“Eyes”-enberg Behind the Camera

Tyrone senior Lucia Isenberg has spent four years as an Eagle Eye photographer.

Senior Eagle Eye Photo Editor Lucia Isenberg has accomplished something that few Tyrone football players have done: “starting” every football game of her high school career.

Not as a player, but as the official Eagle Eye photographer, roaming the sidelines capturing priceless memories for the players, parents, and Eagle Eye readers everywhere.

“One of the reasons I like taking pictures of football games is the challenge. You have to be at the right place at the right time. The atmosphere of being on the field is unmatched,” said Isenberg.

Lucia pointing her camera to the field to capture a play during a TAHS football game
Senior Lucia Isenberg has been documenting Tyrone sports over the last four years through her camera. (Ellie Oakes)

Isenberg has made a name for herself in many areas during her high school career, participating in numerous extracurricular activities, representing the student body to the school board, and of course, through her impressive photography skills for the Eagle Eye, her high school career was never dull. 

This is Isenberg’s senior year and photography played a major role in her high school career and personal life.

“Lucia has a great eye for photography. She takes great action shots for all of our sports. Plus she is a leader and someone that I could always trust to get the job done,” says Eagle Eye advisor Todd Cammarata.

Her love for photography comes from the euphoric reactions that people have when they review her work. 

“My favorite part is giving people pictures and seeing their reaction. While they range from sports, seniors, families, and weddings the reaction is always the same. People love to have their memories captured. While it may seem cliche, photography is very intimate and personal,” said Isenberg.

Over her four years on the Eagle Eye staff, three of those years being the photo editor, she has been recognized for her work on several occasions.  

“One of the reasons I like taking pictures of football games is the challenge. You have to be at the right place at the right time. The atmosphere of being on the field is unmatched.” ”

— Isenberg

“Lucia has many Best of SNO awards to her credit as well as a statewide Keystone Press Award for her photography,” Cammarata said.  

Photography has always been a hobby in Isenberg’s family. When the family moved from Alaska, Lucia’s mother, Victoria Isenberg, began taking pictures for practically everyone in the county. At the time, local photographer, Sarah Dane, was shadowing Mrs. Isenberg. Mrs. Isenberg then began teaching at Tyrone and Sarah Dane went on to start her own photography business. In 2015, Lucia shadowed Dane and began her photography career.

“I started taking wedding pictures with Sarah Dane and it kind of became a full circle. Both Sarah and my mom are fantastic photographers and people. They have taught and supported me and allowed me to find my own style,” said Isenberg. 

In eighth grade, Isenberg was recommended by the speech team leader, Mrs. Deskovich to the advisor of the Eagle Eye newspaper, Mr. Cammarata.  She recommended that Isenberg become a staff writer for the Eagle Eye

“It is very difficult to get into Eagle Eye as a freshman due to scheduling, so I was very grateful that she gave me a recommendation,” Isenberg says. 

Initially, Isenberg joined Eagle Eye to solely write articles but quickly realized that she wanted to get involved in photography. 

“I wanted to get more experience taking pictures, so I started with football games,” said Isenberg.

Attending every football game in her high school career wasn’t a goal of Isenberg’s but after getting a taste of the challenges of taking action shots, she soon realized that she didn’t want to miss Tyrone’s “Friday Night Lights.”

“I quickly realized that I enjoyed taking pictures of football the most, so I made an effort to go to everyone that I could. Honestly, I just realized that I had been to every game of my high school career,” Isenberg said. 

Isenberg’s loyalty to the Eagle Eye newspaper was never overlooked by her peers or advisor. 

“Lucia is not only a very good photographer but also a very conscientious and reliable person. She cares about her work and it shows in the quality photos that we post in the Eagle Eye every week,” says Cammarata.

Since Isenberg has attended every football game in her high school career, she has a book of memories that she will forever cherish. Looking back, a few stick out as her favorites. 

“We were ranked 6th out of 8 in the league and everyone expected us to get crushed by Bellefonte, as they have a pretty good program. Due to COVID-19, I didn’t really expect to have much of a season so I told myself to just enjoy this game and get as many pictures as I could because that could have been my last game,” Isenburg explains.“We ended up winning and the energy on the field was infectious. The boys were all smiling and hugging each other and I got some great pictures. When I got home that night, I was so glad that if that was my last game to take pictures it was that one.”

With Isenberg being along the sidelines, she is able to experience the conversations had among the players and coaches. Isenberg will always remember one comment she overheard from head coach John Franco. 

“Brandon Lucas ran a 60-yard touchdown. He came onto the sidelines and Franco hugged him and said, ‘You’re such a good boy!’,” said Isenberg.

“My favorite part is giving people pictures and seeing their reaction. While they range from sports, seniors, families, and weddings the reaction is always the same. People love to have their memories captured. While it may seem cliche, photography is very intimate and personal.” ”

— Isenberg

Isenberg has been involved with Eagle Eye since her freshman year, so leaving something that has become a part of her routine will be difficult. 

“Taking football pictures has become one of my favorite things to do, so the last game was a bittersweet moment. It is just the end of a chapter though, the book is not over yet,” Isenberg says.

Like many students, Isenberg expresses how Eagle Eye is more than a school elective and is a great way for students to showcase their skills.

Eagle Eye has truly given me the chance to break out of my shell. Before, I was a bit shy and unsure of myself. I didn’t have any friends in my class and everyone was older than me. I had no idea what to expect. I quickly made friends that I still have today and started to become more confident. While it is just a school newspaper, it really gave me the opportunity to break out of my shell and find out more about myself,” says Isenberg. 

Adviser Todd Cammarata recognizes her hard work and dedication over the past four years. 

“The fact that we have not had to worry about getting quality photo coverage for any football game and countless other events over the past four years is amazing.  Her dedication is one of the reasons why we won the best student website in the state award from the Keystone Press Awards last year.”

She plans to advance her photography skills during her final year of high school.  

“My goal for senior year is to produce the highest quality media I am capable of. I love learning new things in photoshop and lightroom. I plan to broaden my horizons and learn as much as possible,” Isenberg said.

In the future, Isenberg plans to further her education along with continuing her photography career.

“I plan on attending Grove City College to major in elementary and special education. In my spare time, I would like to continue taking pictures,” says Isenberg. 

When asked for Isenberg’s best piece of advice for the other Eagle Eye staff members she said “the best advice I have for underclassmen is that the best journalism you can do is out of the classroom. We are the next generation of news and it is so important to obtain information from reliable sources and sometimes that takes a lot of effort. But don’t be afraid to ask tough questions or to go take pictures at an event all by yourself!”