Whitney Houston photos by Scott Strazzante ’86 featured in new exhibit

Scott Strazzante ’86 of Mill Valley, California, is featured in a recent interview for OnChain Magazine. “Scott Strazzante’s Whitney Houston,” a show and sale of his work, are part of the OnChain Media+Entertaiment “Women of Authenticity” series.

Strazzante is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist for the San Francisco Chronicle and an author. The interview highlights Strazzante’s evolution in photography, his childhood on the South Side of Chicago and his start in photography taking photos of local sports teams.

“It was not meant to be a career option for me; I definitely liked it because of sports but I never thought I would do it for 30-plus years, like I have now,” he says in the interview. “I went to a small college in Wisconsin called Ripon College, where I was a business major. During my junior year, I came across the gallery of work by a Chicago Tribune photographer at the time, Paul Gero (Ripon College Class of 1982), and it was a lightning moment for me.

“I walked into this gallery, saw his work — a lot of which was from the neighborhood where I grew up in Chicago — and I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I finished off college with an art major to go with my business major, and somehow my tiny hometown newspaper, The Daily Calumet, hired me as a part-time photographer. …

“As time went on, I decided there was more to photography than just sports. I really started enjoying doing feature assignments and shooting long-term projects and photographing anything.”

His Whitney Houston images were taken in 1991 in Tinley Park, Illinois. “Photographing Whitney Houston was just such a joy. You’ll see, in these photographs, the life in her that comes out,” he says. “There’s a handful of them that just give me chills thinking about them. She was a beautiful woman and had such an amazing voice, and to be able to document that was just amazing.”

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