Rama the great

Best photographer of the year Rama, left, and Meli Derenalagi during the awards night. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

THE Fiji Times senior photographer Rama has been there and has done it all.

From covering members of the Royal Family visits to Fiji to taking photos of street dwellers, he has captured it all.

And it’s only proper and right that he be recognised for capturing the best photos for our readers. The Class Eight dropout is now a photography great.

“Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself,”Rama said.

“It’s all about patience, hard work and you will see where God will take you.

“It’s all about learning and having fun. You must always have that listening attitude. You learn as you go along. With the new technology, I am still learning. A lot has changed from using films to digital.

“For me taking photos has been part of my life and I love clicking everyday. Ever since I started as a driver at the old Fiji Sun, I thought to myself that I needed to do something with my life. I cannot be a full-time driver, so I was sent out by the then Fiji Sun sports editor Peter Lomas to take a photo of a particular person. From there, he saw my potential and that’s where my journey in the media began.

“I always want to have a perfect picture. I hate missing assignments and while I am taking sports photos, I make sure I read the game and never miss that best moment to take the photo.

“You got to anticipate, know what kind of photos you want and make sure you get it right.”

Rama, now with decades of experience, has stuck to the work ethic which again saw him hoisting the fruit of his hard labour throughout the years.

“I have been winning awards and it is always through hard work and dedication. I’ve seen it all, I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I will keep doing it.”

Rama climbed through the rungs, from the era of processing films in the dark room to produce the best pictures, to the digital era today.

He has a cabinet full of trophies and plaques at home. Since the 1980s.

Saturday’s winning photo was about Fiji 7s skipper Meli Derenalagi being tackled by an Australian player during the 2019 New Zealand 7s in Hamilton.

He had also worked in New Zealand in 1987 with the NZ Truth, a weekly newspaper.

He returned to Fiji in 1993 and joined the then Daily Post.

He continued to win awards.

He joined The Fiji Times in 1999, 2008 for Fiji Live, Fiji Sun, and returned to The Fiji Times in 2015.

Rama dedicates his win to his family which had been cheering for him back home during the Fiji Sports Awards on Saturday night.

Rama is nowhere from shutting his camera lens, and as a photo spells a thousand words, he will keep taking photos until his body gives up on him.

“It is a different feeling altogether when you are appreciated for the job you do. I am grateful to The Fiji Times for fulfilling my dream and that is to cover the Hong Kong 7s.”

And his advice to budding photographers: “Be strong, work hard and strive for the best because I have been through it and I did it.”

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