“It’s just going and playing and creating, and serendipity comes into it and there’s chance, and every single image is completely different. It really is the photography that keeps me motivated.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Scott Strazzante’s ability to expertly capture a moment in time and tell a story through his lens has earned him multiple awards. From covering three Olympic Games to music to everyday life, his work has been published countless times including two beautiful books.
Cameras of choice: “Canon EOS 1-D X, iPhone13”
Scott Strazzante was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, in 1964 and raised in the shadows of the steel mills on the far southeast corner of Chicago. The son of a tire dealer, Strazzante first became interested in photography when he started taking his dad’s camera to Chicago White Sox baseball games.
In 1986, after graduating from Ripon College, Strazzante began his photojournalism career when he was hired at The Daily Calumet in Lansing, Illinois. In 1987, Strazzante moved on to the Daily Southtown in Chicago and then migrated to the Joliet Herald-News in 1998, where three years later, he was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the Missouri School of Journalism.
In 2001, Strazzante began work at the Chicago Tribune where in 2007, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for a series about faulty government regulation of dangerously defective toys, cribs and car seats.
In 2014, Strazzante migrated west where he continues today as a San Francisco Chronicle staff photographer.
Strazzante, an 11-time Illinois Photographer of the Year, has covered Super Bowls, World Series and three Olympic Games, but he is most proud of his images that uncover small but universal truths in daily life.
Besides his day job, Strazzante is constantly working on a personal project or two. His most successful is Common Ground, a documentation of the transformation of a piece of land in suburban Chicago from rural to suburban. The 27-year-long project, which still continues, has also been published in book form by Publishing Solutions Group, in video form by MediaStorm and in print in the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday magazine, Mother Jones and National Geographic. The project has also been honored with Pictures of the Year International’s Community Awareness Award and 1st place in Feature Video in the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism contest.
Strazzante’s second book, Shooting from the Hip, a collection of black and white iPhone images from around the United States was published in 2007.