JC: What style of photography do you try to achieve?
JH: I always try to build an image that is not only action. Photography is about light and framing. Composition is very important for me. I’m glad that I’ve learned photography before digital arrived, it was a great way to learn. With film there is no way to cheat with Photoshop – you reframe and adjust your exposure.
JC: What makes a particular shot stand out from all the rest?
JH: I love when I can see the face of the rider and their expression, then light makes the rest. Background and location can add another dimension also.
JC: How do you stay passionate about photography?
JH: It’s more than a passion, it’s an obsession. It’s a never-ending story with endless possibilities. It’s amazing because like music there’s always someone coming out with a new sound. In photography people come out with new angles, new techniques and new images. I feel like I’m only at the very beginning of something, still learning a lot and feel like I can do much more in photography.
JC: What sets apart an exceptional photographer from a good one?
JH: The creativity, the ability to come with a new eye, another way to look around and the one who comes back with different pictures.
JC: Where is your favourite location to shoot?
JH: I spent more than 20 years shooting at Hoo’kipa, so I guess I kind of like this place… but I also love to travel around and discover new places to shoot.
JC: Who is your favourite rider to work with?
JH: There are so many good guys around, friends, passionate and talented riders. It’s hard to say, it depends on what you shoot and what you’re looking for. Antoine Albeau is for sure my favourite for flat water and slalom, he’s so professional, efficient and a nice guy to work with… plus he’s a really good friend of mine. For waves, there are so many that it’s hard to say… Boujmaa Guilloul for jumping, Baptiste Gossein has also been one of my favourite riders to work with too. I like to work with friends and smart guys… a good rider for photos is the one who rides for you, for the photo. Not the guy who would rather go hit the lip a little further down if it’s better there for his own pleasure. It’s real work for the rider during a photo shoot!
JC: Do you ever get stressed out when doing a photo assignment?
JH: I could get stressed by the weather itself, not by the photo assignment, especially if it is not good after a few days of waiting. I like the excitement there is around all the team during a photo shoot – the organisation and preparation. I love to work with a team.
JC: What’s the best and worst part about being a photographer?
JH: The best is being a witness to all of this beauty, this wonderful sport… swimming in the middle of huge and perfect waves some days or flying over the best riders in the world who are trying to give you their best! The worst is wasting time on the beach waiting for sun and good weather conditions. Never knowing when you’re going to be able to do the work you have to do, it’s hard to plan anything when you deal with nature. You can always anticipate a lot, but once you’re on the spot, a little cloud can ruin all your best plans. I hate to waste my time, knowing that I still have hours and hours of editing to do once I’m back home… work that I’ll do at night while others will be sleeping or partying.
JC: What equipment do you use?
JH: I use Canon lenses and bodies.
JC: If you could only have one lens to use for the rest of your life what would it be?
JH: It would a 15-600 mm f/4 stabilized.