traffic that I actually had to wait quite a bit to get a full picture of this area. Fun fact: what look like beer taps have been designed for customers to self-serve water.”