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All Eyes gallery: Lara Cerri's favorite photos of 2016

Florida Orchestra violinist Ginny Respess, right, hugs student Amberlyn Young, 10, after they performed for a historic home walking tour group in the Kenwood Historic Neighborhood Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) gives walking tours every Saturday in the city.


Florida Orchestra violinist Ginny Respess, right, hugs student Amberlyn Young, 10, after they performed for a historic home walking tour group in the Kenwood Historic Neighborhood Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) gives walking tours every Saturday in the city.

Each year, Times photographers choose their favorite photos from the past 12 months. These are from Lara Cerri.


Allen Johnston takes feed to his pigs by at Johnston's Farm in Myakka City Feb. 15, 2016. He and his wife, Nan Johnston, raise cattle and pigs, and sell their grass-fed beef and their pork products at the Saturday Morning Market. "We try to give them a good life while they're here," said Allen.


Little Light of Mine founder and photographer Sheri Kendrick, center, photographs Maggie Hoyle, left, her husband Anthony DeLuna, and their son, Lincoln Avery DeLuna, 2, in their Tampa home Feb. 18, 2016. Maggie's sister, Katie Hoyle-Germann, stands on her toes to coax smiles as volunteer Tim Arruda takes photos for the organization. Their son has X-linked myotubular myopathy, a rare genetic neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness that calls for his 24-hour care. Kendrick is a St. Petersburg photographer who takes photos of families with critically and terminally ill children for free.


Duette Elementary School teacher's assistant Lauren Lanier leans in to hear a secret from student Marisa Botello, 12, as students line up to come in after recess, Apr. 28, 2016. Duette Elementary School in Manatee County is the last one-room schoolhouse in Florida, and is closing its doors. The school has 11 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.


Child's Park Community Center summer program kids watch chef Edouardo Jordan in the center's kitchen Monday, July 25, 2016, as he prepares chicken and biscuits.


Turtles rest on a log on the Santa Fe River, Nov. 2, 2016.


Little League Owlz team manager Geoff LeCain talks to Nevin McLean, 7, about what position to play in a game against the Volcanoes at the Northeast Little League, Sept. 29, 2016 in St. Petersburg.


Marisol Ariza, a 14-year employee, sorts sausage in the factory at Uncle John's Pride sausage company on, Oct. 13, 2016. The Tampa company started making country smoked sausage in 1975 and still make it the same way: course grind, naturally smoked (not liquid smoke).


Erin Boone, left, and Toli Gintoli, both 30, watches election results at Punky's Bar & Grill in St. Petersburg, FL, Nov. 8, 2016. When Florida fell to Trump, the couple got up to leave. "I don't feel like crying in front of other people," said Gintoli. "This is such an emotional election."


"I think you just found your forever home," says Sylvia Slone to Sara, a 3-year-old "Heinz 57," as the dog climbed atop Slone and kissed her face at the SPCA Tampa Bay, Dec. 2, 2016. Slone, of Pinellas Park, said "I lost my husband last January... and I lost my mom the June before, so the house is really, really quiet. Everybody tells me I need a dog."

TED MCLAREN | Special to the Times

Lara Cerri has been a Tampa Bay Times photojournalist since 2001. She formerly worked at the Evansville (IN) Courier and San Francisco Chronicle. She grew up in the desert suburbs of Phoenix, where she had her first photo published in the Scottsdale Progress while on her high school yearbook staff. When she moved to Florida, she instantly fell in love with with area's pink flowers and teal waters. When not behind the camera, you'll find her kayaking, singing and playing guitar with friends, walking her dog through historic neighborhoods, planning a trip, volunteering for a non-profit, or eating her husband's amazing home-cooked meals.

People often ask me what's the coolest or most interesting thing I've ever photographed. To me, nothing is "cooler" than witnessing the in-between moments that make up everyday life: the parental hug after a violin performance, the coach consoling a kid after a poor play, the disappointment felt after election results.

I often get attached to my "subjects." They become friends, kayak partners, dinner guests. One of the greatest joys of my job is making those human connections.

Recently, I got a text from a woman whose child has a terminal condition. After the reporter and I spent a day in their house, interviewing and making pictures, we got home to find this text from the mother: "Thank you guys for today... I am so blessed that higher powers allowed for our paths to cross and I think we make a dynamite team. I love you both so much. You feel like family."

It doesn't get any cooler than that.

Twitter: Twitter-@yayadoog

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All Eyes gallery: Lara Cerri's favorite photos of 2016 12/07/16 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:27pm]
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