Photographer of the week: Julien Heon

After being hit by the passion of surfing, I slowly realized that it was a poisoned gift. I thought I didn’t belong to Montreal as all I was thinking about was the ocean. I was stuck between buildings, feeling captured by a city that was not mine. I was missing the sound of the waves, and I finally thought: maybe I am crazy? What kind of people get that passion when they are from a place where cold is all they know? Where the ocean doesn’t exist, and skyscrapers are the only things they are surrounded by.

And then, when I created Nouvelle Vague, I realized: I am not alone.
That wild passion isn’t only mine - it’s also something that Julien Heon is possessed by. Surf Photographer for a while now, Julien is from Montreal and never complained about being in the city while constantly taking a new plane to the next surf event. ‘’The surfing scene has been only present in Montreal recently! Surf photographers that are the most successful are living on the road during the whole year. You need to follow the CT to follow the pros and to be able to get some interesting pictures for magazines and brands’’, he told me when I asked him if living in Montreal was an obstacle to his career. Surprisingly, it has never been one and even, sometimes, being French would help him. Most brands have a marketing team in France, so talking French was a good thing for him to get good exposure while being in Europe.

Born in the Laurentians, Julien started to use a 35 mm during his teenage years. Then, when he moved to the west coast and decided to drive across our country until his next destination, he thought it was a good reason to get a better camera body and since then, it never stopped. Photography was more than a passion: it became a living. A necessity. Something that he wasn’t able to quit, and never wanted to quit. But being on the road for a while is fun when you’re in your twenties, but eventually, you want to have a home. A family. Somewhere you can call home sweet home. And it’s hard as a surf photographer when you constantly need to be on the move. ‘’Growing up also means that we are trying to be more sedentary. Shooting surfing is an extraordinary adventure, but to be successful, you need to be there almost all the time, and you need to leave during two-three months at a time. As strange as it seems, I am trying to see if the success I had with surfing could open me doors at home, to be home with my relatives more often. I also shoot endurance sports, which allows me to leave for a shorter amount of time’’.

Endurance sports are not the same things as surfing, but at the end, it’s all about passion. About the thing that is driving you and allow you to push yourself. It still feel that being a surf photographer during a surf event must be pretty overwhelming as the beaches are already crowded with fans and other photographers, also trying to capture the best moments. For Julien, it’s all about searching for the perfect spot, where there is no one to be seen. Doing this allows him to get the shots that no one else had. ‘’We often see 50 photographers at the same place… the safest spot, but certainly not the most creative. I am also trying to capture emotions and the lifestyle, then finally, the business part of the thing, making sure I get the right branding visibility for my clients’’.

Julien Heon is our photographer of the week and reflects with perfection the passion we share at Nouvelle Vague, that insane passion that is following us, no matter where we go. Being from a city where you easily get trapped in a routine, Julien got out his comfort zone and followed the waves, no matter what it involved. We, passionate, are often misunderstood and considered as crazy. Illogical. Utopian. But, we don’t let others stop us, we’re running after what we are born for: surfing. And I wouldn’t be able to explain why I decided that Julien should be on the blog, neither why his photography needed to be published on here. I just know that he’s an inspiration to us. A proof that anything is possible, no matter where you are from, as cheesy as it sounds. The possibility of living our dream is what keeps us alive, and he did it well.   

See more of his work on his Website and Instagram