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Alumni Profile: Lily Saba

Photo of baseball team. Photo by Saba.

Lily Saba, a recent graduate of the Class of 2021 at Williams Field High School, has already made a name for herself in the field of professional photography.

As part of her time at Williams Field, Ms. Saba took Digital Photography courses, which are part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at Higley Unified School District – a program that helps students explore career options, train for specific jobs/certifications and prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow through hands-on instruction.

Ms. Saba, who said that this program and her instructors were instrumental in her photography career, answered a few questions about her experience in high school and provided a few career updates since graduation. 

Photo of baseball players. Photo by Saba.What have you been up to since graduation?

Shortly after graduation, I landed an internship in California working for a collegiate summer baseball team, the San Louis Obispo Blues. In late June, I moved out to San Louis Obispo (Central California) and worked every game until mid-August. I was the head photographer, in charge of shooting every game, kids camp, and family appreciation games. I worked extremely closely with the social media interns and even helped run the baseball team's TikTok account. 

How did HUSD (and CTE) prepare you for life after high school?

The CTE program at Williams Field prepared me for everything. Before I started, I had a camera but really knew nothing about settings or what they did to the picture. All I knew was they were scary! Devon Adams and Joe Abbruscato have taught me absolutely everything I know about photography. After joining yearbook, I quickly took a liking to sports, being very athletic myself and having lots of friends in multiple different sports. My senior year, I really honed in on baseball and shot every single game that season. All of this prepared me for leaving high school and continuing on in sports photography, along with constant support from both Devon and Joe. 

What skills did you learn from the photography program? 

While the CTE program taught me everything, inside and out, about cameras, the most important thing it taught me was to work hard for what I want and be confident in myself. Sports photography is not an easy workforce to get into. The CTE program made me very confident in my abilities as a baseball photographer. So, when the opportunity came up for me to move 12 hours away and work for this team where I knew no one, I didn't even blink twice before I accepted. 

Photo of catcher. Photo by Saba.What made you interested in photography? 

When I was 11 years old, I got a camera for Christmas. It was my big Christmas gift that year. I previously had one of those tiny kid's cameras that are like $20 that I had carried around for a few years before my parents decided I seemed to be pretty interested. It took me quite a while, four years actually, before I began to shoot off auto. It was really just a hobby for a long time, never making any money; my camera would sit for months at a time. Until I came to Williams Field, I never thought I could have a career in photography, much less baseball. 

What advice do you have for students in high school who may be interested in photography? 

Try it! If you have any interest at all, take a class, learn the basics. If you decide you don't like it as much as you thought, that's okay! Photography is such an amazing way to express your creativity. Photography is my creative outlet, and it might be yours too! 

Ms. Saba ended the interview by crediting both Mr. Adams and Mr. Abbruscato for all of her skills as a photographer. She added, "they taught me everything and are still my biggest support system." 

 All photo used within this story were taken by Lily Saba.