Mediaplanet: How has continuing education contributed to your success?
Kristin Lau: I’m a graduate of the photojournalism post-graduate program at the SPEOS Paris Photographic Institute and pursued continuing education courses with OCAD in Toronto. Continuing education programs have helped me to hone in on my skill sets, and develop my creative and visual identity, and connect with like-minded individuals, artists, and visual storytellers.

My goal with photography is to raise awareness around humanitarian and environmental issues globally.

Continuing education courses vary, so it is imperative to do your research beforehand. These programs are designed to provide a diversity of options and — if you are up for the challenge — push yourself beyond your limits and comfort zone.

You certainly get what you put into it.

MP: What is your advice for students conflicted between traditional or passion-inspired career options?
KL: The idea of a single, traditional and linear career path is a part of the past. If you are passionate about something, pursue it and be open. Always be true to yourself and follow your passion. Always be present and keep an open mind. Curiosity is your best friend.

MP: What is your most memorable experience from your career thus far?
Working in Nepal on my long-term mixed-media documentary project, Light for Life, has been one of the most memorable and rewarding. Through a recent partnership with the NGO Photographers Without Borders and SunFarmer, I set out to capture the impact of solar technology and the importance of renewables as a means to alleviating energy poverty in Nepal.

MP: How have you seen your work create a positive global impact?
KL: Photography is a medium used to communicate a message and convey experiences. My goal with photography is to raise awareness around humanitarian and environmental issues globally. I focus on documenting the candid and capturing moments that inspire a call-to-action and create conversation. I hope to impart a little bit of myself in each of my projects and cover under-reported issues that impact developing nations. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to live and work in the U.S.A., Canada, Asia, and Europe, with each place influencing and shaping my views today to impact change — one photograph at a time.