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Drew University Student Discovers, Pursues His Passion

AndrĂ© Sabbag C’22 became enthralled with photography while exploring theatre arts

January 2022 – AndrĂ© Sabbag C’22 had always dreamed of following in family footsteps and becoming some sort of engineer. But when he was applying for schools as a high school senior in Brazil, he had a change of heart.

Sabbag had always been obsessed with television shows and going to the movies, and decided to pursue a degree in theatre arts. He is now set to graduate as a theatre arts major and psychology and film studies double minor.

“I was several years behind most of my peers,” he explained. “While most theatre arts majors come into college having worked in plays or films in high school, I had only a semester in an acting school and a year of middle school theater.

“So,” he continued, “when I got to Drew, I decided to try as many different things related to the arts as possible. I took a few dance classes, digital media, digital imaging, joined the orchestra for a semester, took several semesters of singing lessons, and explored countless different areas of theater and film within the major. I found jobs that required me to work with film and editing, I worked in the Drew Media & Video work study, interned in several productions and within companies, some directly through Drew’s Center for Internships and Career Development that I even got scholarships for!”

As he pursued these various avenues, he found he kept coming back to photography. Naturally, he decided to take an introductory course in the subject to dive deeper.

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Sabbag's Instagram account includes photos from Drew's campus.

“[Adjunct assistant professor of art] Brian Galderisi always challenged us with projects and constructive feedback, both from himself and the rest of the class. It was in this group I found my passion for photography. Not only did I like analyzing and critiquing other people’s work, I enjoyed having people do the same for my photos.”

Sabbag recently started an Instagram account @pips_productions to chronicle his dedication to photography, which has him out in the elements, asking friends to strike a pose, and stopping in the middle of a walk (or conversation) to capture a worthy moment. The project has become a portfolio of sorts and kept his passion for photography structured and meaningful.

“I’ve started using photography as something I do for myself. I started realizing how much of a positive impact photography was for my mental health and wellbeing.”

After graduating, perhaps a semester early, Sabbag plans to return to Brazil to pursue a career in the television world while continuing with his photography project.

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