Apology Accepted

I am sharing the letter from the desk of the Reader's Advocate of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The sole purpose of me sharing this letter is to give peace to those of my followers and friends who have been asking on the developments of my complaint against PDI upon using my photo work without my consent. I hope my family and friends would read this and somehow, understand and respect the resolution we have settled into:

Hi there Enzo!
I wish to thank you for bringing to the Inquirer’s attention the unauthorized use your photo in the lifestyle article earlier this year. As I told you in an earlier tweet, your complaint has been attention of the lifestyle editor as well as to the entire editorial staff of the PDI. With this email, I wish to extend our apology to you and to inform you that the article (with the photo) has been taken down.
Please know that your complaint was taken seriously and that it has become an opportunity for PDI reporters and editors to become (once again) sensitized to using materials without seeking prior consent. I hope that you are somehow appeased by this. Once again, I reiterate my own – and our collective – thanks and apologies.
Elena E. Pernia
Readers’ Advocate
 My response was:

Hi Ms. Elena,

 I appreciate the kind gesture in your message, from you and the PDI team. I hope this experience would somehow help us strengthen our local print industry, in having a great sense of accountability and sensitivity to each of the work our fellow creative brothers and sisters in the field. Apology has been accepted. Thanks too and good luck with the publication's future endeavors.

Enzo Mondejar
In the end, we are all professionals working as such, and in spite of some misjudgement on our part as a responsible creative individual, we are one industry. All of our actions, whether good or bad should be a learning lesson to us all. The last thing that I would advise to those who would be put in the same position as I am is to blatantly react in an uncivilized manner and blast everyone who have crossed me in all of my social network accounts. I don't think it would solve anything and would definitely not help my younger following in understanding on how to deal with such events. Gladly, my drive and passion is stronger than anything that hinders my talent, in which, the saying -'The Creative Adult(in every way) Is The Child Who Survived' - truly is something that I live by.


Last Thursday, I had myindustrial piercing with my go-to-pain guy Norman Labao of Ouch! Tattoo. Norman did 2 of my ink(The Betta Splendens on my upper chest) so it wasn't hard to make a decision on who would I trust to have my piercing done. I just hated the fact that Norman didn't recognize me since the last time we saw each other, I think last year during  The Dutdutan event(The annual convention for tattoo and all related to it here in the Philippines)... this is since I gained around 30 pounds from not being so 'active' as I needed to be. But all is good since, I am back to doing skip ropes to loss some extra pounds(I am just in my first week so be easy on me) before I finally get some new inks for le body!. For the mean time, I am enjoying how my industrial piercing look on me, and glad that I had it done. So glad, that I am even considering doing the right ear... but I have to put my attention to more important things first, like putting up a creative studio somewhere in between ABS-CBN and GMA7 before it hits Christmas. 

I just realize how my mind can put A LOT of things in a simple post about having new holes done in my left ear. ugh!

Sometimes, you need pain to validate that you are human.

STUDENT FEATURE | SoFA Manila's Fashion Photography Class Activity 7 | Following a Requirement in an Outdoor Photo Shoot Activity

Hello everyone!

Let me share to you the first batch of the student feature post here in my photo blog, last week, the fashion photography students of SoFA Manila did an outdoor photo shoot activity with a male model. The objective of the activity is to produce a series of photos showcasing the busy -and interesting- streets of Manila(or Makati to be more specific). It is a take from the 2010 Willy Vanderperre fashion editorial for Arena Homme+ with Clement Chabernaud entitled 'The Angels Have Gone' which you can see here ---> http://homotography.blogspot.it/2010/11/angels-have-gone-clement-chabernaud-by.html?zx=7ecff076838f18b5

With the photo references shown to them during the pre-production discussion, the students were tasked to simulate a treatment that would somehow show a series of photos/editorial captured in the scorching heat of the summer sun. We did the photo shoot just days after the terrible rains that swept the whole Metro Manila, so having to produce and see an editorial with that treatment amidst the downpour, would add up to the students' challenge(in terms of psychoanalysis and mood deviation from actual reality) and a fresh breather from the damp weather all in all.

By now, since we have already done 7 photo activities in class, I have a good understanding on what style, treatment and technique each of them do in their photos, and it would be interesting to see their individual style on each of their work mixed with the actual requirement I have asked for them to produce.

