BJ Pascual’s work as a photographer is so distinctive, there’s no need to put a watermark to recognize it.
This International Studies graduate of De La Salle University also attended the Parsons School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology and the International Center for Photography—all in New York City.
At age 24, Pascual’s credentials could match that of a more seasoned lensman. His portfolio gleams with flawlessly executed images of high-wattage stars in various settings—from cityscapes to the great outdoors, be it from a stylized shoot or just a friend’s party.
With enthusiasm flowing in every photo, it’s clear that Pascual imbibes what he believes in: that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
We asked this shutterbug to talk more about himself, his work, and his grooming obsessions.
That light-bulb moment that made me want to pursue photography was… When my friends and I started a T-shirt business in college. Photography has been an on-and-off hobby since I was young. In high school, I used to bring my instamatic camera and take random pictures of my classmates and teachers. But I got into a slump in college because I was more focused on finishing my International Studies degree.
On the side, I was dabbling in graphic design, illustration, styling and other things, which eventually led me and my friends to put up a T-shirt business called Animoism in my junior year in DLSU. We had to do photo shoots on our own to promote our shirts, which rekindled my love for photography.
I believe that photographs should… Evoke an emotion.
I am most engrossed when I’m shooting… Fashion editorials because I have more freedom with the direction of the images. I get to collaborate with a team—stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist, model—to create a series of images that tells a story, and more importantly, get my point of view across.
What I love most about fashion photography is… Playing with concepts! Fashion photography allows me to create different worlds, depending on the concept of the shoot. One day could be shredded and tattered post-apocalyptic outfits in an abandoned warehouse, the next could be couture gowns in a grand ballroom. It’s crazy and fun.
I would describe my personal style as… Tailored athletic, haha. I wouldn’t know how to describe it, but I like to mix tailored pieces with more relaxed, sportswear-inspired or athletic pieces, usually in black, gray, brown or white. I like wearing, say, drawstring sweat shorts with a tailored jacket and dress shoes, or a hoodie with crisp button-down and tailored skinny pants and sneakers. Blazers, tank tops, sweat shorts, skinny pants, big watches and bracelets are my wardrobe staples.
My favorite brands and designers are… Maison Martin Margiela, Neil Barrett, Alexander Wang, Thom Browne (I’ve yet to own a Thom Browne piece), Kris Van Assche’s Dior, Joey Samson and Eairth.
I’ve always had a thing for wearing glasses because… I feel like my face is too bare without them, even though my vision is perfect. I’ve been wearing glasses for so long that people usually think they’re real! I have quite a few, and they’re all just cheap, plastic ones that I usually just break or lose, so I don’t really spend on specs.
When it comes to grooming, I take fastidious care of my… Skin! Before, I used just facial wash and that’s it. But then, because I have friends who are beauty editors, I’ve been influenced so much that I now use a lot of skincare products. In the beginning, I used to experiment with different brands, but now I use mostly Kiehl’s. I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser, Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream, Facial Fuel Age Correcting Moisture Gel, Facial Fuel Anti-Wrinkle Cream, and Line Reducing Eye Brightening Concentrate. I also use Lancome Renergie Multi-Lift.
For my sunscreen, I use Tony Moly UV Sunset Powdery Finish Sun Milk. Whew! I’m always up all night/early morning editing and doing post-production work, so I try to compensate by using a lot of skincare products.
My grooming obsession involves… I used to style my hair every day (blow-dry, hairspray, wax) but since I’m afraid of hair fall, I only style my hair on special occasions.
Insanely enough, I use a lot of… Anti-aging creams. I’m obsessed with anything anti-aging-related. I even tried the Snail Serum fad! I think my skin is my best (and only) asset, so I really take extra care of it. I used to smoke in college, but while watching this really bad reality show with Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro, they mentioned smoking causes premature skin aging, so I stopped immediately.
Many of the external causes of aging skin are determined by the health and lifestyle decisions you make every day. Like Pascual, many of us lack sleep, causing us to look and feel tired.
One of the areas affected by lack of sleep is the face. Taking good care of yourself and your skin is the most important step in your anti-aging skincare program. Try Pascual’s skin savior, Renergie Multi-Lift Cream by Lancome—a smoothing, anti-wrinkle, firming cream that is legendary for giving men and women worldwide the very best that science has to offer for fighting wrinkles and loss of skin firmness.
Infused with ingredients that reinforce the anchorage of collagen fibres, it helps reposition sagging volumes, creating a surface lifting effect. The result is skin tightening on the forehead, cheekbones, facial contours and neck.
The Renergie Multi-Lift Day Cream 50 ml costs P4,595. Sold and available at all Lancome counters in Rustan’s Makati, Rustan’s Edsa Shangri-La, Essenses Rockwell, Rustan’s Alabang and Greenbelt 5 Boutique.
Pascual’s choice products come from Rustan’s and Kiehl’s boutiques nationwide.