WINNERS! 2016 Cruise Chicago Photo Contest

Photo: 2016 Cruise Chicago Photo Contest Winner: Catherine McKenzie

Posted on November 14, 2016

Congratulations to our 2016 Cruise Chicago Photo Contest finalists and winners! Be sure to check back in summer of 2017 to participate in our Annual Photo Contest.

Meet our 2016 Grand Prize Winner, Catherine McKenzie, from Appleton, Wisconsin:

1. Tell us about this photo.

My daughter was sitting in front of me and really appreciating the tour - she's a recent grad with a history degree and we were all taking in the docent's talk. I was trying to capture her interest along with the feel of the wooden boat railing and the magnificence of the buildings. To get the angle that I wanted, I held the camera in my lap to shoot, hence the soft focus. But it did capture the spirit of the day and how much we enjoyed the tour.

2. Is photography a hobby or profession for you? How did you get into it and why do you love it?

Recently, I've begun working as a professional photographer, doing portraits, theatre photography, and headshots, but photography has been a lifelong passion for me. I love the challenge of trying to capture the perfect expression or the perfect light. 

3. What was your favorite part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises?

We loved hearing the docent tell about the history of the buildings. It makes traveling around Chicago more meaningful to understand the origins and engineering of the skyline. That was the second CAF tour that I've been on. The first one was one of their trolley tours that I took by myself a couple of years ago. After that I constantly pointed out buildings to my family but couldn't remember all the details, so was very happy to get a refresher course and learn new and different bits of Chicago. I look forward to more tours in the future. 

4. Are you a first time or seasoned visitor to Chicago?

We have visited Chicago often since we moved to Wisconsin 16 years ago.  

5. What is your best tip or "hidden gem" for those visiting Chicago?

I had noticed the riverwalk area in passing before, but never explored it until recently. I love the steps and parks that are being built to connect the city with the river. As we walked along, it had the feel of an outdoor living room with people relaxing, eating, talking, watching the boats go by, somewhat removed from the hubbub of the street above. There were a lot of good photography vantage points on the river walk. I especially enjoyed photographing the kayakers from above and the bridges from underneath.

Grand Prize Winner, Honorable Mentions and Finalists