It’s part of the Passenger ethos to constantly seek new adventures and experience the freedom that they bring. We want to inspire people to find their own paths and embrace their own journey. But at the same time, we want to be inspired by people who are already pushing their own boundaries. And that’s why we’re passionate about collaborating with people who share our passion for adventure.
One such man who inspires us greatly is French photographer and filmmaker Romain Juchereau. Based in La Rochelle in the South West of France, Romain’s breath taking photography and stunning films really capture the essence of what it means to live life outside the limits. We caught up with Romain for a chat about what inspires him to do what he does.
What ﬁrst attracted you to photography and surf photography in particular?
I guess when I started ﬁlming; I was just doing it for fun. I was 14 years old, and I was ﬁlming my friends skim boarding and surﬁng with my dad's VHS camera. A few years later, I started to travel and get into photography. There are so many beautiful places in this world that I didn’t want to miss out of any of them. I focused on landscape and surﬁng ﬁrst and then opened my mind and my eyes to various subjects. It was the beauty of nature, people and lights through the lens that attracted me to photography.
Your photographs have a nostalgic quality. Is this something you actively seek to create or the result of your subconscious inﬂuences?
Yeah, I feel like I should have been born earlier! I love looking at old photos, polaroids etc. They have so much soul, it's like they're talking to you, and they’re telling you a story. I do try to create that same result using old analog cameras from the 1960's and the late 1970's. I also use expired ﬁlm.
You photograph using both analog and digital methods. Do you have a preference for one style over the other?
I started photography with an analog camera, possible influenced by my family, who always look through old photo albums. When digital cameras came out, most people gave up analog for digital. And I did try digital. I bought a reﬂex camera, and took thousands of photos in different countries, put them on a hard drive and spent days sorting them out. I thought that at least with analog ﬁlms, you only have a certain amount of shots; it makes you focus more on your composition, your creativity. Also, I missed the grain and the soul that an analog photo shows. That's why a few years ago I started to go back to my analog photography and bought some old expired rolls of ﬁlm and started to shoot analog again. The results made me smile and gave me more satisfaction that most of the digital shots I’ve ever taken.
You’re also a ﬁlmmaker. What, in your opinion, makes for a good piece of ﬁlm?
A good scenario, a good story, some great actors or performers and some perfect waves whatever size! And also a great soundtrack! It's hard in surf ﬁlm to get all of these things together.
In 2012, you released a surf documentary called ‘For Better, For Worse’, the trailer for which can be seen on YouTube. Can you tell us a bit more about this ﬁlm?
Yes, for better for worse was my ﬁrst surf documentary. I wanted to make something different, based on the lifestyle of some couples and share their stories. So I followed 3 couples for a year - a couple from England and 2 from France. They tell their story about their passion for surﬁng and what sacriﬁce they made to give up their city lifestyle and work to move to the coast and live the life of a surfer. Some couples made it and some didn’t...
You also have another surﬁng ﬁlm coming out soon called ‘Behind the Tide’, what was your inspiration for this ﬁlm? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
So, from the age of 21, I travelled for a few years, meeting some amazing individuals from different countries, individuals who were really passionate and involved in the culture by making things with their own hands and using analog tools and cameras and making handcrafted surfboards. That was when I decided to make a ﬁlm. The internet helps them a lot by giving them a platform to show their work, but I wanted to help even more. And that’s where my inspiration came from for the production of Behind the Tide.
Do you have a release date in mind for the ﬁlm? How can our readers get their hands on a copy?
I'm still making edits to the ﬁlm at the moment. It should be ready to be shown in surf ﬁlm festivals ﬁrst, and then it’ll be available as a DVD. An iTunes version will be released later on.
You live in La Rochelle, in the South West of France. What’s the local surf scene like there?
I think of all these creative people working together as artisans and that we are a big family trying to make surﬁng evolve every day. We can't make it work without the help of others. That's why I collaborate with other small brands and friends – for the feeling of involvement in surf culture.
To see more of Romain’s photography and to keep track of what he’s working on next, have a look at his website, http://www.romainjuchereau.com/. Afterwards, head back on over here and let us know what you think of his work.