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Rising Stars: Meet Joseph Mendoza of Silver Spring

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Mendoza.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I was born and raised in the Philippines. At 12, my parents decided to move the family to the US for a better opportunity. Photography was more of a hobby for me in high school never thought about pursuing it as a career, and I started taking photography more seriously during the COVID lockdown. For 3 months staying at home, I did a lot of scrolling on YouTube and Instagram. I saw a video of a group of photographers having a great time challenging themselves and learning to be more creative with their artistry. A couple of days later, I discovered that my friend was selling his camera, so I decided to try it. Within those 3 months, I committed myself to learn photography fundamentals through watching plenty of YouTube Tutorials and reaching out to photographers on Instagram. My journey as a photographer started by taking landscape and street photos, I would always go to DC to catch the sunrise at 5 in the morning, and when I had the chance, I would go to New York to capture the streets. I am currently focusing on sports photography, primarily basketball. Before photography, basketball was my first love. I have been playing since I was 6, and I figured combining the two things I am passionate about would only make things more fun and interesting.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Photography is more of a hobby than a business for me, although if an opportunity comes, I am more than happy to make it a career. I have done some professional work, such as weddings, engagements, etc., but my goal is to be an official photographer for the NBA.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Currently, I shoot for All-Pro Reels. We cover all pro-athlete events in the DMV area, like the Washington Wizards, Commanders, Capitols, etc. As for me, I mainly cover basketball. I am very fortunate to be given this opportunity to photograph an NBA/WNBA game. It has always been a dream of mine to be a part of the sport I love. Being part of this organization has opened some opportunities for me to work with players like Kyle Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, Natasha Cloud, and more. What sets my work apart from other sports photographers is that I like my photos to tell a story. Besides taking action shots, I love capturing the players’ emotions, especially when a big play happens; capturing that moment will give the photo more meaning.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I think if you are allowed for a lifetime to do something you love to do, I will go for it! I would not be in my current situation without taking any risks. However, there are consequences to taking a chance. If you are focused, consistent, and a hard worker, anything is possible.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos of me are taken by Jalen Jones (IG: @Gloryvisions)

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