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‘Photography goes beyond all the technical stuff.  It’s about expressing yourself, connecting to your audience, telling a story, and capturing the essence of a person through your camera.’ – Sundae Cruz

Carlo Rainier Cruz, known as “Sundae” to colleagues, started his passion for photography in the mid-2000s when his Dad gave him a DSLR camera which he took along with him. His brother, who plays for a big rock band, asked him to document their gig. This was how he fell in love with photography, as he toured around the Philippines with the band.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Photography at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, Sundae decided to take further training and completed a program at the International Center of Photography in New York City. Here he had the chance to work with designers and modeling agencies.

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  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
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  • (Sundae Cruz)
  • (Sundae Cruz)
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“I would say my recent trip to New York City is my most significant experience as a photographer. It’s arguably the place where the best of the best are in terms of photography. Though I have gotten to work with agencies, models, and designers, I’m kind of unknown locally. That being said, never in my wildest dreams did I expect for these things to happen,” heshares.

Sundae’s focus is in fashion as he loves shooting women in natural light. He feels that women tend to be more in touch with their emotions and this is a thing of beauty to capture on camera. He has worked with some of the best fashion designers in the country for their look books, portfolio, and marketing materials. His images have also been published in local and online magazines.

“Lately I’ve been producing photos with a calmer or subdued mood—small natural movements and nothing too posey. The simpler, the better,” he muses.

Sundae believes being able to send your message across to your audience determines the success of a photograph. His mood is important while on a shoot. When you feel inspired and you know exactly what you want to execute regardless of technicalities, he firmly thinks you will be able to produce something worthwhile.

As much as he loves and respects film photography, it’s just too much work for him. Efficiency and practicality are important in the fashion and commercial industry.  For Sundae, digital is the way to go.

Asked about his recognition and affiliation, he replies, “I’m not affiliated with any photo organization and I also don’t join photo contests. I’m not sure if you will consider this as arecognition, but when the protégé of the great Richard Avedon—Andrea Blanch, reviewed my portfolio, she had zero negative comments and she said that my stuff are good enough to be published in New York.”

Photography has changed Sundae’s daily experience and it has transformed his ideals on life, changing how you see things as you begin to notice the smallest of details.

“Inevitably, you start to see how much beauty is all around you in the most ordinary or unexpected places. Photography goes beyond all the technical stuff.  It’s about expressing yourself, connecting to your audience, telling a story, and capturing the essence of a person through your camera,” he shares.

This Manileño always like to keep things simple, let things unfold naturally and not try too hard.These are his principles every time he shoots.

“My ultimate goal as a photographer is to able to work with biggest names out there, while also being able to live comfortably out of what I do,” he concludes.