Mobile Bay’s Top 25 Photos of 2023

We close the door on 2023 with a look at some of the most eye-catching photos of the year.

Mother and son, chefs Nancy and Will Hughes. Featured in “Two Cooks in the Kitchen, November 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“I love this photo because you can see and feel the genuine love they have for each other and cooking. It also just gives a bittersweet vibe because of the B&W, which kind of hints at the fact that their family is going through adversity, but still continues to do what they love. “

Peri Carr, Graphic Designer
Dry-aged Pompano fish at Jesse’s. Featured in “Dry-Aged Fish,” June 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“The whole dry-aged pompano appears so simple and rustic —complete with a handwritten tag — yet so much innovation went into its preparation. It’s a perfect example of local food elevated by the amazing chefs we have here in the region.”

Marissa Deal, Editorial Assistant
Second Line in the City: “This photo was taken at the Mardi Gras Second Line Parade in downtown Mobile in 2021.”. Featured in “Mardi Gras Through The Lens,” February 2023 // Photo by John O’Dell
A deep dive into the origins of Mobile’s famous azaleas, and the hybridizer who was devoted to their perfection. Featured in “A Little Bit Further Down The Trail”, March 2023 // Photos by Chad Riley

“I absolutely adore the two-page spread in the March 2023 issue featuring a dozen different Azalea blooms! As a native Mobilian, I appreciate not only the beauty photographer Chad Riley captured with his lens, but also the fun facts about each different blossom featured.”

Jennifer Ray, Advertising Sales Executive
The conservation effort to save the Mobile-Tensaw Delta from an invasive, orange-toothed rodent turned into one of the Bay’s biggest annual parties. Featured in “What On Earth Is a Nutria Rodeo?, February 2023 // Photos courtesy Mobile Press Register Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama.

“This ridiculous photo. Audrey McDonald Atkin’s thoroughly entertaining feature on the Nutria rodeo hit several local notes: hurricanes, the Delta, queens, conservation and parties. In this picture, the boys’ hesitation to pose next to the giant, dead swamp things is readily apparent, but peer pressure is a powerful motivator at that age. The characters, actives and wildlife of our area are all endearing and unique, and this story epitomizes that.”

Stephen Potts, Assistant Publisher
October 2023 cover photo // Photo by Matthew Coughlin

“He (or she) just looks so happy and having a really good time…”

T.J. Potts, Publisher
Owner of Ginger & Spice, Shamyra Sylvester. Featured on the May 2023 cover // Photo by Chad Riley

“This cover photo of ShaMyra Sylvester screams “Summer fun.” Colorful and fresh, it perfectly displays her joyful and bright personality. From the moment we got to her shop, “Ginger and Spice,” we knew we had our cover girl. Flawlessly dressed and comfortable in front of the camera, ShaMyra made our job easy. With Chad Riley’s expert lighting, ShaMyra’s “all in” attitude, and just the right pink board, we seized the opportunity to capture this May cover.”

Laurie C. Kilpatrick, Art Director
Richard Sullivan at his Memorial Day party in Josephine, AL. Featured in “No Place Like Mary’s Place,” July 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley

“When I first saw this photo, I may have let out an audible gasp. The lighting, the framing, the scenery… I could go on and on describing everything I love about this photo. Suffice to say, with Richard Sullivan’s relaxed demeanor showcased against a beach-house background, it perfectly encapsulates a start-of-summer party on the water.”

Amelia Rose Zimlich, Editorial Assistant
A Sea of Hats: “Taken on Mardi Gras Day. Ladies waiting the arrival of the King and Queen at the foot of Government Street.” Featured in “Mardi Gras Through The Lens,” February 2023 // Photo by Theresa Davidson
Mary Buschmann Frayer, general manager of Red or White Wine Store Mobile and sommelier, selects three perfect bottles in three attainable price points. MB helps you put the party together with glass and wine buckets, too. Clink, clink! Featured in Three Cheers for Bubbles,” March 2023 // Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

“Every styled photo has a starting point, and that giant champagne bucket was the impetus for this beautiful collection of barware. My sister gave me the copper-colored ice bucket for Christmas and we knew we had to use it for something extravagant in the magazine! Shopping local stores for all the strawberry and champagne-themed gifts and barware was fun, but making the photo come to life with Art Director Laurie Kilparick and photographer Elizabeth Gelienau was the definition of creative collaboration.”

