In this article, ActiveSG Circle shines the spotlight on Nurlaila, a young student from Meridian Secondary School, as she recounts how she fell in love with sports photography.

From a young age, I had a deep affection for the arts, using my creative talent to express different ideas and scenarios through drawings and other artistic works. My passion led to some opportunities to showcase my art in my primary school.

Upon transitioning to secondary school, I made a pivotal decision to join the Enhanced Art Programme (EAP) at Meridian Secondary School, seeking to further develop my artistic skills. Out of curiosity, I decided to explore the world of visual media by becoming a member of the school's Media Club as my Co-curricular Activity (CCA).

It was through my involvement in both the CCA and the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) that I was introduced to a new and novel form of artistic expression: photography.

Concepts like the "rule of thirds" and "leading lines" opened a new dimension for me. I learned that a photograph possesses the remarkable ability to convey a narrative, to freeze a moment in time, and to capture the profound depth of emotions. Learning these skills have also helped me in my drawings as well. I quickly absorbed these concepts and demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for composing compelling images.

However, my journey into sports photography began unassumingly. I was selected by my teacher, not only for my compositional skills but also for my passion for the craft. In 2022, I embarked on my sports photography adventure, commencing with the National School Games (NSG). This experience proved to be transformative as it taught me that sports photography is not just about composition; it also requires a deep understanding of technical knowledge and techniques specific to the genre.
Guided by the wisdom of the seniors in my CCA, I discovered that sports photography transcends capturing the mere pursuit of a loose ball. It's about encapsulating those exceptional moments where emotions run high – the exultation of scoring a goal, the tension of a heated match, a player receiving a booking, the excitement of a sliding tackle, or the elation of lifting a trophy in triumph.
Since my inaugural sports photography endeavor, I've covered numerous events, each time honing my skills and broadening my horizons. My proudest moments came when my photographs began featuring on our school's and club's social media accounts, receiving positive recognition from peers and mentors alike.

Bolstered by the encouragement and inspired by my newfound passion for sports photography, I decided to take a leap of faith by submitting my NSG photographs to a recent photo exhibition. To my immense delight, my work was not only selected for exhibition but also preserved as a cherished part of their permanent collection. I was surprised and elated that my work has been so well received. 
This journey from traditional art to the captivating world of sports photography has been a profound learning experience. It has not only enriched my artistic skills but also provided me with a fresh perspective on the dynamic and emotion-laden world of sports. I am eager to continue this exciting journey, capturing the essence of human spirit and competition through the lens of my camera.

Article and photos by Nurlaila Aaqilah (14Y), Meridian Secondary School