Brunei Darussalam


Looking back, the month of May was packed with shoots and media events and any mention of  Hari Raya Aidilfitri at the time may seem ridiculously early. Not so for the team at BiG Magazine when you consider the difficulty in gathering everyone involved in the shoot from the personalities, make-up artist, photographers, art directors, florist and so forth in the same room even if it’s just for an afternoon. Such a delight to work with the personalities and BiG Magazine team members  for this shoot at the Ambassador Suite of Empire Hotel and Country Club. Thank you Wan Zainal, Pauline Chan, Cheryl Tan of BiG Magazine and in no particular order, the personalities: Sofiah Isa, Azhani Daniel, Lisa Dato Ibrahim, Dr Shafiq and Rosdi Amin (ok, I lied, I listed them in order of appearance on Page 19).

“Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a time when family and friends partake in joyous festivities together after a month of fasting and prayers. It is time to put on your best outfits and celebrate. Five personalities join BiG Magazine and share their fond memories of the past, gratitude for the present and dreams for the future with us” — Reflections of Aidilfitri | BiG Magazine

BiG Magazine exclusive as five Bruneian personalities share their thoughts and dreams with readers.
Among the personalities featured are Dr Shafiq Abdullah, Deputy Director, National Cancer Centre (left) and Rosdi Amin Dato Paduka Hj Yaakub, Deputy CEO / Head of Personal Financial Services, HSBC.
Dr Shafiq’s happiest moment this year has been the establishment of the National Cancer Centre in Brunei following years of hard work, patience and perseverence. Every Hari Raya he brings his family to his in-laws and have a big feast.
Azhani’s (L) happiest moment this year has been her appointment as Advising Editor of Muhibah, Royal Brunei Airline’s In-flight Magazine. Her most treasured items are her ring and iPhone, allegedly.
Sofiah’s happiest moment this year was her birthday celebration with her family members at the beach and finishing the day off with 20 of her childhood best friends. She cherishes and treasures the time spent with her children and both sides of the family.

Behind the scenes (pictures courtesy of my assistant Gavin)

I’m dwarfed by these two Photogenic 60-inch umbrellas as I get my equipment ready for the afternoon’s work. These umbrellas along with two smaller 32-inch have been my faithful lighting partners when it comes to commercial shoots. Because I usually travel and work alone, their storage ease helps me move between locations easily as opposed to large softboxes and A/C powered studio strobes.
Pat Lee (L) and her colleague of Laneige get ready for the pre-shoot make-up session
Dr Shafiq, Deputy Director, National Cancer Centre was one of five personalities and first on the roster for the afternoon shoot.
Experimenting with various poses for Dr Shafiq with art direction by Cheryl Tan. I used two 60-inches umbrellas each powered with just one Speedlite 580EX flash. The large surface area provides very diffused lighting along with a second umbrella pointed at the low ceiling to provide additional bounced lighting.
Make-up seems to bring out happiness in people. Perhaps I should try that sometime 🙂
I love the diffused directional window light at The Ambassador Suite. I added a fill light using just one 60-inch umbrella to the right of subjects.
Although the shoot wasn’t tethered for live viewing, it always helps to be able to review the work right after a critical shoot to spot any mistakes that we may have overlooked.

About BiG Magazine
Borneo Insider’s Guide is a free, quarterly magazine that aims to entertain and inform BiG readers on essential information on lifestyle and travel in enigmatic Borneo and beyond. It is the official magazine for Brunei Tourism Board and is distributed at travel fairs, international events and Brunei high commissions abroad. BiG is available at the arrival hall of the Brunei International Airport, Brunei Tourism offices, Royal Brunei Airlines business class, all hotels, popular food and beverage outlets, and foreign missions in Brunei.


    1. Thanks Husini. Apparently the magazine isn’t particularly easy to get hold of. I picked up a copy at the airport when I returned from the Tourism Malaysia trip. I thought that was a nice surprise considering they’re pretty hard to get hold of in select KB/Seria outlets.


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