This month, we speak to Singapore photographer, Nicholas Fong, about being on the other side of the camera, as he poses for his Instagram account, and offers tips on how to engage quality followers.
In SG’s social media scene, where space is dominated by female Instagram starlets, Nicholas shines bright as one of only a handful of well-followed male Instagrammers, who are able to spin creative magic into their well-loved posts that pepper their very active social media accounts. The budding photographer, who specialises in product shots and portraits for both private and commercial clients, was, not too long ago, urged by a friend to put himself in front of the camera, so as not to let his boyish good looks go to waste. Since then, brands have come a-knocking on the door of this pretty boy in town, and reaching out to him for social media collaborations. Little wonder. The rest as they say, is history.
HSD: Describe your personal style.
NF: I find that hard to answer, because I am predictably unpredictable. I dress according to how I feel, where I am, the weather, and to suit different occasions. But if I had to pick one style, it would be casual-Korean-ish, with a twist. E.g. pairing a formal shirt with sneakers, or an oversized tee with jeans.
HSD: Tell us a fashion trend that you love, and one that you hate.
NF: Love – Blazers. They turn every guy more handsome and appealing. Unfortunately, they’re not wearable every day in hot and sunny Singapore.
Hate – torn and tattered jeans, but hey, to each its own. They may not be my style, but I do see people pulling them off with style.
HSD: Some guys love shoes, some love belts. What’s your favourite accessory and why?
NF: Bags. I go crazy over bags. To me, a bag completes the whole look of an outfit, and it is of course also functional, as I can put my things in it. I feel ‘naked’ if I go out without a bag.
HSD: What makes a man stylish?
NF: I guess it’s what he wears from head to toe, and his confidence. Anyone and everyone can be stylish, but if a man isn’t comfortable or confident, it would detract from his sense of style. A footballer can be stylish, when he is decked from head to toe in his proper sports gear. In other words, one could be wearing anything – but true style is achieved with a man’s personality and attitude, when these are able to bring out his best.
HSD: What’s your grooming regime like, in the morning and at night?
NF: Apart from the usual cleansing, I use toner, essence, serum, moisturiser and eye cream. At night, I’ll alternate between different masks for different purposes. It might seem tedious, but prevention is better than cure!
HSD: Which is your favourite city and why?
NF: I’m grateful for opportunities to travel and wish I could travel more. My favourite city is Seoul. There’s just so much happening there. Apart from the amazingly cool weather, shopping is available almost 24/7; food is awesome, and, of course, because I’m a huge K-pop fan.
HSD: You are a successful photographer and social media influencer. What are your tips to grow and engage followers?
NF: Always show something different, be creative. People love seeing new things.
HSD: Tell us how to take a great selfie (or photo for IG)
NF: Look into the mirror and identify your best angles. Practise your smile. It may sound weird, but in front of the camera, we always appear more tense. So by practising your smile, you’ll be natural even in front of the camera.
HSD: If I looked in your bag, what would be the one thing that would surprise me?
NF: My water bottle. I need to hydrate myself constantly, so it makes sense to carry a water bottle almost everywhere I go.
HSD: This month HSD celebrates the freedom to love through Pink Dot 2018. What are your thoughts about love?
NF: Love has an important role in our lives: our lives are better when we are loved and when we love others. Everyone should have the right and freedom to love, and to express it in ways he or she deems fit.