Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist opens ‘Shooting from the Hip’ gallery

Olivia Estep, News reporter

Scott Strazzante, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, had an open lecture on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. in the Jody Richards Hall auditorium. An iPhone image exhibition entitled “Shooting from the Hip” preceded the lecture and revealed how Scott, using only his phone, captures whimsical yet surreal images.

Strazzante has several notable works including his book “Common Ground,” a 23-year-long effort  published in July 2015. Shortly after, his second book “Shooting from the Hip” was released. He has been in the photojournalism field for 35 years and spoke on his life experience in the field. 

“Every day is different,” Strazzante said. “Every situation is different. It’s to be able to reflect on what the world is negatively and positively. It’s a dream to be able to do this for a living.”

He discussed his technique, which he calls “lost tourist,” when collecting images, revealed more of his work and went into detail about how he got his own start. Strazzante spent time at the end of the lecture to answer questions from aspiring photojournalists. 

“It’s hard to balance work photography versus ‘for fun’ photography,” Georgia Mallett, a senior photojournalism major, said.  “His iPhone photography really embodies doing it for fun.”

Students took advantage of the opportunity and wanted to know if he went out into the field with the intention of finding something to shoot or simply just “shooting from the hip.”

“As time goes on, I go out less and less intentionally,” Strazzante said. “I used to go out intentionally all the time. It kind of goes with my mood.”

Some students agree that shooting photos with a phone makes taking pictures more enjoyable and “casual.”

“When you have a legitimate camera you feel more like you have a purpose,”Cash Parks, a first-year education student that was previously a photojournalism major, said. “When you’re with a phone, it feels so casual that it’s fun.”

Strazzante stayed behind after he was finished speaking to interact and take photos with students that attended, as well as leave them with advice.

“Mundane things are very important,” Strazzante said. “Find a project, something that’s always there, and collect images. It’s a great way to build a body of work. There’s no hurry.”

The gallery will be open through April 21 in Jody Richards Hall for anyone who wishes to view Strazzante’s work.

News reporter Olivia Estep can be reached at [email protected].