Alex Lam's interest in photography was first sparked after taking a photography course in high school. Thousands of shutter clicks later, the third-year popular music studies student can’t seem put his camera down.
He began to pursue his hobby in the summer after his first year of university. Alex, originally an aspiring musician, decided to take a break from the playing guitar and drums to switch things up. His affinity for photography escalated quickly after he spent nearly all his savings on a Canon 5D Mark III.
“I started shooting for hip hop artists around Toronto,” says Alex. “That’s how I started practicing, and then towards second year, I applied for an application to be a volunteer at the USC.”
He later began working with London Fuse, shooting concerts at the London Music Hall and Rum Runners. He began reaching out to bands, shooting their portraits and shows. On occasion, he would shoot video for bands playing live on CHRW. Eventually, he transitioned from working as a volunteer to working as an intern for the USC. His work didn’t go unnoticed either.
“There’s never been a no from any band,” says Alex. “I pretty much got the shoot with every band that I wanted to shoot.”
Throughout this time, Alex garnered a significant Instagram following with 1,352 followers and 400 posts to date.
Inspired by Adam Elmakias, Alex’s photos are moody, contrasty and at times ephemeral, depicting artists in clouds of smoke, screaming into microphones and voraciously strumming guitars.
With unique and accentuating edits, Alex incorporates cool colours, bright and luminous tones and crushed blacks in a carefully curated Instagram page. Put together, his photos capture both eerie and beautiful moments.
Lam’s photos reflect his own love for music and the art of performance, subjects that are the focus of his studies in school. It was only natural for him to combine his interest in music with photography.
For Alex, photography is not just a creative outlet, but it also serves as a way for him to connect with people he would have otherwise never talked to, including bands he grew up listening too.
“Art is a language, and I’m pretty sure a lot of artists would agree too,” says Alex. “It’s a way of connecting with people. I’m more so an introvert, I feel like photography has put me into situations that I probably would not have done unless I was forced to.”
Balancing art, music and school, however, can be challenging. That’s why Alex has decided to focus a little more on his studies.
“I was shooting a lot last year so my grades weren’t what I expected them to be,” says Alex. “I kind of now understand the whole idea of paying for school and the expenses, along with your social life and your own health.”
Alex says that if he’s going to invest all his money in education, he should probably invest himself into it too.
For those looking to follow the footsteps of Alex, his advice is to just start.
“We’re born in this age where we have everything accessible to us,” says Alex. “Honestly, it’s the kind of thing where you just have to go for it. You’ve just got to stop procrastinating and push yourself.”