Capturing the moment: Lauren Haak prepares to graduate from Chatham


Lauren Haak at bat for Chatham. Photo Credit: Chatham Athletics

For those who do not know where Chatham University obtains its athletic pictures, Lauren Haak ’23 is the one to thank. Haak is a media arts major with a concentration in photography with a minor in graphic design and a player on the women’s softball team. 

For 15 years, Haak has been playing softball. Her love for the sport began as a child when her dad introduced her to tee-ball but she thought she would stop because she believed it would turn into a distraction. However, her father convinced her to keep pursuing it. 

“My dad is one of my biggest supporters, and he didn’t want me to give up on my dream of playing in college one day,” Haak said.

Due to her father’s presence, Haak was not only able to keep playing the sport she loved but also gain meaningful relationships with her teammates. 

“It is a special bond that we make as teammates,” Haak said. “I love these ladies.”

Like her love for softball, Haak’s passion for photography began at a young age. Her father and grandfather would capture memories with her and her sister. However, it was her grandfather’s enthusiasm when taking nature landscape photos that began her journey with photography. 

“Seeing how interested and how much joy he got from being behind the camera made me want to be just like him,” Haak stated. 

Over time, Haak refined her skills in which she found a particular fondness for digital photography. She continues to perfect her skills as the photographer of Chatham Athletics. Once she was at Chatham, she took photographs of the basketball team for fun but was approached by the athletics program in her sophomore year. 

Haak described the flexibility she has with her job because she can choose whatever games to photograph and edit. From this, she accumulated an impressive portfolio that landed her summer internship with the Triple-A baseball team, the Buffalo Bisons. 

“This was a dream for me because I grew up watching this team from the stands and now, I was photographing them,” Haak shared. 

Haak also shared the difficulties with balancing softball, school and her job. 

“Taking the pictures is a big challenge to schedule,” she said. “But so is making time for editing.” 

Haak described how she would take at least 2,000 photographs for one game which requires over six hours of editing. However, she would not trade these long nights of editing because they contribute to her impressive skills. 

“My portfolio is growing and growing with images I can’t believe are mine,” Haak said. 

After graduation, she plans to go back home with ambitious goals. Haak will not only pursue her own photography business but also break into the professional sports scene as a photographer. She applied to Division I collegiate teams to help her transition into sports photography at the professional level. In addition, she applied to national sports teams like Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and the NFL.

Similar to her passion for softball and photography, Haak knows her parents will support her future endeavors. 

“I can’t thank my parents enough for supporting me through it all,” Haak said. “They believe in me even when I don’t, and I couldn’t ask for a better support system.”