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Photographer of the week: Florian Gruet

How does it feel to work in a field you are not satisfied by? To wake up every morning and walk backwards, hoping the day could be over already. To spend your day inside, wishing you were somewhere else. How does it feel to be stuck in a situation where it feels like you’re drowning?

You have two options: to let yourself drown or to follow your passion.

Grab the courage you have, quit everything & start a new adventure based on uncertainty and the unknown.

The success may take a long time to come, but sometimes, your passion ends up enlighten your whole universe, like it did for Florian Gruet.

Now, instead of spending his days in an office, Florian is waking up early, eating breakfast, dressing up and leaving with his gears for a bike ride to the beach. Ready to confront the ocean, Florian head in the water to captures the morning light with the waves, hoping to get at least a few shots. Of course, any photographers will know that it takes more than just a few pictures to get an amazing shot, but patience is one of the best qualities of Florian.

His technique? To wait until he’s freezing cold to finally capture an amazing shot.

Florian isn’t our photographer of the week for nothing.

Capturing our attention through social media, the skills of Florian are simply surprising for someone new in the sea and what he captures transport us into a universe of movement and texture that we often forget to admire.

If you were waiting for a sign to finally live of your passion, I think I can say that this may be the one.

It is surprising to know that Florian Gruet started shooting in the sea at the end of July last year without any true expectation except pushing his skills forwards. By quitting the job he was tired of, he decided to follow a long-time dream that sounded crazy to him—photography. Going with his girlfriend to Biarritz, Florian decided to go shoot with his GoPro. This is at this exact moment that he realized what a joy it was to capture the waves & that it was maybe time for him to get a water housing. He started disappearing in the sea a few hours a day as soon as he received it and his true talent finally came to life.

After a while, he felt that his photographs had a lack of human presence and that it could be good to add a surfer to bring some life into it. With one of his friends and newly acolyte, Thomas Ciminos, Florian is now chasing the waves around Europe with an adventure mate.

Finding his inspiration in the shapes of waves, Florian is always out challenging himself with a specific idea in mind. “The hardest part is that you don’t control the water so you often need to take a lot of photos to get only one good. But that’s the fun part, no? If it was too easy, there would be no interest,” explained Florian to us. Everything that requires hard work is always better, I must admit. Also, taking his inspirations from world-renowned photographers such Warren Keelan, Ben Thouard and Ray Collins, that is, at my surprise, colour-blind, Florian try to develop his own style through it all. Of course, it is not surprising that he finds himself inspired by Chris Burkard, like all of us.

Even though he’s always shooting in the water with his Canon 700D, Florian has always been passionate of film cameras. “Digital is great for the quality and is convenient to edit the photos afterwards, especially for wave pictures, but for my everyday life, I rather use films. I don’t know why, but there’s something special that we can’t find with digital,” said Florian about his passion for films.

Waves aren’t always that big in his part of the world, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, but it doesn’t mean that capturing waves is automatically easy. “The hardest part would be to frame your pictures properly when shooting. You’re floating and kind of stable, but not your camera. Not moving is hard and it happens often that when I come back home, all my pictures can’t be used because of the frame. I’m more careful and aware now, but it’s still a really hard task,” explained Florian.

But, if only shooting was enough… Being a professional photographer in France isn’t easy and requires a lot of patience, as well as a good expertise developed through internships, but Florian isn’t discouraged by it so far. His 2017 goal being of becoming a professional, he is now seeking internships and hoping that one day, once he has the title and more visibility, his dream of opening an art gallery with his long-time girlfriend Myriam would become reality. In France or in any untamed places around the world, Florian is going to see where the future will bring him, but until then, he will continue to work hard and challenge himself in the sea.

It is an honour to say that Florian Gruet is one of our newly team members and that we’re going to showcase some of his pictures every month along some of his words. Ready for some inspirations? Get ready for the next articles, and if you haven’t read the first one yet, dig into it. Here

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