We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen, how do you think about risk?
If you aren’t taking risks then you aren’t trying to better your life. I believe that taking risks is what life is all about. When I first decided i wanted to become a photographer, I knew it was a risk going into a field where you don’t have a set payment schedule. You can’t always be guaranteed you will be getting paid at the end of the week but when it’s something you love to do, why not take the risk? As I am typing this, I’m in my new studio that I just built out, another risk being taken. Will people actually book studio sessions when I mostly shoot outdoors? Only time will tell and it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a photographer that I say specializes in graduation and wedding photography. I think that my work sets me apart from others because I like to keep my work realistic and not do crazy colorful edits. It was a long process to get where I am today. Starting almost 10 years ago, Instagram wasn’t as popular as it is today and it for sure wasn’t a place where photographers went to showcase their work. Now a days, someone can start a business one day and have a good following in a few months. I’ve dealt with a lot of challenges along the way, many of them being in my head and doubting my abilities. Although I consider myself an introvert and I do like my alone time, sometimes that alone time would get to my head and I had doubts about my photography. I think surrounding yourself with the right people to lift you up in those times is very important, almost as important as the knowledge needed to do photography.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Depending on the time of year, I would take them out to an Astros game or a Rockets game. Afterwards would take them out for one of my favorite boba places in Houston called Poke Fresh inside of the galleria and then afterwards do some shopping. You can’t leave Houston without trying some tacos from a taco truck so I would definitely take them to one of the abundant trucks available in Houston. You also can’t forget Houston’s amazing museum district. Going early on a Thursday when its free, you almost have it all to yourself and its free! And of course you have to get some great photos of the skyline from the view of Buffalo Bayou Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost I would like to thank and recognize my mom. Without her I would have never had a camera in my hand and found my love for photography. Along the way I have had teachers and people that I’ve learned from. Two of them being Mr. Dave DeJohn and Mr. Melvin Harris. They both taught me important things in high school that would go on to help me becoming the photographer that I am today. Throughout my journey my friends and family have always supported me and recommended me to potential clients and I don’t know where I would be without them.