Best of 2017

 Terron Sharp, left, and Cameron Dakota stand in the waters of Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach at sunset Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Chicago. "We came to the beach just to chill with each other. Play volleyball. And like, get wet, actually, because it was a hot day today. We're just chilling and having fun with each other. It's a nice beach," said Terron. The two said they are best friends and have known each other for a long time. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Terron Sharp, left, and Cameron Dakota stand in the waters of Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach at sunset Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Chicago. "We came to the beach just to chill with each other. Play volleyball. And like, get wet, actually, because it was a hot day today. We're just chilling and having fun with each other. It's a nice beach," said Terron. The two said they are best friends and have known each other for a long time. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Octopus tentacles decorate a front window of the Museum of Contemporary Art ahead of the opening of the Takashi Murakami exhibit, "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg," Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Chicago. The exhibit officially opens June 6 and runs through September 24. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Octopus tentacles decorate a front window of the Museum of Contemporary Art ahead of the opening of the Takashi Murakami exhibit, "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg," Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Chicago. The exhibit officially opens June 6 and runs through September 24. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 The Haj Khalaf family, who came to Chicago as Syrian refugees, from left, Mohamad, 22, Aya, 19, Sham, 19 months, matriarch Fattoum Bakir, patriarch Khaled Khalaf, Baraa, 23, and Abdulmajeed sit together at their home Friday, April 14, 2017, in Skokie, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

The Haj Khalaf family, who came to Chicago as Syrian refugees, from left, Mohamad, 22, Aya, 19, Sham, 19 months, matriarch Fattoum Bakir, patriarch Khaled Khalaf, Baraa, 23, and Abdulmajeed sit together at their home Friday, April 14, 2017, in Skokie, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 19-month-old Syrian refugee Sham Haj Khalad wears her grandfather's glasses at her home Friday, April 14, 2017, in Skokie, Ill. Fleeing the civil war in Syria, Sham's grandfather Khaled Haj Khalaf and his wife, Fattoum Bakir, came to Chicago in September 2016 with three of their children, but their oldest daughter Baraa Haj Khalaf and her family were denied entry in January of this year after President Donald Trump's immigration order banning all immigrants from Syria. Baraa, her husband Abdulmajeed and Sham spent two years in a Turkish refugee camp for the proper paperwork, interviews and background checks required to come to America. They were all finally reunited in February and now live together in the same apartment building. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

19-month-old Syrian refugee Sham Haj Khalad wears her grandfather's glasses at her home Friday, April 14, 2017, in Skokie, Ill. Fleeing the civil war in Syria, Sham's grandfather Khaled Haj Khalaf and his wife, Fattoum Bakir, came to Chicago in September 2016 with three of their children, but their oldest daughter Baraa Haj Khalaf and her family were denied entry in January of this year after President Donald Trump's immigration order banning all immigrants from Syria. Baraa, her husband Abdulmajeed and Sham spent two years in a Turkish refugee camp for the proper paperwork, interviews and background checks required to come to America. They were all finally reunited in February and now live together in the same apartment building. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Dia de los Muertos Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Dia de los Muertos Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Eddie Bolden was greeted by friends and family as he walked out of Cook County Jail a free man after spending 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in Chicago. A Cook County judge threw out murder convictions against Bolden, the fatal shooting of two men in 1994, and prosecutors declined to retry him. Bolden was 46 years old at the time of his release.  At his 1996 trial, a county jury convicted Bolden based on the testimony of Clifford Frazier, who was wounded in the shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. Frazier’s brother, Derrick, and another man were killed.  “When I stepped outside … there’s a difference between stepping out on a prison yard and seeing daylight and stepping outside outside. I still can’t explain it. It was like I stepped into a whole new world for real,” he said.  Private investigator Susan Carlson worked with Bolden and his family and found key alibi witnesses who had been overlooked at the original trial who ultimately led to his release.  Bolden spent the following year readjusting to life and reconnecting with his family and three children, Dominique, 23, Antonio, 25, and Bryana, 26. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Eddie Bolden was greeted by friends and family as he walked out of Cook County Jail a free man after spending 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in Chicago. A Cook County judge threw out murder convictions against Bolden, the fatal shooting of two men in 1994, and prosecutors declined to retry him. Bolden was 46 years old at the time of his release.

At his 1996 trial, a county jury convicted Bolden based on the testimony of Clifford Frazier, who was wounded in the shooting in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. Frazier’s brother, Derrick, and another man were killed.

