Memories in motion through Ralph Mendoza’s lens

Photographer Ralph Mendoza talks about his creative process, what drives his passion for photography, and how he manages to maintain a healthy balance between racking up the shutter count on his cameras and pausing to appreciate the little things in life.

Whether it’s a podcast or a pitch, a client meeting or in a casual cocktail hour, we’ve all heard those six little words:  what do you love about photography?

It’s a seemingly simple question, but it can be a challenging one to answer. How does one even begin to capture the essence of their love for photography? Ralph Mendoza—a talented Filipino photographe— is up to the task. Dressed in the latest styles from Rustan’s Man 2.0, he showcases his passion for the art through every lens he looks through.

For him, photography is a way to preserve memories, to hold onto the feeling of a moment and revisit it whenever he desires. He approaches each shot with a sense of creativity and a focus on capturing the truth of the moment, making his photography both honest and fresh. Whether he’s taking a leisurely walk in the park or in the middle of a shoot, creativity is second nature to him, allowing him to collect visual souvenirs of his life for years to come. Check out our conversation below:

When do you feel the most creative? Where do you find inspiration for your creative pursuits?

Either after a long walk in the park or after that first layout at a shoot. I like an icebreaker layout, a lightbulb idea to warm the whole team up. I think a good percentage of my style is improvised because I like to rely on instinct and natural light. Improvising keeps the work honest and fresh, which is the goal of every image I make.

What do you love about photography?

Photography is a good way to collect souvenirs throughout life. Whether it’s on the street, on holiday, or in the studio, I find pleasure in capturing visual memories. It’s a fun, tactile activity. Photography is the art of seeing, as many have pointed out before me.

Ralph Mendoza for Rustan's Man
Ralph Mendoza wearing Elias Pintucked Polo in Olive by Viña Romero, Faherty Reserve Cotton Linen Trouser in Fossil, and American Trench The Solid Socks in White. 

What’s the most memorable photo you took?

I guess “Ocean Pool.” This was shot in Hong Kong back in 2017. Just to see it by pure chance that day is always a special thing to recall. It’s in the memory bank, as I always tell myself.

What does a busy day look like for you? What’s an essential part of your daily routine?

A busy day for me is at a photo shoot with any of my favorite local clients. I’m constantly either in pre or post-production or handling a print order. I’m always thankful to be able to work and create.

What’s the best way to wind down after a week of back-to-back shoots?

Rest and exercise boost productivity. As much as I like to rack up the shutter count on my cameras, I don’t mind taking it slow, making tea, doing long stretches, and curling on the bed like my three-year-old cat.I also like to travel, drive out, and treat the brain to something new. Days off are just as important.

Ralph Mendoza wearing Elias Pintucked Polo
Ralph Mendoza wearing Elias Pintucked Polo in Olive by Viña Romero, Faherty Reserve Cotton Linen Trouser in Fossil, and American Trench The Solid Socks in White. 

What does being “On the Move” mean for you?

“On the Move” is about staying curious. Curiosity feeds creativity. Curiosity is an underrated tool in the toolbox.

What does your everyday wardrobe look like? And what was your favorite look from the “Rustan’s Man On the Move” shoot?

I need to be comfortable in my line of work since photography is a very active, physical job. I go for lots of worn-in workwear with stretchable fabric.

I love all the looks I wore at the shoot, but if I had to pick two, I would say the Viña Romero shirt mixed with the Kelvin Morales pants. I like supporting local brands and feel at ease and ready to go about my day.

Ralph Mendoza is wearing Faherty SS Breeze Shirt in Blue Sky Floral, Cargo Pants in Beige by Kelvin Morales, and Satorisan Chacrona Premium Sneakers in Rocky Grey in the header photo.

Creative Director

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