Passage

Featuring

Joseph
Photographer

Wearing

Shirt

Robert Geller

Pants

Uniqlo

Share with us a little more about yourself:
I’m a photographer, but I’m also currently working as financial advisor—when Covid-19 struck, my photography business was badly hit so I had to branch out.

How has the process of picking up financial advisory been?
It’s been an interesting experience and it made me realise we’re not usually taught financial knowledge until we really need to know it, because consumers don’t have an easy access point to it. Singapore is not an easy place to live—there are a lot of hoops and whistles you have to bypass and most people don’t understand important parts of their lives like the taxation system, HDB loans, or CPF.

How would you describe your sense of style?
I wouldn’t say I’m someone who’s the most fashion savvy, but I do keep my clothes for a long time—I’ve had a lot of my items for over 10 years, but the basics end up in the sleeping pile sooner or later because of the wear and tear they go through. My palette is usually very controlled—it’s either black or varying shades of blue—which could be an occupational hazard from being a photographer. I have a set of work masks, which are darker in colour, because the lighter ones can affect shoots. Other than that, comfort is key for me.

You’ve been open about living with a mental health condition and shared with us about your experience during our Mental Health week—what’s a common assumption or stereotype people tend to have about this?
That you have to always be sad and dysfunctional. It’s possible to be functioning or completely unaware of your condition, especially for men and older folks who might not be as aware or in touch with their feelings. For these people, this usually manifests in behaviour like anger, irritability, increased alcohol use, and obsessive goal pursuit.

What’s the most helpful advice you’ve learnt about managing your mental health? 
Take it one day at a time, or if you need to, in 15-minute intervals—that made things manageable for me. Another good advice was to count the victories, no matter how small: like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

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