Ben Thouard - Photographer

Ben Thouard is a photographer born in France. His father taught him everything there is to know about the ocean and his brothers taught him how to surf. Ben quickly developed a close connection to nature and the water and years later, channelled this passion into his photography. He moved to Tahiti when he was 22 and made it his home ever since. Ben is one of those lucky humans that gets to make a living out of his passion.

Tell us a bit about you

I’m a professional photographer based in Tahiti. I started photography 11 years ago and moved to Tahiti 8 years ago. Dedicating my time to the ocean.

What is it that you like about the surf and the ocean?

I love being in the ocean, it’s my addiction. I love feeling the water moving around me, being part of the element…

I enjoy either surfing or taking photo, waves passionate me. I now dedicate a lot of time shooting empty waves and unique moment that I witness out there.

How did you become a photographer? What were you doing before?

I did a photography school in Paris, but did not go all the way as I could not stay more in Paris; Even though it’s a great city, I was just dreaming about the ocean.

I knew everything was happening in Hawaii, so I flew over to Maui when I was 19, and started shooting windsurfing. It all started from there, and it brought me to Tahiti which is my home now.

Who or what inspired you to do what you do?

I think I was dreaming about surfing and photography when I was a teenager looking at surfing magazines. This is definitely the first source of inspiration. I was completely submerged by the photos I could see in there, and wanted to be part of it so bad. When I started photography I was amazed by the work of guys like Scott Aichner, Jeff Divine…

Then I discovered the work of Chris Burkard, Zak Noyle and more. They were truly an inspiration!

Lately the most amazing water photographer to me is Ray Collins - he captures the ocean like no others.

Do you travel much because of work?

When I first started photography as a windsurf photographer, I used to travel 10 months a year for at least 4/5 years. That took me to some of the most amazing places.

Since I’m living in Tahiti I travel less and less, because Tahiti is a great base and because budgets are getting lower. I miss travelling a lot and I hope I manage to go on a few interesting trips soon!

From the places you have surfed/visited, which one is your favourite so far?

Tahiti for sure, this was the reason why I moved here. I also really loved South America, I would really love to go back to countries like Peru.

What do you love most about your job?

Passion and freedom.

Is there a particular project you will always remember / biggest achievement of your career?

It’s a project I’m working on theses days. I’m trying to achieve a nice and large Ocean photos collection to produce a book and some exhibition. It’s a long road but it’s my new goal in life and I really hope this project will come to life.

You shoot big waves at Teahupoo. Have you had any scary moment?

Yeah of course, everybody had some when shooting Teahupoo. I got caught by a 12 foot set while shooting in the inside at Teahupoo. I ended up in the lagoon…

Exciting plans for the future?

This coming book, hopefully !

Where can we find you online?


Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on July 17, 2016
Categories: Interviews