By Chua Kai Yun/Red Sports
Photography to me was about “capturing the moment” – to freeze time and to document some of the most memorable moments in our lives. Joining Red Sports taught me how to “capture the moment” better.
Through Red Sports, I finally manage to go beyond merely capturing frames. I got to experience the power of sports photography. I got to tell many stories with my photos.
At the start of the year, I made a resolution to explore photography before I entered university in August. I wanted to find a photography internship that would challenge me to explore a new genre of photography. Red Sports was the perfect fit.
Volunteering as a photographer at Red Sports was the best decision I have ever made. I could volunteer my time in an area where I’m most passionate about — photography, and in turn, learn about many different sports.
When Uncle Les interviewed me before accepting me for the internship, he said “the best critic you can get in photography is often yourself. You are your best critic.” Indeed so.
I’m very thankful that Uncle Les gave me the time to sharpen my photography skills. Reviewing my own photos after every match allowed me to reflect on my performance. I started to pay attention to details and reflect on how to capture better shots for the next match.
Apart from photography, it was also enriching to learn about the gameplay of all the various sports. Having little background in sports, covering a new sport always spurred me to do my own research about the sports first. Even though it was extra work, I felt it was crucial for me to understand the sport first in order to predict the shots I could take.
Challenging myself to explore all the possible school sports I could cover was the biggest stretch I have ever given myself in photography. I’m glad I did, and I’m grateful that I had the space to try covering many different sports, as well as the Red Crew for their enthusiasm to go beyond the popular sports.
Looking back, my internship experience has been the most rewarding period of my life thus far. From covering school sports to larger scale events like the Singapore National Age Group (SNAG) Swimming Championships, every event covered was a new experience.
I was even lucky enough to have my photo of Malaysian swimmer Welson Sim featured in the local press. When he qualified for the Rio Olympics, I felt as though I had struck lottery when I saw my photo printed in TODAY.
Besides this grand prize, seeing my photo used by student athletes on their Instagram could make my day. It warmed my heart when I saw them treat my photos as a precious memory. That’s the beauty of photography.
There is certainly no mundane day at Red Sports because covering any match requires us to be on the ball, to pay full attention in the game and adapt to new situations accordingly. Having new assignments each day and churning out photos after every game gave me the biggest sense of achievement throughout the internship.
I will also not forget the friendships forged with my fellow Red Crew throughout this journey. All of us stay in different parts of Singapore and have different educational backgrounds. Meeting all of them here at Red Sports was a blessing since we all share the same goal – to help in documenting the Singapore sporting scene.
Sports photography is a genre of photography that not many people have the chance to explore and I’m certainly blessed that Uncle Les gave me this opportunity. I attended a photography seminar in SMU in August and when the speaker surveyed the audience to understand the different genres of photography we do, he was surprised that I raised my hand for sports photography. I was surprised that I was the only one in the room that had tried sports photography before.
Red Sports is undoubtedly the best platform to explore journalism, photojournalism and sports photography. I was given the opportunity to push myself beyond my boundaries and produce better photos – photos that could capture the speed of the athletes and their performances under pressure, photos that could show the intense atmosphere of the game, photos that showed screaming fans when a player scored the winning goal, when a runner crossed the finishing line, or when a swimmer touched home first.
Photos that not only served as a beautiful memento for the players, but also a powerful storyteller of all the players that left a deep impression and impact on me.
Thank you Red Sports, for allowing our youths to share this little bit of their sports journey with me.
About the author: Chua Kai Yun, 19, is in her first year of undergraduate studies at the Singapore Management University.
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