We asked our photographers to share their favorite photos from the past year. Here are some of their personal best — and here's to even more great memories in 2017. 

We've also recounted some of the top stories of 2016 — take a look.

During September's Battle at Bristol I gained access to the roof of the stadium, which offered a unique perspective of the venue. It was interesting being up there with just a few dozen other people and the record crowd of 155,990 below our vantage point. This is three photos stitched together in Photoshop to create a near 180-degree view. — Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Battle at Bristol stadium

During September's Battle at Bristol, I gained access to the roof of the stadium, which offered a unique perspective of the venue. It was interesting being up there with just a few dozen other people and the record crowd of 155,990 below our vantage point. This is three photos stitched together in Photoshop to create a near 180-degree view. 

— Jim Stroup, senior photographer

One thing I have learned photographing President Tim and Dr. Laura Sands is that they are educators first. Here, they are demonstrating the difference between how lizards and salamanders walk for the benefit of a science-minded young campus visitor. President Sands also wowed the boy with tales of his childhood butterfly collection. — Logan Wallace, senior photographer

Two people act out who lizards walk

One thing I have learned photographing President Tim and Dr. Laura Sands is that they are educators first. Here, they are demonstrating the difference between how lizards and salamanders walk for the benefit of a science-minded young campus visitor. President Sands also wowed the boy with tales of his childhood butterfly collection.

— Logan Wallace, senior photographer

This is one of my favorite study spots overlooking the entrance of Squires Student Center, watching people walk between campus and downtown. I shot this while leaning out over the handrail of the third floor. The coffee cups, jackets, and umbrella all reflect the dismal weather outside, making it a perfect and cosy day to study. — Michael Folta, photography intern

Students studying

This is one of my favorite study spots overlooking the entrance of Squires Student Center, watching people walk between campus and downtown. I shot this while leaning out over the handrail of the third floor. The coffee cups, jackets, and umbrella all reflect the dismal weather outside,  making it a perfect and cozy day to study.

— Michael Folta, photography intern

I like this photo because it captures a few of Virginia Tech's many traditions. Lane Stadium is recognizable to every Hokie, and I will never forget the atmosphere and energy inside the stadium that is present at every single game. Hokie football has a lot of traditions that may change over time, but you can always count on Skipper for the sound of cannon fire after every touchdown. — Clare Cline, photography intern

Skipper the cannon being fired at a football game in Lane Stadium

I like this photo because it captures a few of Virginia Tech's many traditions. Lane Stadium is recognizable to every Hokie, and I will never forget the atmosphere and energy inside the stadium that is present at every single game. Hokie football has a lot of traditions that may change over time, but you can always count on Skipper for the sound of cannon fire after every touchdown.

— Clare Cline, photography intern

Before a concert started, I was taking photos of the musicians on stage and was able to catch the moment these stand partners began laughing. I'm fond of this photo since I am a former violinist and I wanted to show a less serious and more fun side to performing. — Helen Zhang, photography intern

Musicians laughing on stage

Before a concert started, I was taking photos of the musicians on stage and was able to catch the moment these stand partners began laughing. I'm fond of this photo since I am a former violinist, and I wanted to show a less serious and more fun side to performing.

— Helen Zhang, photography intern

I love how in-sync the subjects are in this photo. It captures the beauty around campus, even in if it is just for a split second. — Mai Nguyen, photography intern

Students walking on campus in spring

I love how in-sync the subjects are in this photo. It captures the beauty around campus, even in if it is just for a split second.

— Mai Nguyen, photography intern

Four-year-old Gavin Walters is among those who have lead poisoning from the water in Flint, Michigan, and he adores Siddhartha Roy and the rest of the Flint Water Study team. The bond between the team and the people of Flint goes beyond water sample kits and congressional testimony, and when I visited Flint with the team last spring it was so clear what their work means to the people there. While photographing the team in a Flint neighborhood, a local man confronted me with anger and suspicion. He immediately softened when I told him we were from Virginia Tech. “Virginia Tech is famous!” he announced with wonder, then shook my hand and went on his way. — Logan Wallace, senior photographer

Three people sit on a couch

Four-year-old Gavin Walters is among those who have lead poisoning from the water in Flint, Michigan, and he adores Siddhartha Roy and the rest of the Flint Water Study team. The bond between the team and the people of Flint goes beyond water sample kits and congressional testimony, and when I visited Flint with the team last spring it was so clear what their work means to the people there. While photographing the team in a Flint neighborhood, a local man confronted me with anger and suspicion. He immediately softened when I told him we were from Virginia Tech. “Virginia Tech is famous!” he announced with wonder, then shook my hand and went on his way.

