A Calling

Pam Lau is an independent commercial and fashion photographer based in Toronto. In 2016 she received the Applied Arts Young Blood Photography Award. She seeks the calm and uncomplicated in her work and translates this mood into lifestyle imagery for clients such as Nike, American Express and VICE.

How did the idea for the series come about?

A few times each year, Kristen and I get together and drive somewhere with no real agenda in mind other than just to take pictures. This set of images are from a time when we were both feeling burnt out and overextended from everyday routine and had to get out of the city to reset.

Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?

I think we can only benefit by more diversity of people in front and behind the camera, as well as in positions of editorial and curatorial decision-making.

What inspires you?

I used to be very meticulous in my call sheets, drafting extensive mood boards for expression, posing and styling. Lately I’ve been putting just a few references together before a shoot to act as a starting point and leaving the rest up to experimentation. If there’s a good energy on set I know that I’ll be happy with the end result.

Film or digital?

There are benefits and uses to both. In the studio I will use digital. Outdoors on-location and when I’m travelling I prefer film.

What makes you happy?

The sun and the water. Seeing my friends do well. Ketchup Doritos.

What’s next for you?

I’m gradually working on the follow up to my first photo book bbblue as well as a solo exhibition. I’m also continuing commercial projects with new and existing clients.