The waves are small in the south of France, where Ben Thouard grew up. But that didn’t stop him from developing a keen interest in the water. His father, a sailor, armed him with plenty of knowledge about the wind and the waves, while his older brothers introduced him to the thrill of tearing around the ocean on a surfboard.
When Ben was 15, he discovered a second passion – photography. After studying at a photography school in Paris, Ben built a name for himself shooting professional surfers around the world. He moved to Tahiti at the age of 22 and established a reputation as one of the leading photographers of French Polynesia – shooting magazine covers, ad campaigns, and award-winning fine-art images from the crystal-clear waves in his own backyard.
We caught up with Ben to find out what kind of gear a photographer needs to get up close and personal with the surf.