— Logan Wallace, senior photographer

Virginia Tech Magazine was doing a story on pole vaulter Torben Laidig, who had set records for both Virginia Tech and the ACC with an indoor vault of 18’ 5 ¼” and an outdoor vault of 18’ 4 ½”. Laidig was also chosen for the All ACC Academic Team with a dual major in biochemistry and biological sciences and a minor in chemistry. Coach Bob Phillips has assembled an outstanding pole vault team, taking the top seven places in the 2016 ACC track meet. I photographed Torben, who was extremely cooperative, during an overcast practice session. The look in this photo was created with an HDR (high dynamic range) program. Because I shoot in RAW mode, which lets me make non-destructive adjustments in the computer, I was able to combine three different exposures of the same photo so I could hold detail in both the cloudy skies and bring out the colors in Torben. — Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Pole vaulter

Virginia Tech Magazine was doing a story on pole vaulter Torben Laidig, who had set records for both Virginia Tech and the ACC with an indoor vault of 18’ 5 ¼” and an outdoor vault of 18’ 4 ½”. Laidig was also chosen for the All ACC Academic Team with a dual major in biochemistry and biological sciences and a minor in chemistry. Coach Bob Phillips has assembled an outstanding pole vault team, taking the top seven places in the 2016 ACC track meet. I photographed Torben, who was extremely cooperative, during an overcast practice session. The look in this photo was created with an HDR (high dynamic range) program. Because I shoot in RAW mode, which lets me make non-destructive adjustments in the computer, I was able to combine three different exposures of the same photo so I could hold detail in both the cloudy skies and bring out the colors in Torben.

— Jim Stroup, senior photographer

After a week of photographing Virginia Tech Police officers' portraits, it was the one of their dogs' turn. Nero, one of the department's newest K-9 members, was curious and would not stop squirming and looking around the studio despite his partner's effort. We finally caught his attention and a few photos by meowing like a cat from behind the camera. — Michael Folta, photography intern

A K-9 dog and an officer having a portrait taken

After a week of photographing Virginia Tech Police officers' portraits, it was the one of their dogs' turn. Nero, one of the department's newest K-9 members, was curious and would not stop squirming and looking around the studio despite his partner's effort. We finally caught his attention and a few photos by meowing like a cat from behind the camera.

— Michael Folta, photography intern

I love this photo because of the symmetry of the background and the consistency of excitement on the students' faces as we scored a touchdown. — Mai Nguyen, photography intern

Students cheering at a Virginia Tech football game

I love this photo because of the symmetry of the background and the consistency of excitement on the students' faces as we scored a touchdown.

— Mai Nguyen, photography intern

This was a fun photo to produce. I was illustrating a professor’s research on late-night work emails and the effects they have on employee morale and stress. My neighbor, a Pamplin College of Business alum, agreed to model the photo for me. I borrowed some branded merchandise from our licensing department and set the photo up at my home. An off-camera flash with a blue filter was bounced off the ceiling from the left side and a small flash was hidden behind the iPad to light up his face, balancing both of those with the light on the nightstand. — Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Man reading iPad

This was a fun photo to produce. I was illustrating a professor’s research on late-night work emails and the effects they have on employee morale and stress. My neighbor, a Pamplin College of Business alum, agreed to model the photo for me. I borrowed some branded merchandise from our licensing department and set the photo up at my home. An off-camera flash with a blue filter was bounced off the ceiling from the left side and a small flash was hidden behind the iPad to light up his face, balancing both of those with the light on the nightstand.

— Jim Stroup, senior photographer

To me this photo expresses the energy that makes Hokie football games so unforgettable. Virginia Tech has a way of making you feel connected to one another, sort of like one very big family. That's why they say, "This Is Home." This photo was not taken after a recent touchdown, but during normal play. Our team and our "family" does not need a big reason to cheer each other on — it's just what Hokies do. — Clare Cline, photography intern

Football players jumping and cheering

To me this photo expresses the energy that makes Hokie football games so unforgettable. Virginia Tech has a way of making you feel connected to one another, sort of like one very big family. That's why they say, "This Is Home." This photo was not taken after a recent touchdown, but during normal play. Our team and our "family" does not need a big reason to cheer each other on — it's just what Hokies do.

— Clare Cline, photography intern

Swimmers don’t always get the love that other athletes get (and I know that because I am one), so I decided to spend some time at the Virginia Tech Swim Club’s Gobblerfest booth. It soon became clear that the best photo was not really of the swimmers themselves but rather of the broader student population coming to grips with the swimmers’ approach to recruiting. — Logan Wallace, senior photographer

People with surprised reactions at swimmers in revealing swim clothes

Swimmers don’t always get the love that other athletes get (and I know that because I am one), so I decided to spend some time at the Virginia Tech Swim Club’s Gobblerfest booth. It soon became clear that the best photo was not really of the swimmers themselves but rather of the broader student population coming to grips with the swimmers’ approach to recruiting.

— Logan Wallace, senior photographer

I’ve photographed the 3.2 for 32 Run for Remembrance a couple of times from a helicopter. It’s just amazing to watch the river of humanity flow through campus. It’s moving to see the thousands of people that come to pay their respect and how long the line of runners stretches through the roadways. — Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Runners run along a course

I’ve photographed the 3.2 for 32 Run for Remembrance a couple of times from a helicopter. It’s just amazing to watch the river of humanity flow through campus. It’s moving to see the thousands of people that come to pay their respect and how long the line of runners stretches through the roadways.

— Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Tracking the football is challenging at games. The zoomed-in frame of a telephoto lens limits the rest of my view and makes it extremely hard to tell where the ball is going. I was setting up just behind the north end zone when two players ran out in front of me. I pointed my camera and fired — extremely lucky to catch both of them in the air and in my frame. — Michael Folta, photography intern

Football players tackle

Tracking the football is challenging at games. The zoomed-in frame of a telephoto lens limits the rest of my view and makes it extremely hard to tell where the ball is going. I was setting up just behind the north end zone when two players ran out in front of me. I pointed my camera and fired — extremely lucky to catch both of them in the air and in my frame.

— Michael Folta, photography intern

I was walking back from an assignment one morning when I saw several women with crates of kittens headed into Newman Library. Naturally, I gave chase. After following them onto the elevator I learned they were from the Crazy Cat Lady Animal Rescue and were participating in a volunteer fair. Most importantly, they wouldn’t mind at all if I took some photos while students met the kittens. — Logan Wallace, senior photographer

A cat hangs out in a student's sweatshirt hood.

I was walking back from an assignment one morning when I saw several women with crates of kittens headed into Newman Library. Naturally, I gave chase. After following them onto the elevator I learned they were from the Crazy Cat Lady Animal Rescue and were participating in a volunteer fair. Most importantly, they wouldn’t mind at all if I took some photos while students met the kittens.

— Logan Wallace, senior photographer

I traveled to New York with a group of Pamplin College of Business students for a New York City Entrepreneur Trek and a Hokies on Wall Street function. Even though they had arrived pretty late the night before, some of the students made it to the morning taping of the Today Show. I met them there thinking there would be some good photo opportunities. We watched Virginia Tech alumna Hoda Kotb arrive even though she wasn’t scheduled to come on the show until later. I approached one of the producers to try to get Hoda to come out and meet the students. He told me that we weren’t on her schedule, but I insisted, telling him that she knew we were coming and that if they just got word to her that we were here that she would join us on the plaza. She did, and was just fantastic and enthusiastic as ever, leading the students for a round of our spirit cheer, “Old Hokie,” and taking the time to meet the students and everyone else on the plaza. — Jim Stroup, senior photographer

Hoda Kotb with Virginia Tech students

I  traveled to New York with a group of Pamplin College of Business students for a New York City Entrepreneur Trek and a Hokies on Wall Street function. Even though they had arrived pretty late the night before, some of the students made it to the morning taping of the Today Show. I met them there thinking there would be some good photo opportunities. We watched Virginia Tech alumna Hoda Kotb arrive even though she wasn’t scheduled to come on the show until later. I approached one of the producers to try to get Hoda to come out and meet the students. He told me that we weren’t on her schedule, but I insisted, telling him that she knew we were coming and that if they just got word to her that we were here that she would join us on the plaza.  She did, and was just fantastic and enthusiastic as ever, leading the students for a round of our spirit cheer, “Old Hokie,” and taking the time to meet the students and everyone else on the plaza.

— Jim Stroup, senior photographer

I was strolling around the Duck Pond taking practice photos around the area before an assignment later that weekend and I came across a girl sitting in a hammock. Unfortunately I did not get her name but I snapped a photo and liked the composition of it. The blue bike and blue hammock also complement the green scenery well. — Helen Zhang, photography intern

A girl sitting in a hammock

I was strolling around the Duck Pond taking practice photos around the area before an assignment later that weekend and I came across a girl sitting in a hammock. Unfortunately I did not get her name but I snapped a photo and liked the composition of it. The blue bike and blue hammock also complement the green scenery well.

— Helen Zhang, photography intern

Some guy from Fancy Gap was just trying to make it into Lane Stadium for a football game but it was slow-going because everyone in the crowd wanted to stop him for a photo. He posed with every single person who asked, demonstrating the special sort of warmth, patience and grace that come from decades of coaching. And the crowd made clear what his career has meant to people in Southwest Virginia and beyond. — Logan Wallace, senior photographer

Coach Frank Beamer poses for selfies

Some guy from Fancy Gap was just trying to make it into Lane Stadium for a football game but  it was slow-going because everyone in the crowd wanted to stop him for a photo. He posed with every single person who asked, demonstrating the special sort of warmth, patience and grace that come from decades of coaching. And the crowd made clear what his career has meant to people in Southwest Virginia and beyond.

— Logan Wallace, senior photographer

I was extremely excited to be taking photos on the field at such a big football game and I definitely wanted to capture the excitement from the students in the stands. As I was standing in the north end zone, this girl caught my eye right after we made it to first down. — Helen Zhang, photography intern

Marching band student cheers

I was extremely excited to be taking photos on the field at such a big football game and I definitely wanted to capture the excitement from the students in the stands. As I was standing in the north end zone, this girl caught my eye right after we made it to first down.

— Helen Zhang, photography intern