Surf’s up by David Ledoux

by Elisa Routa

It’s really interesting to witness this notion of gang, and see how people live and evolve as a group.


Paris-based photographer David Ledoux has been traveling the world for the last decade. Australia, South Africa, Senegal, Ouganda… Best known as a fashion photographer working for publications like Dazed, GQ, Anothermagazine, Intersection, or VICE, David has also been documenting subcultures around the globe. « I first left to Australia in 2000 for a year and eventually stayed there for 4 years, » he said. « Then, I came back to Europe, I worked in London for a few years and, little by little, photo report became my thing!»


Recently, Maison W Agency gave the French photographer carte blanche to cover the vast subject which represent the surf communities in the South-West of France and depict their ordinary daily routine. « Surf’s Up » sheds light on groups of friends united around surfing. 



« Communities have always been a very global phenomenon. Back in Australia, I met the guys from the Maroubra Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs, called the Bra Boys, known for being a notorious gang centered on surf culture. It’s really interesting to witness this notion of gang, and see how people live and evolve as a group. » Thanks to his circle of friends in the Basque Country, David Ledoux met the ALC surf group, based in Biarritz. « They built a beach house from wood, they have their own surf spot and wear the same ALC tattoo. There’s a real sense of belonging. » Tropical Youth and Nonsense are also local surf groups sharing the same passion for surfing. « I was also looking to depict a hippie-like style but hippies in France tend to disappear, so I tried to meet travelers and capture people with alternative lifestyle living in their van. »


During two weeks, David Ledoux just hung out with locals, had dinners, and surf sessions at dawn. « They were all very nice. I would have liked to spend more time documenting their life, leave on a road trip with them, highlight a feeling of proximity and be able to produce more intimate shots » David adds. « But I’m overall very happy with the cinematographic aspect of the series. I always work with the intention to make people beautiful, stunning or funny. Throughout my works, I tend to always give a positive message. »


In last September, David Ledoux was part of the Tribute to Tribe exhibition organized by Maison W in Galerie Joseph in Paris, an evening to visually celebrate the community of surfers in France.


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Discover David Ledoux's work online.

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