We take a step behind the lens of Brie Lakin, a photographer whose imagery reveals the raw authenticity of her subjects. She’s got a hard-working attitude, one that enabled her to ditch a full time gig in order to commit being a full time working photographer. Brie’s work reflects a beautiful grittiness, capturing the essence of her subjects in environments that exude positivity, fun, and natural beauty.
We understand you went freelance about a year ago, but you had to put the work in on other jobs before you were able to make the jump to working as a photographer full time. What’s that journey been like?
My journey as a freelance photographer has been extremely exciting and unpredictable to say the least. I started my career in photography 7 years ago after leaving behind a job in online marketing. At this point I did minimal research, invested in a camera from Costco, bought a water housing and decided I wanted to become a photographer highlighting women in action sports.
In 2017ish I stumbled across an underwater surf photography workshop in Hawaii led by the OG himself, Brian Bielmann. I did everything I could to get myself out there. This trip was very pivotal for my career.
I ended up staying longer than I anticipated, crashing on the floor for a couple of weeks in a Brazilian hostel. I picked up some hitchhikers who I later met in Bali, which ultimately led to connecting me with a great mentor back in California where I’m based.
Throughout this time I worked multiple jobs bartending, random photo gigs, and assisting, literally anything to fund my passion all the while building my portfolio and taking as many photographs that aligned with my ideal clientele. This was definitely a scrappy time during my life but I don’t regret any of it haha.
The one thing that has guided me most is trusting that things always work out no matter what and that there’s always a way to make something happen if you really want it bad enough.
What do you enjoy most about your process of making images?
The energy that is created through the process is my favorite part for sure. Being present in the moment while creating and collaborating is the ultimate feeling of joy. The photos are the reward.
"Authenticity is key. Having fun is so important to me..."
The way you connect with, interact with, and ultimately bring out your subject’s emotions has got to be just as important as your framing and exposure choices. How does your personality play into your work?
Authenticity is key. Having fun is so important to me and I really try my best to make everyone feel comfortable. Getting “the shot” is truly a collaborative effort.
Excitement, passion, and the unknown.
Your editorial work has a rawness to it that comes across really genuine & sincere. Your photographs have a beautiful grittiness to them. What kind of environments do you find lend themselves to capturing this kind of style?
I really try my best to keep the environment light, fun, and positive. If there’s an opportunity on set I love having music with me to keep the vibes high and flowing. The majority of shoots I work on happen to be in nature, which already sets such a great foundation for a beautiful atmosphere.
How does being a photographer influence how you go about your day to day life?
Being open minded and saying yes to all of the opportunities that feel in alignment with my highest good. Having focus and discipline and being able to adapt to situations easily.
My work is an extension of my lifestyle and things I love doing and the amazingly inspiring people I am surrounded by. I feel very very lucky that both of these go hand in hand.
We've seen you shooting more and more 8mm lately, how do you like to balance the motion work with your stills work?
I love shooting with super8 and whenever there's an opportunity to incorporate it in on a shoot it makes me so happy. I love how it makes the moment come alive.
What’s on the horizon? Where are you looking to take your career moving forward?
I’m really excited to tap into more personal projects this year around storytelling through imagery, fashion, and movement and see how things unfold through the process of creating!
Brie Lakin is a photographer based in Los Angeles.