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What is the Photo of the Day?

The Photo of the Day page is a great spot to start your day, or the perfect way to explore the best photography of the Chicago area through time. On the Photo of the Day page you'll find the day's winner, plus popular, upcoming and recent photos from the perspective of whatever day you're viewing. Navigate back in time using the date blocks on the top of the Photo of the Day page.

The Photo of the Day page is also a great place to jump into a category, an open challenge, or see all photos ever submitted to Capture My Chicago.

How is the Photo of the Day winner determined?

Every day, hundreds of photos are submitted to Capture My Chicago and local folks vote thousands of times for those photos. Our editors are also looking at photos on a daily basis. There are a ton of great shots submitted every day, but the Photo of the Day is the one photo that rises to the top for a particular day as decided by either the voters or our editors (or a combination of both).

A few things to keep in mind about Photo of the Day selections:

  • The Photo of the Day is not always a photo uploaded that day, or the previous day. Sometimes editors like to go way back to highlight an old photo that's deserving.

  • Our editors do not have a bias toward or against any particular photographer. In fact, the selection process our editors go through to pick the Photo of the Day doesn't show any photographer names, so editors picking Photo of the Day are doing so without even knowing who took the photo. That means editors are picking photos purely on the merits of the photo.

  • Often, editors opt to let the voters decide the Photo of the Day instead of picking one by hand. When this happens, the Capture My Chicago system looks at all photos uploaded over the last several days and picks the highest-scoring photo (by votes) to slot in as the Photo of the Day. When the system picks a photo, votes are the key. Comments, loves and other activity don't matter much.

  • We have some measures in place to try to spread the Photo of the Day selection between as many photographers as possible. However, better photos will always earn more votes and get picked more often for Photo of the Day. The goal, after all, is to find the best of the Chicago area in photography!

What does the Photo of the Day winner, win?

It's great to win the Photo of the Day because for an entire day, your photo is front-and-center on the most visited page on all of Capture My Chicago. That means thousands of folks will see your photo, vote for it, comment on it, etc. It's sort of like winning 15 minutes of fame, except for 1,440 minutes!

Beyond a massive amount of exposure for a day, the winning Photo of the Day photo gets a fun Photo of the Day award, which shows up on the photo's page and the photographer's profile. The award is just digital, but it's still something to be mighty proud of.

There are a few things the Photo of the Day winner doesn't get. There's no monetary prize for winning Photo of the Day, no guarantee of selection in real-world publications, and no printed certificate in the mail. Still, winning the Photo of the Day is a huge deal if you want your photography seen, so submit your best photos and ask everyone you know to vote!

Can I explore beyond today?

Yes! When you first visit the Photo of the Day page, you'll be looking at today in photos, which highlights the Photo of the Day for today, plus popular, upcoming and new photos submitted today. A fun way to find other great photography of the Chicago area is to navigate the date blocks at the top of the Photo of the Day page page and explore another day's Photo of the Day, plus popular, upcoming and new photos from the perspective of that day.