Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Feature Photo Front Line

Shooting in the trenches of the feature photo front line.

The Feature Photo Front Line

 My bio blurb on the right says I do self-generated feature photos. Every once in a while someone asks me, “what does that mean?”  At newspapers that usually means going out in search of a picture that can break up all the grey space on the pages – on a slow news day.  It traditionally means finding kids playing in a park, joggers running by a river, or anyone outside dealing with heat, cold, wind, rain, or snow. 

This past week, I was called on to “find something” for the local section of the paper. I took three different paths on each of the three days I went looking, with three different photo results.


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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