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Exploring Community

This assignment ran from Feb 20 to Mar 13, 2018.

As a newspaper staff photographer for the past 30 years, I have documented the community of the Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle readership — from their sports teams to their politicians, from their movers and shakers to those living on the edge. I have documented parades and funerals, festivals and fires, farms and homeless encampments. For this Your Shot assignment, I invite you to explore your community.

Community is a group of people sharing particular characters or interests. For example, Your Shot is National Geographic’s global photo community of over 800,000 members representing 195 countries; we are all connected by our love of photography. Your unique community could be your neighbors, your co-workers, the people who ride the train with you to your office, fellow football fanatics, yoga enthusiasts, dog owners or church goers. It could be people who have the same political leanings as you or similar hair color. Your fellow couch potatoes or weekend warriors. Go beyond the obvious and surprise me with your interpretation of the concept.

Equally important as the image is your caption. Take advantage of it to explain the who, what, where, and why of your photograph of community. As a newspaper photographer, it is my responsibility to provide this information for the editors. Include quotes, anecdotes and background information about your image, giving written context on why your photograph represents your idea of community.

This assignment is going to create a portfolio of communities from around the world, and I look forward to exploring them with you.

Scott Strazzante
San Francisco Chronicle staff photographer

Curated by:

Scott Strazzante
San Francisco Chronicle Staff Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
We are busy curating images. Check back on Apr 3, 2018 to view the published story.
Assignment Closed

Opening Up for a 4th Submission...

Posted mar 5, 2018

Greetings! I have been very impressed with the submissions, so far, but I am positive that you all can elevate your work. With that in mind, a 4th image submission is being allowed for this assignment.

Contemplate what community means to you and go out and make an image that stands alone but is supported by a complete caption that gives details and adds context. Looking forward to seeing your new work!

Scott Strazzante
San Francisco Chronicle Staff Photographer

Editor's Update 01

Posted feb 28, 2018

We throw around the word “assignment” kind of casually in the Your Shot community. But this time, I’m challenging you to take the word seriously, and act as though you’re being sent on assignment. As we “explore community” together, I challenge you to actually make a new photo in your community instead of going through your archives or recent images to shoehorn an image to fit the description.

You may have noticed I used the phrase “make a photo” instead of “take a photo.” To me, the difference is this: when you take a photo, you are stealing a moment. You are not fully exploring a scene, or you are not getting to know the person you are documenting. Taking a photo can be a selfish act that is mostly about the creator and very little about the subject matter.

When you make a photo, you are respecting your photo subject enough to get their name, you are listening to them, you are learning about their life so you can write a thorough caption. I find that the most effective captions have two paragraphs. The first is the who, what, where, when and why of the image. The second paragraph adds another layer of information, gives context, and/or includes a quote from the subject.

I am excited to see these new batches of photos, so, I am going to give extra weight to images made from now until the end of this assignment.

Now go out there and make me proud!

Scott Strazzante
San Francisco Chronicle Staff Photographer

Scott Strazzante at Storytellers Lecture Series

Posted feb 20, 2018

Reminder, if you live in the San Francisco area, Scott Strazzante will be speaking at SF Camerawork (with designer Ben Molina) on February 28 from 6-8PM as part of their Storytellers Lecture Series. The series is curated in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Judy Walgren. For more information, click here

Scott Strazzante

Scott Strazzante

San Francisco Chronicle Staff Photographer
Scott Strazzante joined the photography staff at the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014 after spending the first 27 years of his career at Chicago newspapers, including 13 at the Chicago Tribune. Strazzante is a former POY/NPPA National Newspaper Photographer of the Year, an 11-time Illinois Photographer of the Year and was part of a Chicago Tribune team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for investigative journalism. He has published two books: Common Ground and Shooting from the Hip.