“When I stepped outside … there’s a difference between stepping out on a prison yard and seeing daylight and stepping outside outside. I still can’t explain it. It was like I stepped into a whole new world for real,” he said.

Private investigator Susan Carlson worked with Bolden and his family and found key alibi witnesses who had been overlooked at the original trial who ultimately led to his release.

Bolden spent the following year readjusting to life and reconnecting with his family and three children, Dominique, 23, Antonio, 25, and Bryana, 26. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 The tomato tatin is made with carmelized onion, marinated buratta and warm tomato vinaigrette at Margeaux Brasserie at the Waldorf Astoria Thursday, June 6, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

The tomato tatin is made with carmelized onion, marinated buratta and warm tomato vinaigrette at Margeaux Brasserie at the Waldorf Astoria Thursday, June 6, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Jamela Anthony, 6, plays at her home Friday, July 7, 2017, in Chicago. Jamela has undergone extensive treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer that is now in remission and her family has relied on Medicaid to cover costs. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Jamela Anthony, 6, plays at her home Friday, July 7, 2017, in Chicago. Jamela has undergone extensive treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer that is now in remission and her family has relied on Medicaid to cover costs. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Lorraine Szontagh draws around her grandson Marshall Szontagh, 3, with sidewalk chalk Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at her house in Elmwood Park, Ill. Marshall and his brother Jackson, 4, were poisoned by lead paint while their family lived in a three flat in Berwyn. Caitlin, the children's mother, said they have already developed some behavioral problems and learning disabilities but it may take years to find out the full extent of their injuries from the poisoning. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Lorraine Szontagh draws around her grandson Marshall Szontagh, 3, with sidewalk chalk Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at her house in Elmwood Park, Ill. Marshall and his brother Jackson, 4, were poisoned by lead paint while their family lived in a three flat in Berwyn. Caitlin, the children's mother, said they have already developed some behavioral problems and learning disabilities but it may take years to find out the full extent of their injuries from the poisoning. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Virginia Boyle cheers at a rally in support of transgender rights Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. The rally was organized to protest the move by the Trump administration to roll back federal protections for transgender students in public schools. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Virginia Boyle cheers at a rally in support of transgender rights Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. The rally was organized to protest the move by the Trump administration to roll back federal protections for transgender students in public schools. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Trent Reznor performs with his band Nine Inch Nails during Riot Fest Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at Douglas Park in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Trent Reznor performs with his band Nine Inch Nails during Riot Fest Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at Douglas Park in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 3-year-old Dayna Dorencz-Cuervo pushes herself in her wheelchair as she heads to her classroom at Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in the Kennedy Park neighborhood of Chicago. Dayna has spina bifida and several other health issues which require special care. She usually gets around by crawling at home and uses a wheelchair when she goes to preschool. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

3-year-old Dayna Dorencz-Cuervo pushes herself in her wheelchair as she heads to her classroom at Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in the Kennedy Park neighborhood of Chicago. Dayna has spina bifida and several other health issues which require special care. She usually gets around by crawling at home and uses a wheelchair when she goes to preschool. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 From left, Alison Richards, 13, Diedra Richards and Alex Richards, 10, sit on the ground as they struggle to play Pokemon Go at the Pokemon Go Fest Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Grant Park in Chicago. Many festival attendees had trouble getting the augmented-reality cellphone game to work. By the afternoon, Mike Quigley, chief marketing officer of the game's developer, Niantic, announced all ticket holders would receive refunds and be issued $100 in credits for use in the app. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

