Ralulu breaks barriers

Fiji Television Limited general manager, Sitiveni Halofaki present The Fiji Times photographer Sophie Ralulu with her Best Photograph of the Year award during the 2022 Fiji Sports Awards night at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on Saturday, March 25, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

In a field dominated by men, it was never going to be easy for a woman to adjust to it, forget about being one of the best.

The Fiji Times photographer Sophie Ralulu had other ideas on her mind, being a women photographer among men always inspire her.

Ralulu couldn’t hold back her emotions when one of her photographs taken during the final of the 2021 Uprising 7s won her the Photograph of the Year at the 2022 FASANOC Sports Awards on Saturday night.

“My passion for photography grew when I finished tertiary as I was looking for a job attachment. As a graphic designer, the only option for me was to join one of the local dailies in the photography department,” Ralulu recalls.

“I have to get an attachment job to graduate from tertiary. I tried it and did not look back.

“I did both, taking news and sports pictures, but my passion for taking sports pictures grew because I got to meet a lot of sports stars that I mostly watch on television. Even though it was a hard job to take sports pictures because you will need to capture the action of payers through the lens, I enjoyed it.”

She said taking pictures at sports events was a challenge compared with when she covered news events because there were so many factors to be considered.

“And every time I get a good photograph in any sports tournament, I will surely thank the Lord for it because I know my job is done for the day and I know it is suitable for our front page or back page.

“The photograph that made me win the award was one of my favourite photographs because I managed to get that best shot on a rainy day. I had to walk on the ground without a shoe because of the heavy rain at the Uprising Beach Resort sports complex turf at Pacific Habour during the final of the Uprising 7s tournament.

“And yes, I thank the Lord, my family and media family, FASANOC for the prestigious award and for trusting my work.”

Ralulu said young girls who were thinking of taking up photography as a career should never give up and continue to pursue their dream.

Ralulu has been working for The Fiji Times for seven years and has been in the media industry since 2002.

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