The fascinating thing about studying ocean photographers is discovering the infinite ways that different people can view the same subject.
Florian Gruet has a special way of seeing the ocean and his images take you right there with him.
Bobbing above and below the ocean, image by image, bathed in perfect light and crystal clear mediterranean water, you can almost feel what it’s like to be right there in the moment.
Debuting as the first French photographer on The Salt Sessions, Florian’s focus is on creating feeling in his images.
His use of light and the way it interacts with the surface of the ocean, both above and below, is both stunning and inspiring.
The water clarity he shoots in will have you envious, and the art he produces from it will make you a fan.
Something that hits very close to home for me, he took the risk of leaving the safety of his job 4 years ago to pursue his dream and passion of making photography his full time income. As he mentions, it’s not easy every day, but chasing your dream shouldn’t be easy, and thats why i have so much respect for those who try.
Those who take the leap of uncertainty, never have to ask the question “what if?”
The words and images below are just a starting point.
Once you have have read all about this talented photographer, please click through to the links at the bottom, and scroll through his feed to discover the aquatic dreamland of Florian Gruet
I live in a little town in the backcountry, Sospel, France
Firstly, I just want to say your images are incredible! Was photography always the plan or what first made you pick up a camera?
Thanks Scott! I always have a love for photography, but I wasn’t planning to try to make it full time. I tried lots of types of photography, street, macro, landscape etc. But the first time i got in the water with my DSLR I immediately knew that i wanted to do that all my life! It reunited two things that i love. Being in the water and having my camera with me.
You see the ocean in a beautifully unique way. Is there anything particular you think that has helped to shape your style?
The first is maybe because when i get in the water i don’t look down. I was attracted by the light that the sun creates when it hits the water. You have string contrast and it makes sort of clear, dark shots. I really love that!
The second is, i love when people say - i really feel like i’m with you in the water when i look at your pics - I think i have this in my head when i shoot. Maybe that helped to shape my style.
When you go out to shoot are you planning a specific shot or more just reacting to what happens on the day?
For 80 percent of my shoots i just go in the water and see what happens. If i am shooting with a model i try to plan some poses (the day before in my head) to do in the water, but i never know exactly the conditions I will find underwater. Sometimes i have 20 metres of visibility and sometimes only 5.
Are you mainly shooting near your home or do you travel to shoot? Where has been your favourite place to shoot away from home?
Most of the time i shoot near my home for the underwater shots. The Mediterranean is very clear. Sometimes i shoot in the South-East of France with my girlfriend. We bought a camper van to be able to move around to other places. Maybe for the next year we might move out of France.
What are the most important elements required in a photo for you to choose it as one to publish?
Firstly the feeling of the shot, then the light and then the colours. The most important is the feeling. Some shots have a great feeling when you see them and some not. Even if the picture is beautiful, it’s like something is missing.
Do you do photography full time and what are your goals as a photographer?
It’s been 4 years since i left my job and my apartment with my girlfriend to try and live off photography. It’s not easy every day but we get there. So yes, i photograph full time now. My goal is to keep doing this as long as possible. To meet people and travel with photography.
If you were given a round-the-world plane ticket tomorrow, which 3 places would you go to photograph (ocean or not)?
Wow, if only that was possible!
Thailand, for the diversity of the landscapes and seascapes
Japan, for the culture
Greenland, for the amazing views and the challenge to get some water shots in very cold water
Are there any photographers that have inspired you along your journey?
Yes, so many photographers. Morgan Maassen, Alex Strohl, Ray Collins, Sebastien Zanella, Chris Burkard and i’m surely missing some other talented photographers.
Any other parting advice for aspiring ocean photographers?
Yes! You maybe have heard this many times, but, do what you love, not what other people love. Have confidence with yourself and never give up..
Dive into Florian’s world further here
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