Maggie Lacey, Executive Editor
Scholar athlete and recent Lillie B. Williamson High School graduate, Orin Wilson Jr. Featured in “Wonder Kids 2023,” August 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley
Finn Swann enjoys his home away from home as much as his family does. Featured in “Game Day Getaway,” September 2023 // Photo by Summer Ennis Ansley

“As an introvert who’s joyfully afflicted with wanderlust, this airy, minimalistic ‘skoolie’ reminds me that dreams of living on the road can come true, even in the form of a 36-foot school bus.”

Amanda White, Mobile Bay Magazine Planning & Development
Jonathan Lough wheels his cart, loaded with all of his gear, in search of the best fishing spot. Featured in “Friends at Cedar Point Pier,” May 2023 // Photo by Matthew Coughlin

“This photograph transports me to the pier. I can feel the sun shining on my back and the breeze coming off the water. I can smell the fishiness of the bait and the salt in the air. I can hear the gulls off in the distance and the sound of the wagon clunking over the wooden boards as Jonathan heads over to drop his line.”

Marissa Deal, Editorial Assistant
Enoki Mushroom. Featured in “Do You Know The Mushroom Man?” November 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley
Italian antipasti plated for guests to nibble between bocce games. Featured in “Under the Influence of Italy,” March 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“This photo is a stunner! The antipasti looks straight out of Italy, beautifully representing Daphne’s Italian roots. It was a cold late-January day for this photoshoot at W.O. Lott Park, which makes the warmth of this shot even more impressive. Who wouldn’t want to nibble on this spread at their next bocce game?”

Amelia Rose Zimlich, Editorial Assistant
Sweet potato farmer Willie Young. Featured in “The Humble Sweet Potato,” September 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley
Shrimp boil on Dog River. Featured in “Summer Days On The River,” June 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“When I think of summer in the Bay Area, I am lounging on a float in the bright sunshine, bobbing with the soft wake from the passing boats, icy cocktail in hand and savouring the aromas from the low country boil cooking nearby. Photographer Elizabeth Gelineau brilliantly captures all the goodness of summer living on the river.”

Jennifer Ray, Advertising Sales Executive
George Criminale and his wife in the 2575 Aquila, the boat he built for the 1947 World Championship. Featured in “Mr. Star Class,” July 2023 // Photo courtesy George Criminale III.

“I love this photograph because no matter how many years pass by, the one thing that remains the same is our passion for our Bay-area waters. It’s a timeless love story.”

Mattie Naman, Digital Editor
Record-breaking Heptathlete and St. Paul’s student Janie Ford. Featured in “Wonder Kids 2023,” August 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley
December 2023 cover photo. Featured in “Gran’s Seafood Gumbo,” December 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“Every Gulf Coast cook and foodie loves gumbo, and this shot was extra fun to put together. John Sledge shared his family recipe with us, but we ran out of time to cook the laborious stew, and so we bought some (equally delicious) Azalea Brand. I wanted to include a crab to really grab your attention, so I went to my dad’s wharf and stole a few crabs out of his trap. I drove home with them in a bucket on the passenger seat of my Toyota, and cooked them up on the stove with my kids help. The old fashioned china and silver feels like a classic Mobile table setting, but the giant crab body gives the photo an edge.”

Maggie Lacey, Executive Editor
Cathy Partridge’s steamed crabs. Featured in “Abe Partridge Coming Home,” September 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau
Pop the cork and toast the season with one of Eugene Walter’s favorite holiday punch recipes. Featured in “Holiday Champagne Punch, December 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau
Co-owners of M2 Solutions, Beth Morrissette and Andrea Moore. Featured in “Women in Industry,” January 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley
Birria Pho with Birria Tacos. Featured in “Restaurant Review: Vandals Street Kitchen,” January 2023 // Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

“I love to eat at Vandals, and believe it or not the food is even better than the photo! They have the article framed and hanging proudly on the wall, and it’s so fun to see it when I eat there.”

Frances Hurley, Event Coordinator
Chris “Ding Ding” Blackburn. Featured in “Pow Wow Celebrates the Rich Heritage of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians,” November 2023 // Photo by Chad Riley

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