BEST OF 2023: Laura Tesler’s top photos

Photojournalist Laura Tesler shares her favorite images from 2023 in Salem.

One of Ms. Willie Richardson’s many church hats on display at the Hattitude show at Bush Barn Art Center in February 2023. The church hat was an essential accessory in the times of the past for women who wanted to look their best while worshiping and showing reverence to God. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
Antonia Huerta, Director of Communidad Y Herencia Cultural, commands the stage in traditional charrería gear while demonstrating his skill with the lariat. Dancers from Casa de Tlanese fill the stage behind him at the Salem Public Library on Saturday, March 4. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
An intense look from a Takohachi Taiko drum player at the Sakura Matsuri Festival held at Willamette University on Saturday, April 8. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
Phoebe Watts gives her aide a grateful hug at the Salem Keizer Community Transition Program Graduation Ceremony at Chemeketa Community College on June 5, 2023. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
Chenae Donley holds her identical twins Sawyer and Sorin after graduation at the Roberts High School Commencement at Sprague High School on June 9, 2023. Chenae found out she was pregnant with the twins when she was 15 and said she would never have graduated without the options that Roberts offered her. Chenae is headed to college in the fall. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
The lead singer of The Bandalus belts one out to an enthusiastic crowd at the MIG Fest held at the Minto Island Growers farm on July 22, 2023. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
Playing for Keeps, a high-flying monster truck, wows the crowd at the Motor Mania event held at the Marion County Fair at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Sept. 3, 2023. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
Les Zaitz, Editor and CEO of the Salem Reporter, introduces the public to the speakers at the Town hall meeting at the Elsinore Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. The town hall was held to educate the public about the important viewpoints of the proposed repeal of the payroll tax measure (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
As many screams as possible was the goal for this performer at the Nightmare Factory, the Oregon School for the Deaf haunted house attraction in Salem. Proceeds from the attraction go towards the students attending drama classes in California and additions to the school campus. (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
An attendee at the Dia de Los Muertos event at McKay High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 (Laura Tesler/Special to the Salem Reporter)
The stuffing ran out a little early, but guests still had plenty of turkey and other fixings at the ARCHES Day Center Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023 (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)
The joys and hopes of the holiday season are best reflected in the faces of youth at the Salem Holiday Tree Lighting at Riverfront Park on Friday, Dec.8, 2023 (Laura Tesler/Special to Salem Reporter)

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Laura Tesler has lived in Salem, Oregon for 20 years and is originally from Flint, MI. Laura has been an underwater photographer for 15 years, and is an avid scuba diver. Topside, she has been taking photographs since age 12, and currently works on assignment for the Salem Reporter, and full time purchasing land for fish and wildlife habitat in the Willamette Valley. Laura attended Oregon State University, and has traveled extensively all over the world and the United States.