ChicagoNow's best photo gallery posts of December, 2012

We started a ChicagoNow "best posts" contest a couple of years ago, and it's really been a great way to feature some of the best work done each month by our many hundreds of bloggers.

For far too long we didn't have a "slideshow" option as part of our customized WordPress blogging platform, but that changed a few months back. Still, almost all the posts that were being created were traditional articles. So in December we added a second contest to pick the five best "photo gallery" posts of the month.

The criteria was pretty simple:

- The photo gallery must be the prime option for which you tell your story in the post.
- At least seven photos must be used in a gallery for it to qualify.
- Judging is based on originality, quality of the storytelling, overall creativity and the use of photos and captions.
- Only the blogger can nominate their own posts, and they can nominate as many as they want.

There were a total of 43 posts submitted for consideration, and of those here are the five judged to be the best photo gallery posts of the month. Thanks to everybody who created and submitted their galleries, and congratulations to the winners!

Another Look Chicago: Reflections of a City
Why: Not every gallery has to have a typical narrative, and this post certainly doesn't. It's Chicago through the author's eyes and lens and he uses the theme of "reflections" to take us around the city he so clearly loves.

Chicago Muckrakers: Undocumented Life: Jorge Mariscal finally receives his long-awaited kidney transplant
Why: From the patient to the donor to the concerned families, the post movingly illustrates from start to finish what it's like when a loved one's life is in jeopardy.

Chicago Political Commentary: 2012 Illinois Political Hall of Shame: A Bakers Dozen
Why: A post like this could be done without the images, but it packs a much greater wallop when the politicians who are called out are looking right at you. This is the Internet, no reason not to use photos when they can add so much to the story.

4-Star Explorer: Top 15 Christmas Songs That Were Released Before Justin Bieber Existed
Why: I liked everything about this post, from the headline to the snarky captions to the time-tested and excellent use of album images in a photo gallery that ties it all together.

High Gloss and Sauce: Quit Hating Time, Haterz! Also, Gawk At My 2012
Why: Fantastic gallery, tremendous use of personals photos with great captions that don't try to do too much and tell the story of a year in the life of the blogger.

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