Chicago Photographers Share Their Favorite Photo of 2022

As we close the chapter on 2022, we asked some of our favorite Chicago-area photographers to share their standout image from the year. Here are their favorite images, and the stories behind them.

Avinash Biradar

Avinash Biradar

“Morning Stillness – Chicago is such a busy city, buzzing with all kinds of noise. But, early morning sunrise is absolutely STILL and SERENE IN contrast to the rest of the day.”

Barry Butler

Barry Butler Photography

“The autumn season in Chicago this year was the best I have seen in almost 10 years. The colors came early, were vibrant and lasted longer than usual. What a treat it was. This is Chicago’s Lincoln Park area during an autumn sunrise in October this year.”

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Cheryl Mann

Cheryl Mann

“Fabric brings an extra layer of life to a photo. Any dancer who knows me, know that I love to get fabric and hair to dance. However, getting it to cooperate can be a challenging task. We often get a beautiful position in the body, but with a dress or hair malfunction. It can be similar to working with a really difficult partner. When all elements align, we are left in awe of that perfect moment in time. What I love about this image of the Joffrey women, is that they have all achieved the same line with their arms and their legs enabling the dresses to ‘dance’ together as well. Not easy to do! Dancing a solo is liberating because of the freedoms you might be given for interpretation…but dancing in an ensemble takes a certain level of skill to dance together and be able to produce images such as this one. Kudos to these beauties!”

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Douglas Jubic

Douglas Jubic

“It was one of those peaceful mornings when the winds were calm and Lake Michigan was like a sheet of glass allowing beautiful reflections on the water. It was a perfect time to launch my drone to capture a different perspective of the city. Chicago has an extraordinary skyline. The lighthouse beacon being lit was an added bonus.”

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Jake Davis


“There is simply no time like Summer in Chicago! A months-long holiday that has Chicagoans outside, in the parks, in boats on the lake and the playpen! Arriving back in this scene is infectious in the best way possible!”

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Ken Zen

Ken Zen Photography

“They say every photo tells a story. I say every photo captures an experience. I chose this photo for the experience surrounding its capture. On one of the coldest nights of 2022, with hands and face completely numb, I took this shot by the iconic Chicago Theater. The frigid night saw temperature dipping down into the teens towards the single digits. It might have been unbearably cold to some, but to me, it was exhilarating! Snow, there was ample of it, going sideways too. Winds, you could hear the howling weaving from left to right and then left again. Such was the pattern for most of the night. The golden street lamps and neon lights cast a warm glow in an otherwise cold winter night. Against the gusty winds, pedestrians struggled in the snow, fighting to claim the sidewalk inch by inch as they moved forward to their destination. As for me, I wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere. I was already where I needed to be. I’m in Chicago, in the winter, and on State Street, that great street! Chicago indeed was in a snow globe that night, and I’m glad I too was in it.”

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Kristen Mendiola

Kristen Mendiola Photography

“This photo was taken at Guild Row during the Golden Market event. I chose to showcase this photo because it was one of my favorite events that I went to in 2022 as a celebration of culture through food and art. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, so it was an honor to document and be a part of such a great event.”

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Maida Skys

Maida Skys

“I chose this photo as my favorite of 2022 because it showcases the beauty of our city and the beautiful river. A simple moment turned to magic by adding my signature tones. This photo reminds me of my growth as an artist and it showcases how I see Chicago through my eyes.”

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Matt Wood

Matt J Wood Photography

“Although this may not be my favorite photo of 2022 photographically, it is my favorite for what it represents. This was taken on memorial day 2022, it was the first super hot day of the year, and also the first time I had seen the lakefront this bustling with people in over two years. It felt like the city was coming back to life!”

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Neil Burger

Neil John Burger Stills & Motion. Shot at Wirk Studios

“Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The ultimate comfort food. One bite and nostalgia hits me like a tidal wave…lunch with Mom at age 9, college dorm room at age 19, 2am snack at age 29, and now making them for my own children. This image is an homage to the one constant love through my entire life.”

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Nicole Jones
A Best of 2022 Winner – Best Photographer, Suburbs

Gillson Beach – Nicole Jones Photography

“There is no place like the Chicago North Shore to raise a family. It’s picture perfect surroundings create the perfect environment to enjoy the simplicity of family living. This picture captures the essence of family life here.”

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Praneeth Koduru

Praneeth Koduru

“Want to show the real experience of winter in Chicago in a picture.”

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Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.

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