Operations and Business Services (O&BS) has a unique approach when it comes to engaging employees and unearthing the hidden talent within its organization. It organizes competitions that O&BS employees can enter as individuals on an equal footing without having to follow the usual hierarchical procedure of first obtaining management permission.
Building on the success of its previous two competitions Best Presenter, and Best Speechwriter and Speaker, O&BS recently launched the Best Photographer Competition. Employees could enter their photos under one of four photographic themes — Morning, Happiness, The Color Orange, or The Number 3.
The competition consisted of two rounds. The first round was judged by a panel of expert photographers selected from diverse areas in Saudi Aramco, including representatives from Public Relations, with members of the Dhahran Art Group, who all kindly dedicated their time. The 12 highest-scoring photos were selected to advance to the final round.
“Football on the Beach” by Isac Sotelo Goulart was awarded first place in the O&BS Best Photographer Competition.
Finalists discuss their photographs with the O&BS leadership team and other members of the judging panel.
Finalists included Ahmad H. Abduljabbar, Sultan F. Absi, Fahad Z. AbuAlsaud, Lisa Gregory, John Grummitt, Fahad M. AlHajri, Nasser H. Alharbi, Muneer A. Al-Humood, Arwa S. Alnasser, Ali A. Shanberi, Isac Sotelo Goulart, and Mohammed O. Alzahrani.
The final round was judged by the O&BS leadership team, along with expert photographers. First place was awarded to Goulart for his stunning image “Football on the Beach.” AlHajri took second place with “Camels Obsession,” a striking picture portraying his young nephew’s awe of camels, and third place went to AbuAlsaud for a breathtaking landscape shot of Lake Tahoe titled “Sea Through.”
(caption)Ten of the 12 finalists of the O&BS Best Photographer Competition, seated front row, display their certificates. Behind them are the O&BS leadership team and competition judges team, including Muhammad M. Al Saggaf.
“Who would have thought? I started photography to preserve the moment. Now, I am not just one of the finalists but one of the three winners!” AlHajri said, delighted with his achievement.
O&BS worked with several organizations to conduct the competition. IT was engaged to develop a platform to allow employees to register and submit their images, and the Media Production Division was instrumental in assisting O&BS with logistics for the competition. Bahi Mashat, an Adult Education photography teacher, Luca Ladi Bucciolini, president of the Dhahran Art Group, and Jason Plews, a keen photographer from the Corporate Brand Management Division, also provided advice and support.
Ten of the 12 finalists of the O&BS Best Photographer Competition, seated front row, display their certificates. Behind them are the O&BS leadership team and competition judges team, including Muhammad M. Al Saggaf.
Talent and Recognition
The talent that came to light as a result of this O&BS initiative was remarkable. Judges said they “enjoyed the opportunity to be part of this event” and were impressed by the “creativity and the spectacular quality” of the entries.
A ceremony was held for the three winners, during which they received an award from Muhammad M. Al Saggaf, senior vice president of O&BS. The Fire Protection Department was recognized for having the highest number of participants, including three of the finalists, and the department’s acting manager Albadr Jannah was presented with a certificate of appreciation.
The success of the competition and enjoyment of participation was evident as expressed by AbuAlsaud. “The O&BS Best Photographer Competition was a great experience for me as it was out of the box compared to my day job with Saudi Aramco. I was thrilled and honored to have met the higher management and gained a place as a winner in the competition,” he said. “Also, listening to everyone giving their beautiful comments about my picture was like music to my ears. I’m so glad to have been a part of this competition.”
In addition to having the opportunity to meet the O&BS leadership team during the final round, the finalists were rewarded with an exhibition of their photographs in the Al-Mujamma building and publication of their images in The Arabian Sun.