Photo Inspiration: The Best of the Best of 2013

Happy 2014! The future is now.

We love Januaries. They’re a great time to look back at the amazingness of the previous year, and make resolutions for the new one.

We’ve done our fair share of looking back, poring over every “Best Photos of the Year!” list we could find on these here internets.

Then, we resolved to let all the great shots we just saw inspire us to improve our photo skills in 2014.

We’ve compiled a handy list of the top of the tops: our favorite “best photo” lists and what we’ve learned from them.

See the Very Best of The Best Photos of 2013

Best Family and Kid Photos

beforeYou know your family rules, but how do you capture all the goodness in a pic? These top family and kid photos do just that.

Let the Kids’ Top Picks

We learned: Sitting the family down to “cheese” right at the camera is not the best plan. Let the kiddos play! Snap away while they’re having fun and your photos will be as joyful as they are.

Best Animal Photos

beforeWe love this collection because all the pics were taken on smartphones and edited with VSCO (one of our favorite mobile editors).

VSCO Cam’s Best Animal Photos

We learned: You don’t have to be in a zoo to take a great animal photo. Snap a pick of the animals around you, add just the right filter and you can create a “best of” worthy photo too.

Best Abstract Photos

beforeFrom paint cans to parked cars to what-in-the-world? 500px chose their favorite abstract photos of the year.

500px’s Fave Abstract Photos

We learned: Pretty much any and every thing can make a great photo subject. It’s up to the photographer to find its best angle.

Best News Photos

beforeFrom the happiest times to the worst, photojournalists captured them all. Here’s our favorite round-up of the year’s best news pics.

NYTimes’ Year in Picture

We learned: Taking a great photo of an event is more than just being at the right place at the right time. To truly capture the impact of what is happening, photo the reactions of the people who are affected by them.

Best Space Photos

beforeThe new year is a great time to pick up a new hobby! We’ve never taken a space photo before, but we found these photos so inspirational we’re about ready to tape our camera phone to a rocket (or maybe a telescope).

Slate’s Best Astronomy and Space Pix

We learned: Be inspired. Try new things!

Best Cuteness

beforeNo list of lists would be complete without a listicle from Buzzfeed. They’ve gathered the cutest photos and videos of 2013 (that sent us into fits of sighs and giggles).

Buzzfeed’s 50 Cutest Happenings

We learned: Babies = cute. Puppies = cute. Baby + Puppy = 2 (Toooooo) cute. Also, a photo of anything napping is cuteness gold.