Thierry Dehove has professionally photographed some of the world’s most prestigious luxury yachting destinations and superyachts. Included in his portfolio are M/Y MILESTONE from Christensen, Trinity superyacht IMAGINE and 46m/151ft luxury yacht AVALON from Delta Marine.
Following nearly two decades travelling the world, he is bringing his experience back to France: He reveals his favourite superyacht charter grounds, the best haunts to visit in the Caribbean and what makes a Thierry Dehove photography session differ from the competition on land as well as at sea.
You’ve been travelling the world for the last 18 years: Which were your favourite cities and superyacht destinations?
I would say, for the lovers of scenery, head to the Exumas in the Bahamas for the sublime sunsets, the wild beaches and the natural purity; it’s a delight from morning till night. Next, I would say St. Martin in the Caribbean for the French gastronomy food on the French side and the nightlife on the Dutch side. Anguilla is an excellent choice for the pristine protected beaches; then St. Barth to sample the high-end French fashion, gourmet food… and just to say that you were in St. Barth!
Are there any incredible venues that you have photographed that luxury yacht vacationers can visit themselves?
The Caribbean is the best between the northern islands where I used to live; St. Martin, St. Barth and the sublime island of Anguilla, all three of those are so close and so different.
I have photographed the south of Anguilla between Rendezvous Bay, Cove Bay and to the north side, Meads Bay and Barnes Bay are my favourite beaches to unwind and dine. It’s a small island so do not expect as large a marina as at St. Martin but that’s the beauty of this gem.
For dining, head to Blanchard on Meads Bay to get some Mahi bites with a cold beer, dinner at 4 Seasons is a must, as is Jacala, a French gourmet restaurant managed by my friend Jacques. Nearby Malliouhana was the first resort built on the island and luxury yachting groups can go there for skin treatments and massages.
St. Martin; everybody knows Grand Case with tons of gourmet restaurants sitting beside the calm turquoise water. Visitors can also get a true taste of the island at famous ‘Lolo’, the place to go if you want to try real Caribbean ribs. I really love Le Pressoir in a low-key traditional Caribbean sense, where the chef from Normandy with his wife prepare delicious traditional French meals with rich Caribbean flavours.
St. Barth: Bikini is a great place however prices tend to be on the steep side, while Gustavia is a cute small port where at Christmas celebrities from the world over come to spend one crazy week – so do not be afraid to burn through your credit card. Prices on St. Barth rise considerably during this time of the year, but if you want to see the most beautiful yachts, between Christmas and New Year the concentration is just insane.
Your photography covers many aspects of the luxury lifestyle industry. After being immersed in this detail-oriented world for so long, are there still any superyachts that you walk inside and have that ‘wow’ moment?
After so many years of capturing those superyachts, I realized it is not the size but the story behind the birth of the boat. I like to meet the owner because it is always a beautiful love story, often a declaration to a woman.
My first ‘wow’ moment is usually the name choice and what interests me as a photographer is the work of the interior designer. I have developed a style where lighting creates my ‘mark’ in this industry because in the interiors, day or night I am creating my own focus using shadow and light.
My lighting technique is relevant to reveal the materials, textures and colours so that’s my touch to bring out the impressive detailing: The work and the care provided is just remarkable because, for each boat, it is a unique and personalized creation.
What is the most challenging part of a superyacht photo shoot and why?
The Feadship Sea Racer – a super speed yacht for 46m/152ft. It was blowing more than 25 knots outside and the beauty was running at the same speed. I was pushing the limit of my drone from the main deck, where I had to demonstrate the performance capabilities so unique for that beauty.
What is the most important aspect to capture while aboard a luxury yacht, and how does this differ from a land-based interior shoot?
My approach on board is completely different than shooting a private villa or hotel: First, if it’s a boat then it’s moving, it’s dancing on mother sea, so I need to catch this feeling.
Light becomes an essential aspect of my work, capturing the natural light at a specific moment such as sunrise, sunset or even at noon when the shadows are so strong… I do love that moment of my day at work because for a few minutes the rays reveal the beauty of that sky lounge or Master suite for example, and there is something special always happening and only on boats do I have access to this magic touch from Mother Nature.
That’s my job to catch that spark and on a boat the light is changing constantly; it’s dancing with the yacht and you have to be aware to catch the best time, as in the open space, the sun gives the color and the tone of my images and it is an enchantment for the eyes.
Do you have any upcoming luxury yacht projects that you can tell us about?
The market, as you know, is very secretive, however, I have some projects coming in the French Mediterranean and there’s the opportunity to capture my largest superyacht yet. At the moment, my largest motor yacht is VICKY, a 59m/194ft Baglietto… a very sexy yacht indeed!
Also in France, I do know I am going to work more with artists and dancers for large commercial projects, including a private ‘chateaux’ in Bordeaux. Interior designers and architects for luxury projects are on my plate also – That’s a big reason why I am opening an office this spring to target the European market, it’s a hot update for my career.