Sunday, May 24, 2015

Just Keep Doing What You're Doing

shooting portraits and quasi-set up photos

Just Keep Doing What You're Doing

Like everything else in life, assignments for the newspaper seem to come in cycles (I'm not talking about shooting lots of high school sports in the fall, or snow photos during the winter). Sometimes I'll get a press conference every day for a week, other times it seems I end up doing a bunch of restaurant reviews.

Mostly it a product of my scheduling. I'm currently on a 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift, so those hours dictate a lot of the kinds of assignments I receive.

Lately it's been lots of portraits and quasi-set up photos. The kind where you end up telling someone, "just keep doing what you would normally be doing if I weren't here...but do it with the CEO standing right next to you and your boss looking over your shoulder and with the public relations person shooting video for the company website. Oh yeah, and pretend I'm not here."

So this week, when the Camden library board suddenly announced it's preparing to permanently close all its libraries, and I was diverted from one assignment to swing by the main downtown branch, grabbing a librarian in the office would have been more expeditious -- I still had to get to my original assignment -- but I really wanted to avoid another posed portrait.

The library is at left and above. Some of the past week's portraits, groups and man on the street interviews are below.



Baby sign language

Neighborhood sewer dispute

Local filmmakers

Neighborhood reaction

Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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