Shutterbugs descend on HM’s meet-and-greet

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds


NOT even the scorching heat and overwhelming crowd could deter both professional and amateur photography enthusiasts from capturing the excitement and high spirits at the Majlis Ramah Mesra or get-together ceremony for Brunei-Muara district yesterday.

Armed with various camera lenses and extra memory cards, keen shutterbugs began arriving at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien in the capital as early as 6am to document last-minute preparations on the day itself.

“I love taking photos of people getting ready to meet His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, especially among the field performers. I took quite a number of photos of them gearing up with their colourful outfits, props, balloons and confetti,” said 24-year-old Izzuddin Iqbal.

Sharing the famous English idiom ‘The early bird catches the worm’, Izzuddin added that since he didn’t have an official media pass, he would have to choose the best spot near the royal dais to capture moments, especially of the live field performance, where his younger sister is part of the dancing team.

Another group of avid photographers -- Sabrina Zaidi, Umi Arifin and Ely Aiza -- told The Brunei Times that they take pictures of His Majesty as personal keepsakes to be framed at home for remembrance.

“This year, I didn’t get to join the Majlis Ramah Mesra in other districts as I’ve usually done in previous years. So I took the opportunity today to get the best photo of His Majesty the Sultan spending time with his subjects,” said Sabrina Zaidi.

Representing the Brunei Lady Shutters Club, Umi Arifin noticed that there’s been a steady increase of participation among photography enthusiasts at such events.

“I think more amateur photographers are joining this year’s Majlis Ramah Mesra. Events like this are definitely an excellent outing session to practice your photography skills and build up your portfolio, especially with the widespread use of social media such as Instagram for photo sharing,” said Umi.

Meanwhile, siblings Iqbal HMS and Alif HMS shared that they picked up the hobby from their uncle and eventually started their own photography business called FE Motion.

“The startup is still considerably new, so we’re here today to practice and take some photos of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Although this isn’t our first time attending the get-together ceremony, we still brave the overwhelming crowds, as it’s part of the practice and to not give up easily despite facing challenges to capture a good photo-op of His Majesty today,” said Iqbal.

The Brunei Times