The Hidden Gem: Street Photography in Chicago by Scott Strazzante (from the Chicago Tribune)

Eric’s Note: I am very pleased to feature the work of Scott Strazzante, a full-time staff photographer with the Chicago Tribune and avid street photographer. Check out how he started in journalism and got into street photography and check out his shots below!

Scott: Although, I have been a full time staff photographer since 1987, the last 10 with the Chicago Tribune, I have only been doing street photography for the past two years.

I squeeze in as much street time as I can between assignments or when I am on the road.

Obviously, New York and London are the two capitals of street photography, but I think Chicago is a hidden gem.

Michigan Avenue and The Loop offer a great mix of local characters and tourists, in addition to a wide array of lighting situations to play with.

Over the past several months, I have started to venture out into the city’s culturally diverse neighborhoods and investigate the real Chicago.


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 part-time 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 National Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the Missouri School of Journalism.

In 2001, Strazzante started work at the Chicago Tribune where he spends his time as a general assignment photographer.

Strazzante, an 8-time Illinois Photographer of the Year, has covered the Super Bowl, the World Series and three Olympic Games, but he is more proud of his work that uncovers small but universal moments in daily life.

Strazzante was a small part of the Chicago Tribune team that won a Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting in 2007 for a series about faulty government regulation of dangerously defective toys, cribs and car seats.

In 2008, MediaStorm published Common Ground, a multimedia piece on Strazzante’s personal project on the transformation of a piece of land in suburban Chicago from rural to suburban. The 15-year-long project, which still continues, has also been published in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Mother Jones and National Geographic. The project has also been honored with POYi’s Community Awareness Award and 1st place in Feature Video in the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism contest.

Strazzante lives in Yorkville, Illinois with his wife Anna and their 4 children.

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Which one of Scott’s shots really speak out to you? Let us know why and leave a comment below!

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