Behind The Lens With Ben Thouard


"Find your own subject, your own style and dig it"


Hey Ben thanks for chatting with us. For those reading, tell us a little about yourself...

My name is Ben Thouard, I’m a water photographer based in Tahiti – French Polynesia. I’m originally from the south of France, been a surfer since my younger age and discovered photography as a teenager. Photography brought me to Hawaii where I started shooting windsurfing pictures, which took me around the world to shoot travel stories for magazines, this is how I discovered Tahiti 10 years ago and it became home. Nowadays I’m dedicating a lot of my time shooting ocean imagery.

« I named this shot 'Into The Wild' because of the lip creating a window into this unreal view of Tahiti's wild coast »

How would you describe your photography in 5 words?

Water, texture, movement, tropical, waves.

« This is William Aliotti in Teahupoo right before the lip exploded on my water housing. Getting a different angle in surf photography sometimes requires serious swimming skills. It’s a great challenge and I love this angle »

What are some of your passions that influence your photography style?

Surfing and art of course. I’ve been a surfer since my younger age so shooting surfing felt natural to me. It’s my whole life to spend time in the ocean.

« A more classic angle but of a beautiful day in Teahupoo with local surfer Tikanui Smith entering the west bowl »

Do you have a favourite place to shoot?

Teahupoo in Tahiti, and this is the main reason why I moved there.

« My good friend and favorite surfer to shoot with, Michel Bourez setting his line over a shallow reef »

Have you any trips or exciting projects coming up?

Yeah ! I’ve been working on a personal project for the last 2 years which should be released in 2018 - I can’t say much about it now, it’s a bit early but it’s always exciting to work on your own things.

« Full speed in the west bowl, young local Matahi Drollet focused on the exit »

What is your preferred equipment to shoot on?

Canon EOS 1DXmII + 24mm inside an Aquatech Delphin housing.

« This why I love spending time alone out in the ocean to witness moments like this... 'LOST' was a few last seconds before the storm hit »

What would you like viewers to take away from your work?

Inspiration and sensitization about ocean preservation.

« 'The Silver Surfer' is Landon MacNamara »

Who are some photographers that you admire and respect?

Paul Nicklen for his awesome environmental work and Ray Collins for his Art work.

« Local charger Matehau Tetopata getting the best view of the show »

What tips or advice would you give to someone wanting to get into photography?

Find your own subject, your own style and dig it.

« 'Teeth' or the triple lip of the Teahupoo monster »

And finally, if you could shoot with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’m more in the present so I would probably say John Florence.

« 'Perfection' - everything about a wave breaking in one photo »

Free ride

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