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Meet Pam Lau, Photographer, Educator, and Ambassador for Canon Canada

She is also the co-founder an initiative that address the cultural, financial, and institutional barriers that exist in creative industries

Pam Lau is a self-taught photographer, educator, and ambassador for Canon Canada based out of Toronto and Montréal. She is the co-founder of Ecru, a grassroots, educational initiative founded to address the cultural, financial, and institutional barriers that exist for many when interested in and attempting to work in creative industries. As the recipient of the Applied Arts Young Blood Photography Award and named a “Photographer to Watch” by 500px’s during their Asian Heritage Month spotlight, Pam’s clients include American Express, Nike, Puma, Shopify, Microsoft, and Ford. Learn more about Pam below.

My first job ever was… as a Sandwich Artist at Quiznos. 

Before I was a photographer, I was… a student at U of T.

I wanted to be a photographer because… I wanted to carve out a point of view for myself, after a childhood of wanting to blend in as a social survival tactic.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about myself in my time as an entrepreneur is… to listen to and trust my instincts.

My proudest accomplishment is… getting asked to be an ambassador for Canon. At the time, I was recovering from an injury and not feeling confident at all, and it was validating that others saw me before I saw myself.

I helped found Ecru, a grassroots educational initiative that helps address the cultural, financial, and institutional barriers to entering creative industries because… I experienced it firsthand, and I want to see change happen in my lifetime. There are so many stories to be told that deserve to be platformed and supported.

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is…  building things takes time and resources. You could be on the precipice of a breakthrough right when you feel like you want to give up.

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… creating boundaries between work and life. I am passionate about what I do but I need time to rest, rejuvenate, and recharge so it can continue being something I enjoy.

If I had an extra hour in the day, I would… learn the harp and practice every morning in the forest, like in Gauche the Cellist (1982). I used to play the flute and piano, and at times, I miss my musical side.

The thing I love most about what I do is… I feel valued for simply being myself. By showing up as I am, speaking on what is important to me, and sharing my truth.

The one thing I wish I knew when starting out in photography is… people will project their own insecurities and fears on you. I had a lot of people who were skeptical and told me I couldn’t do it. 

I stay inspired by… staying curious and indulging my inner child.

The future excites me because… culture is moved forward through experimentation. 

To keep up with Pam and her work, connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.