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Stella Lin ushering a platoon of golfers to position themselves for a photo. Photo by Stella Lin/SportSG news

To the women behind the lens

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For many years within the Team Nila Photographers Group, there lies a handful of outstanding women who have taken up a primarily male-dominated craft - sports photography.  These female action sports photographers are not only exceptional in their work but have also been spotted being pretty capable in handling their heavy camera equipment on the field of play during events. 

With heavy bag packs holding long lenses that can weigh more than 10kg, these iron ladies tackle sports events with finesse; capturing the moments that matter on the field for a range of high intensity sports. Over the last ten years, the number of female entrants to global photography competition, the World Press Photo contest, has hovered around 15% (it remained at 15.5% in 2017) proving that the makings of a female action sports photographer takes a certain breed of person. It is with women of such calibre that other like-minded ladies or men can get inspired to pick up this artistry. 


As a tribute to International Women's Day, Sport Singapore reached out to the top female photographers within Team Nila to gain a deeper insight on their passion for sports photography. 

Here is the list of five exceptional women photographers under our spotlight:

 1) Flona Hakim

 Flona Hakim (left) processes photos along with her husband (right) in the media lounge during the 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015.  

Flona Hakim (left) processing photos in the media lounge during the 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015. Photo by Ng Chrong Meng/SportSG

 

a) What is your subject of interest within the sports industry at the moment? 

Football is currently the sport that I am intrigued with. As the sport needs a lot of focus to follow the game - you don't get always a second chance to score the goal so when it happens, you need to be on the ball and capture the moment!

 

b) With the demands of a day job and family needs to juggle, is it challenging to make time for sports photography?

Its definitely tough, being a career woman handling a personal business and finding time to shoot matches is not easy. However, when you're passionate in something, its all worthwhile. 

 

c) The years spent volunteering for the Team Nila Photographers group varies for each of you. What has been your best experience as a sports photographer to date? 

Meeting and knowing para athletes during the 8th ASEAN Para Games in 2015 gave me first hand knowledge on the strength they had to overcome physical challenges despite struggles to practice sport as a para athlete.. Experiencing this event humbled and exposed me to the everyday challenges of the PWD community.

 

2) Dyan Tjhia

Dyan poses here during a break at the 29th SEA Games 2017 with the mascot Rimau in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Dyan Tjhia/SportSG 

Dyan poses at the 29th SEA Games 2017 with the mascot Rimau in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by May Schooling/SportSG


a) What is your subject of interest within the sports industry at the moment?  

I'm currently fascinated with the pictures from the recently concluded PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, especially ski jumping and bobsleigh. Hopefully I will have a chance to capture these sports someday.

  

b) With the demands of a day job and family needs to juggle, is it challenging to make time for sports photography?

Yes, it's quite a challenge but the time invested in photography is rewarding. 

 

c) The years spent volunteering for the Team Nila Photographers group varies for each of you. What has been your best experience as a sports photographer to date?

My first overseas assignment to the 2014 Asian Games in Korea was very memorable and last year's 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur were full of learning curves as well.

 

3) Peh Hui Li

Peh Hui Li captured in action shooting a rugby game at the Singapore Cricket Club. Photo by Peh Hui Li/SportSG

Peh Hui Li in action while shooting a rugby game at the Singapore Cricket Club. Photo by Peh Hui Li/SportSG


a) What is your subject of interest within the sports industry at the moment? 

The expressions of the winning team!

  

b) With the demands of a day job and family needs to juggle, is it challenging to make time for sports photography?

It is quite hard nowadays as I am also dealing with school and part time work, and of course family as well. However, I will still make one or two days free for sports photography.

 

c) The years spent volunteering for the Team Nila Photographers group varies for each of you. What has been your best experience as a sports photographer to date?

My best experience was during the 28th SEA Games where photographers had the opportunity to make friends with the media from around the region. They also helped us with our captioning and uploading of photos, leading me to pick up tips on post event photo processing from them. 

 

4) Stella Lin  

Taking the moment in, Stella Lin pauses to admire an equestrian's ride. Photo by Stella Lin/SportSG 

Stella Lin taking a moment out to enjoy some interactions with her photography subject. Photo by Terry Tan/SportSG


a) What is your subject of interest within the sports industry at the moment? 

My favorite sports is badminton, table tennis as well as ballroom dancing. 

 

b) With the demands of a day job and family needs to juggle, is it challenging to make time for sports photography?

Yes it is hard, I have to help with events varying from one day to 10days. On top of that, I have to spend a lot of time to select and edit the photos to meet the deadlines on my job.

 

c) The years spent volunteering for the Team Nila Photographers group varies for each of you. What has been your best experience as a sports photographer to date? 

The best experience I had was getting an opportunity to help out during the 28th SEA Games 2015, where we gained a lot of experiences, technical skills and made numerous new friends. We also got the opportunity to learn from experienced masters. Joining the Team Nila photography group has given me a lot of new opportunities to learn some sports which I am not familiar with, such as Petanque, Archery, Equestrian and Japan Martial Arts. Hence, I tend to do some homework prior to shoots in order to get the best possible shot.

 

5) Lee Fong Ling

Photo by Fong Ling/SportSG 

Fong Ling poses for a candid shot as she shoots for Singapore Sailing. Photo by Donovan Ho/SportSG

 

a) What is your subject of interest within the sports industry at the moment? 

Definitely sailing. I prefer to shoot sailing as the weather elements involved are always an attractive factor of the sport. 

 

b) With the demands of a day job and family needs to juggle, is it challenging to make time for sports photography?

No, as my other half is also an avid photographer, thus we spend our available time practicing sports photography as a hobby. 

 

c) The years spent volunteering for the Team Nila Photographers group varies for each of you. What has been your best experience as a sports photographer to date? 

When I volunteered during the 8th ASEAN Para Game and assisted as a digital volunteer, the experience was valuable and gave me the chance to meet many like-minded friends. 

 

Click here to find out more about Team Nila and sports volunteerism!
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