“Kailangan mahal mo ‘yung trabaho mo,” photographer Jun Mendoza tells PlayPH. “Ganyan sa photography, enjoy mo dapat.”
A sports photography veteran of 23 years, Mendoza counts the thrill of being out in the field, waiting for picture perfect moments to immortalize is something he’s been passionate about for most of his life.
“’Di pa ako assigned sa sports noong first time kong pumasok sa newspaper. Sa news muna ako kumukuha. One day, biglang ‘di nagustuhan ng sports editor naming ‘yung shoot nung isa, kaya ayon binigyan ako ng chance. Mula noon, naging sports na ang hawak ko,” Mendoza shares on how he began his sports photography journey.
From then on, Mendoza made it his main focus to perfect the craft. In 1999, he joined The Philippine Star as a correspondent. It was there where he truly fell in love with the grind of sports. Until this day, Mendoza represents The Philippine Star as a photojournalist.
When asked how he’s remained eager to pick up a camera each day, Mendoza answers, “Iba talaga ‘yung sports eh. Masaya kapag nandiyan ako sa field, madami kasing challenges at ‘di ka magsasawa sa mangyayari everyday.”
As someone who’s mastered the art of capturing the right moment, he’s glad that more and more photographers are starting to get into sports. “Ang advice ko lang,” Mendoza says. “Maging masipag, matiyaga, at disiplinado. Sa sports kasi, crucial ang timing – lagi ka dapat nag-aanticipate ng moment.”
On top of the thrill of it all, the long-time shutterbug is thankful for pursuing such a career as his. Photography has given him the chance to see the world and meet the greatest athletes, regardless if it were behind a lens or not.
From volleyball matches, electrifying basketball games, kickoffs on the pitch, to triathlons and more, Mendoza’s photos have not only captured the grandest sports moments but has also given life to them. According to the 54-year old Mendoza, covering sports doesn’t just mean focusing on highlights and triumph, it’s about translating emotions into works of art – to make big sports events bigger by capturing the happiness, sadness, and glory of his subjects.