Professional portrait photographer, Bree-Lynn Mistol was always a creative person. She recalls how she always had a little camera on her and would constantly be taking photos. She would then upload them to her computer and edit them in Picnik (and old editing software). She says “I’ve always been drawing, painting, dancing…”. But her journey into photography wasn’t straightforward.
After she graduated from high school, she went straight to college where she got into a denturist program. She lasted about 3 days before deciding to dropped out. She decided to go to her aunt’s house for a week to do some soul searching where she came to the conclusion that she was going to try to become a makeup artist. She says “I had some money put away for me for school; therefore, I needed to take a credited course to use it. We started looking into things but couldn’t really find anything that interested me until I came across the Photographic Technology program at NAIT”. As she had always been interested in photography and photo editing she thought it would make a good match with being a makeup artist. After applying to the program, she waited for a response. In the meantime, she started taking photos of her friends and family and fell in love with it. A month later she received her acceptance letter! After finishing the 2-year program she graduated in 2016 and has been running her own business since then!
Bree-Lynn, where are you from?
I grew up in a small town in Alberta, Canada called St. Paul.
Where do you currently live?
I moved to Edmonton, Alberta 4 years ago.
What genre of photography do you specialise in?
I specialise in portrait photography.
Describe your style of photography?
I would describe my style as vibrant, glowing and unique. My favourite thing about my style is that when people see one of my photos they know it’s mine before seeing my name!
What are you working on at the moment?
I don’t have any current projects going on. Most of my shoots aren’t planned out, I just go with the flow!
What is your next project or assignment?
I do have a color project in mind that I’ll hopefully start soon!
Are there any photographers whose work/style you admire?
Agata Serge and Alessio Albi have always been my favourite photographers. I love their style and draw a lot of inspiration from their work.
What is your favourite memory of your experiences?
When I was younger my friend’s auntie was having a baby girl. All of her kids’ names started with Bri. She had asked my friend if she had any name suggestions for her newborn. My friend had mentioned my name and they ended up naming her Brilynne.
While I was in photography school we needed to do a 12 photo thesis. I did mine on kids looking older than they are. I posted a model call and got a response from Brilynne’s mom. She fit my criteria so it was super cool being able to photograph someone named after me!
What’s the biggest photographic challenge you overcame?
For the past five and a half years, I’ve struggled with hating photography quite a bit. I’d advise doing everything you can to not hate it. There were a few months where I almost fully quit, but I found ways to take a break and learn to love it again!
What’s in your camera bag?
I use a Canon 5D mark iii. As for lenses, I have a Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 85mm 1.2 and a Canon 135mm 2.0.
What photographic equipment would you never leave home without?
My camera, my 35mm and 135mm lenses. I’d also my highlighter makeup with me too!
What advice you would give anyone who is starting out?
Watch a lot of YouTube videos! Before I was in photography school I learnt a lot online. You can find almost everything online these days.
Any pitfalls they should avoid?
DON’T LET PEOPLE USE YOU! Always know your worth and don’t do free shoots unless it will help and further your career.
Lastly… if you weren’t a photographer what would you be doing?
I would probably be a denturist! I had gotten into the program but I had to drop out due to me jumping into it too fast. I’m glad that it all happened though because I wouldn’t be where I am now!
To see more of Bree’s work or book a shoot visit her website
You can follow her of her Facebook page
All images by Bree-Lynn Mistol. All rights reserved. No usage anywhere online or in print without permission.
Interview by Kav Dadfar.