Special Thanks to Levenson Rodriguez cor the coat worn by Leo, Eric Poliquit for the sunglasses and Yeoh Egwaras for the model recommendation. 

Let me start with the work from Julie Manalad. Check out her works and see if she have met with the requirement of the activity:

You can check more of Julie's work here: https://www.facebook.com/jamzlife
Do like and share her Facebook page!


Now, let us move on to our second student Tippi Sy. With her 3-photo layout editorial, have she given justice to the interesting offerings of the urban set-up she used as a location? check here photos here:

For more of Tippi's photographic work, visit here Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sytippi/


Next up, is the set of photos shot by RG Medestomas. In here, you can see Leo(our model) working on some of RG's direction as a photographer. Did RG's technique prevail in producing the right photos from his photo shoot?

You can check more of RG's Flickr photostream here ---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/reigillm/


 Moving on from the photo work of one of the fashion design students in my photography class Nikki Lafrades. Personally, just by looking at her photos, comparing them from the first set of photos she had submitted to me, I can see an obvious improvement, I think I need to thank Julie(one of her classmates) for helping her out with some of the techniques too. But were those techniques utilized in producing her photos? Be the judge here:


And lastly, we have Hannah Sison's photo set. As a multimedia artist, have she produced the photos required from the activity, more so, have she somehow, showed a new approach in her photography that will excite her audience more with what she can actually deliver? Let's see here:

For Hannah's Facebook page, like it here: https://www.facebook.com/hannahsison


So that's it, I am excited to deliver my evaluation by next week to my class. Another photo shoot activity, another learning. Until next photo shoot guys!




A few hours ago, right after I published a blog about an activity from a photography class I teach, out of curiosity, I Google-d my name and checked on the online links that all pertain to my identity online. This has been a habit and I do it every now and then, just to check on how my name fair in the world-wide-web. I seldom check on the "Images" tab of the Google homepage when I search my name on it, for, I know I would only see -mostly- my photographic works from either a personal project I shot or a client-shoot I have produced over the years working as a Fashion Photographer. So... as i was nonchalantly doing my business in looking at the photos I took in the Google Images I saw an image(a self-portrait I shot last February of this year) in the initial results of my search word(Enzo Mondejar), encircled image in the image below:

As a -diligent- web user, I clicked on the link... not for any reason, but mainly to check on why it seem like the treatment of my photo is 'different' compared to what I am usually known to do(and what I have originally published)

The image appeared on the link online:

The Original Photo I have published last February:

Okay, so maybe, that is just me being -overly- articulate about MY work and how it is being used(like any responsible professional working in the creative field)... BUT, as far as I am concerned, this is a 'personal photo' though, published online... posted with the intention to only share with my networks and followers, not to be used for any commercial purpose. You can check this link to see my original blog post I published about it ---> http://effingthelens.blogspot.com/search?q=free+as+my+hair

Okay, so here is the very essence of this post, A screenshot taken from lifestyle.inquirer.net:

you can check on the this link to go to the actual post---> http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/35091/more-and-more-guys-are-going-mohawk


As an instructor in one of the esteemed school in Fashion and Arts in Manila, I NOT only need to practice what I preach, but NEED to stress it more to my students, followers and to the rest of the creative community(particularly my fellow photographers)... that,  I don't find it appreciative(though made to look like I was a "Poster Boy" for a supposed trend in male hairstyle) to use my photo work(in this case, my self-portrait) WITHOUT any written permission coming DIRECTLY from me or the agency or people that represents me. I get it, you liked my photo, thought it was appropriate to use it for your Franck Provost write-up with

The thing is, materials online, once published, CAN(in some extent, but not totally) be considered for public use. The problem that I see here, is that, being a recognized publication like Philippine Daily Inquirer, and the writer of the article, Luis Carlo San Juan, could have, AT THE VERY LEAST, messaged me, in whatever way he can inn INFORMING me that He will use my photo in his article. A little professional gesture, from a professional to a fellow professional from his part maybe?... wouldn't produce a single drop of sweat from him. 

Photography is my profession, and I don't need to explain on why I do my work and on why I need to be properly notified when my work will be used for any published material(whether print or online), more so, I don't need to expound on the very same root of why I do my thing and expect compensation once the work USED in any print was published.

