In the Studio with….Elite Studio

We recently had a wonderful opportunity to listen to Andrew Merefield, CPP  talk about his studio, the story behind the name and his plans for the future. Andrew also shared the various workshops that he runs, his printing business with Darren Jew and a host of other things. Andrew has a long history with the PPAQ and is the brains behind our current Developing Professional Photographers program. It’s a true pleasure to spend time with him and we are so grateful to be able to count him as one of our valued members.

The PPAQ’s “In the Studio with…” events are a platform for our members to share their experience within our community. Each CPP takes away something different from every event and that’s what makes them so valuable.

About the PPAQ

The PPAQ guarantees the highest standards in professional photography, ensuring exceptional imagery, business probity and client confidence. PPAQ members nurture relationships with fellow professionals, clients and community; actively promote the Association and build membership; and commit to continuous learning and improvement.

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CPP Spotlight: Clare Lacanau Photography

Hello and Welcome!

This is the first in a monthly blog series which aims to introduce you to each of our Certified Professional Photographers.

Meet Clare of Clare Lacanau Photography. Clare specialises in newborn photography and is located in North Brisbane. She’s also a valuable part of the PPAQ council.


1. What influence can experienced and seasoned professional photographers have on a new generation who see photography as an instant reward and recognition medium?

With technology changing so quickly and constantly we need to express the importance of printing our images, the importance of the final products we offer…the legacy. Everyone now has a camera with them everyday and it’s very easy to take a selfie or photographs of your children but how many of these images are unprinted or become lost data when the device is obsolete, lost or broken?! The next generation are quickly becoming an invisible generation, with images stored never to see the light of day. A professional print can be shared from generation to generation and becomes their legacy. You can restore an image from a print, whereas lost or damaged data is gone forever.

2. Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?

As a child I was inspired and heavily influenced by my Dad and his photographic style. We lived in Africa and he would often photograph wildlife, us as a family and the stars. I loved watching him and helping him develop photographs in the dark room…it was like magic!! As a student I loved the works of great impressionists like Renoir and Monet, all the beautiful soft colors and the way they used them and the way they used light in the artworks. I am always inspired by light!! I love beautiful neutral, soft textures and often create my own props to use during newborn sessions. My current photography inspiration comes from amazing photographers like Sue Bryce, Kelly Brown and Robin Long.

3. What advice would you have given yourself in the first few years of your career?

Breathe, have patience, take one step at a time…this a marathon not a sprint. Don’t be afraid to fail, as failure equals learning and growth. Done is better than perfect, don’t allow perfection to lead to fear and paralysis. Success never happens over night it takes, hard work, determination, failure and lots and lots of work on yourself…your self value and self worth especially!!

4. What do you see as one of the most important qualities or things to focus on to be a successful photographer?

As a typical ‘creative’ for me it is, and always will be about self value and self worth. Being able to show others the true value and importance of what Photography is about. Just because we are passionate and love what we do doesn’t mean we have to undervalue and undercharge for it.

5. In your opinion how is being a member of an Association like the PPAQ relevant in today’s business climate?

I really value being a member of PPAQ as it offers  recognition as a professional, to be set apart from being just a ‘Mum with a camera’. I have spent many years studying, learning and refining my craft and will spend many more still. It is also so important to be part of a community of professionals that you can communicate with regularly to discuss changes in the industry and bounce ideas off. Being part of a supportive community, with the idea of community over competition is of great importance to me. I enjoy being part of an organization where we can help lift each other up, there is room for all of us to be successful, in our own right and as a group.

To see more of Clare’s work, visit her webpage here or follow her facebook page here.