From left, Alison Richards, 13, Diedra Richards and Alex Richards, 10, sit on the ground as they struggle to play Pokemon Go at the Pokemon Go Fest Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Grant Park in Chicago. Many festival attendees had trouble getting the augmented-reality cellphone game to work. By the afternoon, Mike Quigley, chief marketing officer of the game's developer, Niantic, announced all ticket holders would receive refunds and be issued $100 in credits for use in the app. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward, center, and other players remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem before the game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at Solider Field in Chicago. Bears players stood along their sideline, most of them with their arms interlocked in a show of unity. The entire Steelers team, with the exception of offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, remained in their locker room during the anthem. Villanueva, who served in the Army, stood near the northeast corner of the field with his hand over his heart. That was the response at Soldier Field to the firestorm that has swept through the sports world this weekend in the aftermath of sharp comments made by President Donald Trump, who blasted players who have chosen to engage in peaceful demonstration during the National Anthem. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward, center, and other players remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem before the game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at Solider Field in Chicago. Bears players stood along their sideline, most of them with their arms interlocked in a show of unity. The entire Steelers team, with the exception of offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, remained in their locker room during the anthem. Villanueva, who served in the Army, stood near the northeast corner of the field with his hand over his heart. That was the response at Soldier Field to the firestorm that has swept through the sports world this weekend in the aftermath of sharp comments made by President Donald Trump, who blasted players who have chosen to engage in peaceful demonstration during the National Anthem. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen, right, falls backward over Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, bottom, as he scores a fourth goal for the Predators on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the third period of Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals between game Saturday, April 15, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago. The Predators shut out the Blackhawks for the second time in a row 5-0 and ultimately swept the Chicago team in the best of seven series. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen, right, falls backward over Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, bottom, as he scores a fourth goal for the Predators on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the third period of Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals between game Saturday, April 15, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago. The Predators shut out the Blackhawks for the second time in a row 5-0 and ultimately swept the Chicago team in the best of seven series. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Whitney Young Magnet High School forward Lucas Williamson gets a hug from his mother, Louiza Williamson, after his team defeated Simeon High School to win the Illinois State High School Basketball Class 4A Championship game 60-50 in overtime Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Whitney Young Magnet High School forward Lucas Williamson gets a hug from his mother, Louiza Williamson, after his team defeated Simeon High School to win the Illinois State High School Basketball Class 4A Championship game 60-50 in overtime Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Simeon High School forward Talen Horton-Tucker (5) covers his face after fouling out during overtime of the Whitney Young Magnet High School versus Simeon High School Class 4A Championship game Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Simeon High School forward Talen Horton-Tucker (5) covers his face after fouling out during overtime of the Whitney Young Magnet High School versus Simeon High School Class 4A Championship game Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) catches a kick from the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter of the Chicago Bears versus Green Bay Packers game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, at Soldier Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) catches a kick from the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter of the Chicago Bears versus Green Bay Packers game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, at Soldier Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Workers prepare the field before the Chicago Cubs versus Atlanta Braves game Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Workers prepare the field before the Chicago Cubs versus Atlanta Braves game Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) leaves the field after the Cubs' 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) leaves the field after the Cubs' 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) fouls Chicago Fire forward David Accam (11) during the first half of the Chicago Fire match against Toronto FC Saturday, August 19, 2017, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The score was 1-0 Toronto at the end of the half. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) fouls Chicago Fire forward David Accam (11) during the first half of the Chicago Fire match against Toronto FC Saturday, August 19, 2017, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The score was 1-0 Toronto at the end of the half. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Chicago Bulls guard David Nwaba (11) and Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) celebrate their 104-102. win over the New York Knicks Saturday Dec. 9, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Chicago Bulls guard David Nwaba (11) and Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) celebrate their 104-102. win over the New York Knicks Saturday Dec. 9, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 10-year-old Levi Krystosek waits in his doctor's office Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Levi is flown to Lurie's from Mississippi through the Miracle Flights organization for treatment of his very rare disease Jansen's metaphyseal chondrodysplasia. Severe JMC produces a dwarfing phenotype, or short stature, and other physical irregularities often include prominent or protruding eyes, wide cranial sutures and irregular formation of the long bones which can resemble rickets. Accumulation of calcium in the interstitum of the kidney is seen commonly as well. Dr. Craig Langman is a doctor at Lurie who specializes in treating some of these symptoms and has been seeing Levi since he was very young. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

10-year-old Levi Krystosek waits in his doctor's office Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Levi is flown to Lurie's from Mississippi through the Miracle Flights organization for treatment of his very rare disease Jansen's metaphyseal chondrodysplasia. Severe JMC produces a dwarfing phenotype, or short stature, and other physical irregularities often include prominent or protruding eyes, wide cranial sutures and irregular formation of the long bones which can resemble rickets. Accumulation of calcium in the interstitum of the kidney is seen commonly as well. Dr. Craig Langman is a doctor at Lurie who specializes in treating some of these symptoms and has been seeing Levi since he was very young. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 A red-winged blackbird calls out near the Lincoln Park Zoo Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

