Written by Andrew Octavian

IMU Photography Club is one of the earliest founded clubs of IMU, dating back to more than 10 years ago. With a huge number of members sharing the same passion of capturing moments, this club is clearly one of the most active clubs in the whole of IMU. On the 26th of February 2016, we sat down and had a talk with the President of IMU Photography Club, Naja Najwa on her musings and her experience as the President of the club.


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Hey, Naja! Let’s start off easy first. Can you tell us more about yourself and how you started off on your photography journey?

Hi! My name is Naja Najwa, I am currently studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the batch PC114 and I am the current President of the IMU Photography Club. In terms of how I started off taking up photography as a hobby, I would say that my father – out of all people – is the reason why I love photography in the first place. Why? Because whenever we attended events, he always, always, passes off the camera to me since he loves to be in pictures. It was a nuisance at first, but eventually I ended up loving it, and I thought if I love taking pictures, I might as well be good at it, and thus, my journey started and it’s been a good, rewarding one, I’m telling you

So, if you can define Photography in your own words, what would your definition be?

Photography, in my opinion, is painting with light. It’s a tool for you to capture memories that would last possibly for a lifetime. For myself, it’s a hobby which eventually became really fun especially when you find individuals who share similar interests as you. I love taking pictures of celebrations, capturing the moments, really. Happiness, facial expressions, things that only photographers like myself know how to capture. Aside from that, I am also an avid camera collector, having 145 cameras in total as of now. They range from polaroids, folding cameras, video cameras, box cameras, DSLRs and many more. My personal favorites however, are Polaroid Studio Express and Polaroid XS-70.

“Photography, in my opinion, is painting with light. It is a tool for you to capture memories that would last possibly for a lifetime.” – Naja Najwa

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Picture by Naja Najwa – Some of the many cameras that Naja collects on display during Recruitment Drive

Wow, that’s one heck of a hobby. You also mentioned that you are studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Why not the more obvious choice of studying Photography?

Well, I’ll just skip the long story and say that, photography is my hobby, but I also love studying drugs, especially drug manufacture. With Pharmaceutical Chemistry, it’s more about research and of course it’s difficult because it is science, sometimes you kind of have to grasp around in the darkness, but it’s also thrilling and challenging. I guess I’ll keep it at that *laughs*.

Alright, moving on to more club related stuff. What was the process like of you achieving presidency?

I worked a lot with the ex-president, Devin Khaw, and since he wanted to make sure that the committee is a solid one, as in nobody in it would slack off, the AGM was a closed one and the previous committee appointed me the new President alongside the other 5 committee members to the assigned posts.

What is it that you guys do in the IMU Photography Club?

We mostly photograph events around IMU and we had a couple of fundraisings by opening up a photobooth service for the public, for a price, of course. We did these fundraisings in events such as Halloween, and Chariofare. We also have street photo walk, whereby quite a few of our members joined despite it being a weekend and one of the most memorable ones was the one we had in Petaling Street. During my term, we also had the privilege to open up a photo exhibition-competition in IMU Cup 2015 which was very exhilarating as it is the first one ever.

Seems like the club has been very active, eh? Any memorable moments during your time as the President?

This year, my committee members and I were thrilled to be able to cover every single one of the IMU Cup events. It was so taxing but also it was worth every single tired muscle of our bodies as it was a learning experience for us like no other. Sport photography is all about dynamics, things that you have to experience to understand, but there are also sports like chess and competitions such as DOTA that are not dynamic but still, we had the task to capture the feel of it. Covering orientations are also interesting because not only do you get to know the incoming juniors, you also get to watch the silly things that these newcomers or even our friends might do.

How about problems, any qualms in your term?

Sometimes, when I cover events on my own, I feel pressured as the organizers feel that there is a specific set of feel that us photographers have to fulfill, but once I get the hang of it, it goes smooth sailing. Other than that, a lot of event organizers seem to assume that the IMU Photography Club will come and cover their events while the reality is, they have to come to us for us to come to them. We are working on these kinks in the hope that these problems will not arise in the upcoming terms.

Any advice for the upcoming committee of the IMU Photography Club?

I do have a couple, actually *opens up a page of notes* alright, the committee should make sure most if not all members are participating especially in internal events as Photography, as I said copiously before, is a matter of learning together. Photowalks are also very useful for bonding and learning as different venues and timings of the day give the smallest different details of lighting, letting you learn new things. Sometimes, you feel like Photography is something where the more you, the less you know, so workshops would always be great.

Before we finish, I also notice that the IMU Photography Club is picking up a project called the Photo of the Week? Can you briefly explain to us what it’s about?

Photo of the Week is an idea of the committee a couple of years ago to sort of rebrand ourselves. People nowadays take a lot of pictures and they post these photos on social platforms for the purpose of being known, or being “liked”. This is why the IMU Photography Club wants to create platform for people in IMU to explore their skills.

Any closing words?

I would like to thank my loving committee for the unforgettable one year, ex-president Devin Khaw, and my teacher advisor, Professor Kang Yew Beng. It has been a pleasure working with every one of them and I hope that the spirit of the club lives on.

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That’s it from Naja! Photo of the Week is done on a weekly basis whereby there’s a different theme each week. Any one of you can submit photos on the IMU Photography Club Facebook page or simply tagging your photos #imupotw on Instagram. For more information, visit their Facebook page or find IMU Photography Club (@imuphotography) on Instagram.

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