Pierre-Yves Brest was born in Quimper in 1967. He lives and works in Lille (France).
He studied photography at the Ecole Nationale de la Photographie, Arles (diploma in 1990) and history of art at Paris-Nanterre University (master's degree in 1996).
From 2001 to 2019 he is currently teaching at the École supérieure d'art, Cambrai. Nowadays he is Head of the photography department at the Royal Academy of Art, Brussel. His studio stands at La Malterie in Lille.