I find this treatment to photographers as an insult to our profession. I understand that the writer(Luis Carlo San Juan) put my name right below the photo THAT HE USED WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE. But I still need to be informed(now I know how that Christopher Lao felt NOT BEING INFORMED, but that is another story).

I don't really know who this Luis Carlo San Juan-person is, and from the looks of it, he doesn't know me personally as well(YET, HE MANAGED TO USE MY WORK WITHOUT MY CONSENT) ...

Hopefully, this becomes a lesson to all the writers who manage to pseudo-produce an article, thinking that it will be okay to use any material that they can find online, put a name of the source under the image and be fine with it. Most local photographers allow it to happen, that's why the discipline that is Photography, as a business, dwindles to nothing as a hobby or a mere output for support purposes of other media. Well, not for me.

My message to the writer:

Dear Luis Carlos San Juan,

Yes, we know, you had an awesome time having your haircut with Mr. Hebert, good for you! But please, do your research first, my hairstyle is NOT mohawk, definitely NOT a fauxhawk, or whatever hawk you wanna imply it with. It is called an UNDERSHAVE. It can be clearly seen in my self-portrait. The sides are shaved, that continues on the back(the nape is completely shaved). I've sported the look for years, my identity is mostly associated with it, so I know it very well.

Secondly, I am actually a nice human being. I entertain questions, queries and reactions. Message me if you need anything from me, my work or my business, and I'll gladly entertain you. I appreciate people hiring me to produce a job/work. It means they believe in me and the output that I produce. Just like you and your work in the publication as a writer, I take pride in it. So whatever undertaking needed to produce a material, you should -at the very least- be responsible to inform the people involved in your work. I did NOT appreciate you using my self-portrait in your article without my knowledge.

Finally, you have an option, either (a)Take MY photo down the PDI website and get it over with, (b)Give me proper compensation for my photo you used in publishing your article(whether print or online) and get it over with, or (c)Keep using my photo, but, with this, you can talk to my legal associates and advisers about the matter and... get it over with.

I don't know any of your personal contacts, but I am doing my best to reach to PDI via Twitter or Facebook through a link of this post.

I have no beef against you or your publication, in fact, partly I thank you too for considering to use my photo. But this is business for me, so, in the event that you'll be using my work in the future, and since, I haven't met you, and THIS is crazy, so next time, inform me, maybe.


Fashion Photographer and Instructor

It was misleading on your part to solely credit Migs Castro in the photos, wherein your readers might actually think my self-portrait was taken by him. You have given credit, but missed-out in giving an appropriate one.

STUDENT FEATURE | Behind The Lens: Fashion Photography Students at SoFA Manila Photo Activity

The sun was up yesterday when my students at SoFA Manila had their 7th photo activity for our Fashion Photography class. We have worked with a male model(Leo Miranda) for the said activity, and we made use of the urbanized background of what our campus had to offer. Utilizing both the Gil Puyat(Buendia) facade of our building, also the narrow alley-way right beside and the busy streets of Jupiter in Makati as our location.

Here is Tippi working some shots with Leo along Buendia Ave... With that... some posing instructions too were seen from her

RG works with Leo in the photo below to gather some good headshot materials I have required for them. I am excited to see what they have come up with from the activity.

Hannah, a working fashion model herself, knows how to capture some of Leo's good angles as she traverses the stretch of Jupiter street while doing the activity.

Not minding the difficulties just to get the right angle and composition to produce the perfect shot! Standing in the background is Niki observing how the shoot is progressing while Julie sends us a smile and a 'peace sign', enjoying much of what is going on.

Here, Hannah and Niki taking both of Leo's photos for the activity. 

We finished the activity successfully, producing what we needed for the requirement, now, I am eagerly waiting for my students works to evaluate and discuss it during our next session.

Thanks and keep shooting guys! :)


Photographed the New York-based German-Vietnamese model Benjamin Tang, styled by Eric Poliquit with hair and grooming by Mark Familara, shot on location at The Taipan Place courtesy of our location manager and production assistant Ivy Aseniero-Ramos.

Check out the original post here: http://bit.ly/Qvl0GP