Bask Spotlights: Justin Fernando, Photographer & Videographer


Last September, we

collaborated with Singaporean photographer and videographer Justin Fernando to produce Dan & Max: How NOT to Open a DurianThis month, we are going behind the lenses to chat with the man himself. 

1. Tell us more about yourself

I've been working in this industry for the past nine years and spent most of my career working in production houses. Last year, I've decided to venture solo and it's been a pleasure partnering with Bask Communications to produce photography and videography for clients like Biconi, YOLO Group, Forest Adventure and Red Bull Singapore. 

I'm one of those lucky ones who get to do what I love for a living. Being able to get behind the lens, capture moments and watch everything comes to life putting the footage, graphics and music together during post-production has always been one of the most exciting things. 

Check out more of Justin's work on Instagram (@juggalofernando).

2. In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for video content for social media marketing. Can you please share with us three pointers for brand owners to keep in mind when developing video content. 

Yes, there has been an influx in the need for video content for social media. It has become the fastest way to reach audiences and get the message across in the most timely fashion. Although the lifespan of these videos has been drastically cut short, maybe a week tops, before it becomes ancient news. In order to stay ahead, businesses tend to want numerous short clips to be dished out weekly rather than a single 2-3 min video.

On a personal level, the art of cinematography has been compromised in this social media world. Now, when I shoot content, I have to switch my mindset from, "does this look good?" to "does this look good when its cropped to 1:1 for social". There are so many details lost in the visuals. Thus, finding that balance is always a challenge for me.

Brand owners looking to develop video content, here are some of my tips:

  • As always, less is more. Trying to squeeze everything into a 1:1 frame and still keeping it within 30s -45s tend to lead to information overload. Keep it clean and simple. Remember that your audience wants to be engaged within the first few seconds before skipping onto the next thing on their feed.
  • You cannot please everyone on the internet. There is no one formula that makes people on social media happy. So as much as you and your team may think it is a great marketing video, be prepared for some weird comments arising online. 
  • Following trends online can be tempting. Viral videos are great but trends online do not last long. Either get on the bandwagon fast or move on to something else. It's not a good thing creating something that by the time it gets approved and gets online, becomes old news.

3. What's the pros and cons of engaging a professional photographer and videographer vs. doing it yourself? 

With videography and photography making becoming so "easy", doing it yourself can look like the best option. However, if you have a little budget, do hire. This gives you the creative freedom to think about what you want rather than having to think of all the technical details AND your brand guidelines in mind.

4. What kind of photography / videography do you best enjoy? 

I love taking people. When I travel, that is how I remember the places, through my lens of the wonderful people I meet. For videography it would have to be documentaries. Telling stories of real people that my audience can resonate with is the most intimate connection you can have with someone watching your work.

5. Any photographers / videographers that you particularly look up to?

Phillip Bloom has always been an inspiration to me. Although Christopher Doyle would be my fav, Phillip Bloom was the godfather of DSLR film making to me. He made cinematic film making attainable for someone like me back then. Joey Lawrence is a photographer that I highly admire as well.