Scrapbook – Harry Cruz, Jack Morales, Richard Martinez, Mario Cardenas & Jude Cruz

A platform for budding Filipino creative talent. Illustrado highlights the works of UAE-based photographers Harry Cruz, Jack Morales, Richard Martinez, Mario Cardenas and Jude Cruz.

A native of Lingayen, Pangasinan, Jude Tadeo Cruz is a Philippine registered Electronics and Communication Engineer who currently works for one of the UAE’s Telecom Operators. Jude’s work entails travels to different islands and places where he sees beautiful sceneries. The desire to capture such picture-perfect landscapes inspired him to develop a passion for photography which he developed with much enthusiasm by attending workshops, learning from reading materials and exchanging information with co-enthusiasts in the UAE capital. These days, Jude spends much of his weekends shooting fashion, events, weddings, portraits, sports as well as corporate assignments. He also functions as one of the advisers of the Filipino photography club Shootercada based in Abu Dhabi.

University of Santo Tomas graduate, Architect Mario Cardenas might have just taken up photography late last year, but already list an impressive roster of awards from competitions in the country, even at such an early stage in his hobby. His achievements to date include – Yasalam Image Competition by Flash Production (sole winner), 8th Environmental Awareness Photo Competition by Lightform and Dubai Municipality (2nd place) and the most recognized competition he has won so far, was the 5th Emirates Photography Competition – Al Dhafra in the Photographer’s Eyes, organized by Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and supervised by The Abu Dhabi International Association of Photography (3rd Place).  Never to rest on his laurels, Mario is still striving to learn and hone the craft that he has grown to love.

Fine Arts major in Advertising graduate Richard Martinez got his first break into the world of photography when he was taken under the wing of Bern Mejias a prominent member of the Wedding and Portrait Photographers of the Philippines (WPPP).  A freelance graphic designer then, Richard was given the chance to try his hand on capturing distinctive images on camera, specifically photographing nuptials.  Several years down the road, he has developed his skills and his passion for other types of photography, specifically fashion, for which he says he is truly hooked on. Richard moved to the UAE in 2008 to work as a Photographer for a media production company – All4Media Dubai Studio City. Some of the recent projects that he has had the privilege to work in include – the Hydra Executive Reality Show, The Circle Conference 2009, Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge and UFC 112.  He currently works for the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipality Affairs (DMA) as Photographer and Graphic Designer.

Jack Morales is a Dubai-based accountant (CPA) whose dream has always been to become an artist.   Jack has a natural talent for sketching and has always been drawn to photography.  A further introduction to the latter, through a “photo addict” friend who enrolled him in a basic photography course in 2008, gave Jack even deeper appreciation for the art and made his learning experience more exciting. It was then that he realized how difficult it is to capture the beauty that surrounds us, as well as the moment we all want to remember, and that subsequently transformed his regard for photography from an ordinary hobby to an extraordinary art. Since then, Jack has eagerly gained techniques and tricks to capture interesting photos. He also sharpens his skills by learning from the works of renowned photographers like Jiri Subrt, Justin Grant, Helmut Newton, Marc Adamus, which he looks up to help sharpen my skills.

Harry Cruz is a Dubai based freelance photographer who specializes in weddings, fashion/portraits and landscapes. Photography was once just a hobby to him until he learned to see all moments, places and everything around him as something worth capturing. Harry took his photography to the next level two years ago, participating in a local Filipino photography club, attending prominent workshops with renowned photographers, as well as local seminars provided by Dubai based Filipino photographers. With his efforts paying off, Harry has won several awards – one for travel photography in the National Newspaper, as well as the 3rd prize in the 8th Environmental Awareness Photography Competition sponsored by Dubai Municipality.  Harry is a Certified Public Accountant from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the Philippines, and works for a leading German Software company in the emirate.