Muhammad Izzul Hakim bin Muhammad Faiz was just nine years old when his interest in photography began.
Muhammad Izzul Hakim, now 13 years old, was in action with a DSLR camera in hand during the get-together ceremony held in Brunei-Muara District last Sunday in conjunction with the 76th birthday celebration of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
Speaking in an interview with the Bulletin last Sunday, Muhammad Izzul Hakim said he is still learning and he hopes to get more exposure in photography, and perhaps make it his career one day.
The young shutterbug, who is in Year 8 at Berakas Secondary School, also shared that he enjoys taking pictures of people and cars.
His father, Muhammad Faiz bin Haji Mangsor, said that he realised his son began to have an interest in photography after Muhammad Izzul Hakim helped him in setting-up equipment for their home-based photography studio.
“That time, he assisted me in connecting a wire to a lighting equipment. He asked me how the lighting helps in producing beautiful pictures even before the editing process,” Muhammad Faiz told the Bulletin.
“Then I explained to him how certain equipment would help to produce nice photos and how the subject itself would tell a lot of stories,” he added.
Asked how, as a parent, he would help Muhammad Izzul Hakim develop his interest in photography, Muhammad Faiz shared that before the pandemic, he used to bring Muhammad Izzul Hakim to wedding photo sessions and let him take photos using his own creativity.
“Aside from wedding photo shoots, I often bring him to events including today’s get-together so that he would learn more techniques, skills and images that he wanted to capture.”
Muhammad Faiz further shared that, when Muhammad Izzul Hakim began learning about photography, he started with his smartphone. “I explained to him on capturing a good moment, how to take nice pictures from a certain angle, or setting up the smartphone camera. I also explained to him the difference between a DSLR camera and smartphone camera.
“DSLR requires knowing the functions of different settings,” he continued. “Today we can see that some smartphones have better camera features compared to a DSLR camera, so I let him learn slowly, at his own pace.”
Muhammad Izzul Hakim understood and was willing to learn as well as accept whatever comments or critiques from his father.
“By providing a step by step guide, he can learn to improve and develop his own style,” said Muhammad Faiz. “Sometimes, he also asked why it is so tiring after a photography session.
For this I explained to him that it is part of the job to earn income as well as give good service to the clients so that they are satisfied with the photos and services.”
“As a father I support and encourage his interest in photography, as I myself make a living with photography. Upon knowing that he has interest, I encourage him to take more photos so that he can learn as part of the trial and error process.”
“Being exposed to many events, it develops his skills and techniques. Sometimes he also asked the difference from one brand compared to another, I explained to him that certain cameras have certain features and task, but the brand does not determine on how good the photo will turn out. Good photos depend on how to look at the angle, actions or moments as it will tell a lot of story from one shot,” he said.
Muhammad Faiz added that now, after several years, Muhammad Izzul Hakim already understands photography and started to gain more knowledge in using professional gear.
“It is very rare to see young kids having interest in photography, some would only take photo for their own memories, while others like Muhammad Izzul Hakim, take pictures to gain knowledge.”
“Even though I encouraged Muhammad Izzul Hakim to venture into photography, I also tell him to prioritise his studies. He can take photos during his free time on school holiday, but if he has school tasks, I will ask him to finish his school works first. Indirectly, I also try to teach him about setting priorities.”