Leopo: Voice of OC’s Best Photos of 2019

JENNY LYNN, Voice of OC

La Catrina is the modern-day icon of Día de los Muertos created by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada.

Julie Leopo

An enterprising and award-winning photojournalist in Orange County and beyond. Leopo, as Voice of OC’s Director of Photography, has captured a wide array of photographs visually documenting the news and soul of Orange County local government and community. Her work has also appeared in Vice, KCET, Ed Source, The California Endowment and OC Weekly.

Subscribe now to receive emails letting you know about her latest work.

In 2019, our newsroom opted to really expand photo journalism on the site and offer readers a more visual way of connecting with civics and arts across the county.

Here I’ve picked out some of what I saw as the most compelling visual moments in Orange County during 2019 — from rallies to elections, from arts to civics. These photos were taken by me along with contributing photos such as the lead image you see above of a Santa Ana celebration.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section on the best shot of the year.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Jorge Huerta, 42, performs a routine maintenance on a clients car. His auto shop is in Santa Ana has been open for business for four years. SEE THE LABOR DAY PHOTO ESSAY

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Rancho La Paz residents Rose Mary and Don McLeod. Despite nearly eight months of seniors lobbying the Anaheim City Council for help, Anaheim council members shelved discussion of a rent control ordinance that could help seniors living at Rancho La Paz Mobile Home Park, who face looming rent increases. READ ABOUT RANCHO LA PAZ

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Right, Mateo Martinez, 1, visits the Centennial Voting location with his mother, Cynthia Vega, 31.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Abel Ruiz tends to the Amarenth plant in the CRECE Cooperative Garden in Santa Ana. READ ABOUT THE GARDEN

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Skyhawk, an A4 jet, located at the County of Orange Civic Center just before it was moved to the OC Fairgrounds. SEE PHOTOS OF THE JET BEING MOVED 

Angels vs Astros game Sept. 29, 2019. READ OUR COVERAGE OF THE ANGELS NEGOTIATIONS

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Sunny Hills High School senior Alan Flores and Quartz, his steer, at the Orange County Fair. Alan is among the many urban and suburban youths in Orange County who have taken to agricultural studies. READ ABOUT THE YOUTH PROGRAM

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Neal Kelley, the registrar of voters, demonstrates how to use the new voting system for Orange County during a media tour on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. READ HOW VOTING WILL CHANGE IN OC IN 2020

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

An artist drawing a live model at a workshop at Location 1980. READ THE RELATED ARTS ARTICLE ON Costa Mesa VISUAL ARTS

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The little Saigon Night Market is located in the parking lot of the Asian Garden Mall. READ ABOUT THE NIGHT MARKET

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Mexico is a country that is abundant in sugar cane and I saw it used as an offering in a religious procession in Mexico honoring the town saint: Santiago Azajo. Sugar cane is very easy to grow taking only 10-12 months to harvest. In 2000, my grandfather planted a crop in his own Santa Ana backyard and cut generous portions with his prized machete. Although it was very tricky to suck the juice out with our mouths, my grandfather showed us his techniques he learned back in Mexico. VIEW THE PHOTO ESSAY

JENNY LYNN, Voice of OC

The Garcia family altar features multiple family members centered around their grandparents and includes sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins. This is their 15th year participating in Santa Ana’s Noche de Altares. SEE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Westminster Mayor Tri Ta, facing a possible recall, has proposed a resolution calling on residents to denounce alleged attempts by the Vietnamese government to foment disorder at City Hall. READ COVERAGE OF THE WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Northwood Gratitude & Honor Memorial – IRVINE – 4531 Bryan Avenue in Irvine 92620 SEE THE MEMORIAL DAY PHOTO ESSAY

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The four OC supervisors hug each other, at Chaffee’s invitation, after the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 8, 2019. READ ABOUT THE FIRST SUPERVISOR MEETING

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Don Wagner watches election results come in for his 3rd District race on election night, March 12, 2019. READ ABOUT THE MARCH 2019 SPECIAL ELECTION

Dancing was a part of the prayer rally at the intersection of Paseo Adelanto and Del Obispo in San Juan Capistrano. READ ABOUT THE RALLY

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

On Nov. 30, 2019, Hal Landon Jr. will begin his 40th and final season as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” at South Coast Repertory. READ ABOUT HAL LANDON, JR.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Diana Alvarez, whose son Anthony Aceves died in jail without explanation from sheriff officials, holds a sign toward a passing police car. READ ABOUT THE CASE

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Beatriz Mendoza who is running for Ward Four City Council holds back tears as she thanks her supporters for their efforts before the final numbers trickle in for the night. SEE COVERAGE OF THE NOVEMBER 2019 ELECTION

BRIAN FEINZIMER, Voice of OC

From left, in the blue, Robert Mcclish, 35, of Huntington Beach who was in the USMC and in the red Sandy Schneeberger, Commander of California District 29 of the American Legion salute the flag during the pledge of allegiance at the Salute to Veterans. SEE THE VETERANS DAY PHOTO ESSAY