A red-winged blackbird calls out near the Lincoln Park Zoo Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 Pak Suan of Myanmar works in his small greenhouse in the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. About 100 families, including refugees from Bhutan, Myanmar and elsewhere, have plots in the community garden. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Pak Suan of Myanmar works in his small greenhouse in the Global Garden Refugee Training Farm Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. About 100 families, including refugees from Bhutan, Myanmar and elsewhere, have plots in the community garden. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 The mother of Kennatay Leavell kneels over his body outside a group of row houses in the 500 block of West Iowa Street Friday, July 28, 2017, in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago. The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the face and died at the scene. Family members had been watching for an hour, held back from Leavell's then-uncovered body by police tape and officers, when his mother eventually found a way through one of the Cabrini Green apartments. "My baby," she cried as she struggled to hold him close to her. "My baby." (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

The mother of Kennatay Leavell kneels over his body outside a group of row houses in the 500 block of West Iowa Street Friday, July 28, 2017, in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago. The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the face and died at the scene. Family members had been watching for an hour, held back from Leavell's then-uncovered body by police tape and officers, when his mother eventually found a way through one of the Cabrini Green apartments. "My baby," she cried as she struggled to hold him close to her. "My baby." (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

 A young girl stands in the doorway of an apartment near the scene of a fatal shooting in the 3700 block of West Fullerton Avenue Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. One 20-year-old man, the driver of a white vehicle stopped outside a cafe in the area, was shot in the hand and treated at Norwegian American Hospital while his co-worker and passenger, also in his 20s, was shot in the head and neck and died at the scene. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

A young girl stands in the doorway of an apartment near the scene of a fatal shooting in the 3700 block of West Fullerton Avenue Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. One 20-year-old man, the driver of a white vehicle stopped outside a cafe in the area, was shot in the hand and treated at Norwegian American Hospital while his co-worker and passenger, also in his 20s, was shot in the head and neck and died at the scene. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Rain falls on a car with police tape at the scene where 32-year-old Dario Balderrama was shot multiple times and killed in the 4800 block of South Racine Avenue Saturday, June 17, 2017, in the Back of Yards neighborhood of Chicago. About an hour later, two men and one woman were shot and taken to area hospitals less than a mile away on 44th Street. Both incidents involved rifles. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Rain falls on a car with police tape at the scene where 32-year-old Dario Balderrama was shot multiple times and killed in the 4800 block of South Racine Avenue Saturday, June 17, 2017, in the Back of Yards neighborhood of Chicago. About an hour later, two men and one woman were shot and taken to area hospitals less than a mile away on 44th Street. Both incidents involved rifles. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Three women hold each other as they sit on the ground at the scene of a fatal double shooting in the 5400 block of South Wabash Avenue Thursday, June 29, 2017, in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago. 32-year-old Jeanine Dowell and 41-year-old Juliet Washington were driving north when shots were fired from another vehicle, striking both women in the head. They were pronounced dead at the scene. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Three women hold each other as they sit on the ground at the scene of a fatal double shooting in the 5400 block of South Wabash Avenue Thursday, June 29, 2017, in the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago. 32-year-old Jeanine Dowell and 41-year-old Juliet Washington were driving north when shots were fired from another vehicle, striking both women in the head. They were pronounced dead at the scene. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Jose Moreno, left, 17, huddles together with other members of the John Overton High School of Nashville marching band as they wait in the cold for their turn to join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Jose Moreno, left, 17, huddles together with other members of the John Overton High School of Nashville marching band as they wait in the cold for their turn to join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

 Actress Carrie Coon poses for a portrait at the Robey Hotel Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, in Chicago. Coon played Nora Durst on HBO's "The Leftovers," Margo Dunne, the sister of Ben Affleck's main character, Nick Dunne, in "Gone Girl" and most recently Gloria Burgle in FX's "Fargo" series in 2017. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Actress Carrie Coon poses for a portrait at the Robey Hotel Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, in Chicago. Coon played Nora Durst on HBO's "The Leftovers," Margo Dunne, the sister of Ben Affleck's main character, Nick Dunne, in "Gone Girl" and most recently Gloria Burgle in FX's "Fargo" series in 2017. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

2017. What a year. Full of ups and downs. A pretty good year for photography for me, but it was hard work and sometimes stressful: Publishing the year long story on Eddie Bolden, exonerated from prison after 22 years, covering overnight violence in Chicago again during the summer and fall, lots of sports (though the Cubs bowed out early)...and more.

A rough but promising year as a woman and "Enemy of the American People," aka, a journalist. I am lucky to have supportive editors and colleagues. I am thankful and proud to do what I do and will continue to tell the stories of people in my community and shed light on an unseen truth or two. The people I meet every day truly enrich my own life. 2018 looks bright.

Click here for a gallery of the Chicago Tribune photography staff's photos of the year.