Ben Thouard
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Ben Thouard Photographer

Originally from the south-east of France, I have been raised by the sea.

Passionate about the ocean and specifically by watersports since my younger age, the ocean has always been a part of my life.

From a family of six, at young age my big brothers taught me surfing which have bred in me a deep love for the ocean. This sport became an addiction that has guided the rest of my life.

While I was learning how to surf, I was also discovering art and joined painting classes. Naturally I was painting ocean and waves. It was only as a teenager that I discovered photography, when I accidentally found an old camera in my parents’ attic. I buy a few films, I shoot, I failed, I shoot again… and realise that this whole process fascinates me. That’s it ! I will become a photographer. I right away tried to capture the emotions that I feel when I’m out there surfing, swimming in large waves.

After graduating, I managed to convince my parents that I want to do a photography school. That’s how I moved to Paris with a camera and a 50mm. I spent the first year shooting everywhere in Paris, consuming dozens, even hundreds of Kodak films TRI-X 400 that i developed in my bathroom and printed at school. Like I was thirsty of knowledge, I learnt everything I could, I spent countless hours shooting, reading and learning. But this obsession for surfing gets back in me and makes my life in Paris hard to handle. Eventually I quit my photography school halfway thru the year and flew to Hawaii ! In January 2006, at 19 years old, I landed on Maui, Hawaii with my home-made waterhousing and I spent the next 3 months swimming at Ho’okipa every single day regardless of the conditions.

Ocean and Photography are the 2 passions that have given a rhythm to my life and which brought me to the other side of the world where I decided to stay.

Tahiti, a small island in the south Pacific that host one of the best wave in the world and a spectacular underwater world has become my territory.

It’s where I developed my style and found inspiration in a close relationship with the ocean.

It allowed me to publish 2 books : Surface and Turbulences

I was lucky enough and honored to be the overall winner of the 2019 Red Bull Illume edition as well as the 2022 Ocean Photographer of the year

Today, my quest for water photography keeps going and growing and still gives the rhythm to my life.



Flotsam International Masters Of Surf Launch
2024 exhibition music panel

Flotsam International Masters Of Surf Launch

Fri, May 3

1:00 pm — 5:00 pm

Kirra Beach House

Flotsam International Masters of Surf Exhibition
free event
2024 exhibition

Flotsam International Masters of Surf Exhibition

Tue, May 7

9:00 am — 4:00 pm

Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre