An Interview with the First President of Pinoy Shutters Brunei Darussalam, Gatz

By on December 9, 2011 — Updated on June 2, 2012

Pinoy Shutters Brunei Darussalam is an organization of both amateur and professional Filipino photographers in the mentioned foreign country and it is my great previlige to interview Gatz, the first elected president of the organization, to talk about some fundamental things and the plans of Pinoy Shutters BD.

Speaking of plans, I hope that the group has included a plan to shoot beautiful window displays in Brunei so that we can feature their works at The Visual Merchandising Blog. Perhaps window display is good subject for the “shooting through glass” session. Let’s find out.

How did the idea of having an organization of Filipino photographers in Brunei begin?

It all began with the initiative of concern photographers, both hobbyist and professional, who are working in Brunei. The OFWs who are coming from different fields of jobs have joined hand in hand to form Pinoy Shutters Brunei Darussalam. It started as a Facebook group some time in June 2011 and it grew to over hundred members since then.

How the group did come with the organization’s name and the logo?

The Pinoy Shutters BD official logo and emblem.

The name was created by the core group and was well accepted among the group members.

After several photoshoot outings, the members had decided to have a body to govern the group. The first set of PSBD officers were elected online through Facebook poll and after that the Logo Design Competition took place.

Mr. Rommel Oliveros, a graphic designer by profession design the Official Pinoy Shutters BD Logo.

What are the vision, mission and goals of the organization?

Our Mission is to explore the connection between the eye, the camera, and the environment by fostering and encouraging growth of artistic vision and technical knowledge; at the same time to promote camaraderie and creativity among Filipino workers in Brunei Darussalam.

Our Vision promotes the interests of photographers and hobbyists alike in further honing their talents and skills; to produce better quality pictures worthy to continually raise the standards of photographic excellence within Brunei Darussalam, Philippines and towards the rest of the world.In the pursuit of our goals, we strive for and live by the principles of excellence, integrity and strong professional idealism.

Pinoy Shutters Brunei Darussalam (PSBD) is a non-profit organization. Thus, the group intends to see more people knowledgeable on the operation of DSLR cameras and be more competitive in this craft by giving free photography lectures and demonstration, photo walks and group outings, exhibits and doing activities that will enhance one’s skill through methods in line with the group’s mission.

What is the process and requirements of becoming a member of the Pinoy Shutters BD?

Taken from PSBD Bylaws:

ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall be open to Filipinos living and/or working in Brunei Darussalam who are interested in photography and whose applications have been approved by the officers

Section 1. Requirements

  1. Applicant must have a DSLR, bridge, or any camera whose aperture and shutter speed could be manually set.
  2. Applicant must be living or working in Brunei Darussalam.
  3. A completed membership form and paid the membership fee.
  4. Must have joined a group activity at least once.

Applicant must not be an officer of any other photography clubs or group in Brunei Darussalam.

Pantai Tungku (Tungku Beach) Outing

Section 2. Terms of Acceptance

  1. An Applicant will only be considered a regular member once the application is approved by the PSBD membership chairman.
  2. Each member is required to actively participate in group activities. This includes:
    1. Joining group organized photowalks, funshoots, workshops and outing.
    2. Participating in online discussions in our Facebook group page, forum and flickr group. This includes posting your shots, giving constructive criticisms on other’s shots, and commenting on topics posted online.
    3. Regular payment of dues and fees
  3. A member will be considered inactive if there has been no activity, based on the above-mentioned bases for active participation, for three (3) months.
  4. PSBD Officers reserve the right to disqualify anyone from membership after a majority vote.

What are the current activities of the organization?

Recently, the organization has been officially registered under the banner of Filipino Association Brunei but our members are actively doing funshoots and some have participated in photowalks which garnered positive results. They manage to be in top 20 of the 1st Canon Photo Shootout in Brunei which is organized by Interhouse Company, in association with Canon Singapore recently.

The winning entry of Alfredo Bautista during the BT Click – Art for Less.

I’m also proud to say that one of our members, Alfredo V. Bautista Jr., bagged the first place in BT Click – Art of Less (Minimal Photography) which is organized by the Brunei Times.

Another PSBD member, Marvie Leal-Gatdula also bagged the Grand Prize in PEBA 2011 “Where The Heart Is” Photo Contest. (Here is her winning entry.)


What is the plan of the organization for the coming months and for the coming year 2012?

We have big events coming up next year such as charity works and photo exhibits. Recently, our group committed to cover SMARTER Brunei’s Second Musical theatre on January 2012. The individuals with autism will stage its second musical theatre – Oddy’s Quest II: A Journey in Search of A Home – on January 21 at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel and Country Club in Jerudong. The concert is sequel to Oddy’s Quest – Brunei’s very first “Autism Musical.”

1st PSBD Photo Contest – DIWATA Theme Winner – Marlowe Acompanado

We are planning to do more photo outings next year with a specific theme ranging from portrait, landscape, macro, still life and etc. every time and hopefully we can compile the best of each theme and those outstanding photos will be showcased in our photo exhibit. I’m pushing our venue of the exhibit to be in our own Philippine Chancery here in Brunei Darussalam.

What is your personal message for existing and members of the Pinoy Shutters BD?

To my fellow OFWs and PSBD members, Photography is a way to express what we feel and convey our message. This medium is so powerful, and I hope everyone will enjoy the fun of creating images at the same time uplifting the Filipinos in Brunei Darussalam.

The group during one of the Studio-Indoor Photoshoots.

Just a reminder to our fellow members who are coming from the different fields, Photography is just secondary, our jobs should always come first and it is our family who is the top priority. That is why we are here in a foreign land in the first place to help and sustain the needs of our family we left back home.

_____ __ _

Joseph M. Gatdula also known as Gatz is amultimedia artist who has been working in Negara Brunei Darussalam for 7 years.He specializes portrait, landscape, travel and wedding photography. Gatz  also shoots videos and does graphic designs. Aside from working with some popular brands and companies, he has conducted several workshops on both basic and advance photography techniques. Currently, he is the President of Pinoy Shutters BD, an organization of the Filipino photographers in Negara Brunei Darussalam.


Images credit: Pinoy Shutters BD.

One Comment

  1. RonLeyba

    June 28, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Great to see such group or club exists in foreign country. Great insights and interview as well. Wish you and your group all the best.!
    I invite you to read: 8 Basic Camera Shots for Photography AmateursMy Profile

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