This year’s Her World Good Men campaign shines the spotlight on 12 meneach of them influential leaders in their respective fields with the social media followings to prove it.

Yafiq (@yafiqyusman) and Yais Yusman (@yaisyusman) are twin brothers that are both photographers. They’re best known for using their smartphones to take pictures for commercial projects; Yafiq typically takes architecture shots while Yais enjoys taking pictures with human elements. Here are some things to know about the 28-year-olds.

Yafiq only bought a camera last year–his ninth year of photography; Yais still doesn’t own a camera
“We feel it’s more important that we know how to differentiate ourselves from others than to own a camera. If we don’t have an identity, how will we make sure that the client hires us, even with a camera? We just rent gear if we need it.”

They have worked with major organisations
“We’ve worked with Indonesia Travel and the Artscience Museum. We did some work for the Singapore Tourism Board when they were doubling down on their efforts to promote local attractions. We also collaborated with the Land Transport Authority to shoot the six new stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line.”

They like making people wonder how their photos were taken
“We like going to popular Instagram-worthy places and then challenging ourselves to take photos that are different from the norm. We want people to be like, ‘Hey, how did he find this perspective?’”

They don’t believe in twin telepathy, but there have been “incidents”
“We don’t know what the other is thinking. That’s not how it works. But there have been significant incidents, like the both of us running a fever even when we were apart.”

They have interests that are separate
“When we were younger, we used to wonder how people without a twin live because we did things together all the time. But we have also different interests. [Yafiq] was an architecture student at Singapore Polytechnic while [Yais] was a business student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Also, [Yafiq] likes to read and run while [Yais] likes to bake.”

Their humble background explains their frugal ways
“We grew up in a family with seven children. When we were in poly, our allowance was $120 a month each – that’s $4 a day. But we didn’t complain and tried to make do, and we think it’s a privilege to go through what we went through, as it helped us shape our perspective on what’s important.”

And their belief in starting with the basics
“We want people to know that they can make do with what they have. Some people jump into photography, buy a thousand-dollar camera, then stop doing it after one or two years. But it’s not about buying the latest things–it’s about starting from scratch.”

On Yafiq (L): Cotton and polyester jacket and matching trousers, Asos. Cotton T-shirt, watch and bracelet, his own. Necklace, Reclaimed Vintage at Asos; On Yais (R): Cotton and polyester jacket, and matching trousers, Asos. Cotton T-shirt and watch, his own. Necklace, Reclaimed Vintage at Asos

They’re not after the numbers
“The big sizes of our followings are a bonus, but they’re not priority because growing organically is the most important thing. In fact, we sometimes scroll through our Instagram accounts and wonder why people follow us.”

They’re selective about who they share tips with for good reason
“We recently posted a picture that was taken with an iPhone 6S in New York. Some people messaged us to ask how we made the picture so nice and sharp with an older smartphone model, and we shared the editing process with them. However, one guy left us on ‘seen’ while another just replied, ‘OK’.”

They credit Instagram for helping them improve their command of English
“Our command of English used to be really poor, but it improved when we started using Instagram because we have to practise whenever we write captions or interact with other people. We wish the platform had been available when we were younger. If you scroll through our older photos, you’d see that our captions were so bad!”

Photography: Veronica Tay
Art direction: Ray Ticsay
Styling: Lauren Alexa
Hair and grooming: Angel Gwee, using Nudestix & Davines; Zoel Tee, using Estee Lauder & Kevin. Murphy

A version of this story first appeared in the November 2021 issue of Her World.