In a short space of time, Yacht Photographer/Videographer, Guy Fleury, has become a well-known name in the superyacht industry. This comes down to having a true passion and knowledge for yachting and the water, coupled with an eye for a great shot.
We sat down with Guy to find out where it all started, what he loves about his work and how he goes about getting the perfect picture.
When did you get into photography/videography?
I started taking photos of the Dutch lifeboats when I was around 8 years old, this slowly grew into photographing bigger boats. In 2010, I photographed my first superyacht SY Twizzle built by Royal Huisman, which was on sea trials on the Waddenzee. We spotted her from our own sailboat while on the way to one of the Dutch islands. That is when I started photographing superyachts more and more.
Our sailboat is moored in Makkum, so I would be present at almost every yacht launch there.
In 2019, I undertook an internship at De Vries Makkum (Feadship). On my first day I was asked by the yard’s director to shoot a sea trial taking place a few days later. Six weeks on when I finished my internship, the owner’s representative of the same yacht called me to ask if I wanted to photograph the yacht again.
Was it something you always wanted to do?
Actually, no but I knew from a young age that I wanted to do something with boats, but I was unsure exactly what that would be. That’s why I went on to study Naval Architecture in 2017; because I liked the design and engineering of boats.
Do you come from a yachting background?
Yes I do, I was practically born on a yacht. My parents owned a Jeanneau 26 when I was born, a year later they switched to a Jeanneau 32 and in 2008 we bought a Beneteau Cyclades 39.3. This is the yacht we still have, so I’ve spent most of my life on the Beneteau now as we are onboard almost every weekend.
That is how the yachting and boating bug started.
How long have you been working in the superyacht industry?
I started superyacht spotting in about 2016 and in 2018 I was asked by ICON Yachts to do their social media and photography. In 2019, I founded my own company after being asked by a few clients to shoot for them.
In an industry where everyone feels they can be a photographer with an iPhone, how do you create material that sets you apart?
The latest iPhones can take great photos and they would do a good job on a sunny day for an exterior photoshoot, but it is impossible to take great interior photos.
With a good camera, and more importantly good lenses, you can be so much more creative with things like the field depth, etc.
What questions do you ask a client to enable you to know exactly what feel/result they are looking for?
My first question is always – What type of yacht? A motor yacht is completely different to capture than a sailing yacht. For motor yachts, I want to know things like; is it a fast yacht, explorer yacht, etc.
I also like to know if they already have a particular location in mind for the shoot. Do they want it at open sea or maybe in a beautiful bay with nice cliffs in the surrounding. These questions all help in planning the perfect shots.
Are there any big mistakes you’ve made?
Luckily I haven’t made any big mistakes in past projects. There have been a few times where I’ve forgotten a particular photo or video of a room. This has helped me to become more structured when shooting. With the bigger shoots, I make a shot list to make sure I don’t forget anything.
Which do you prefer – Photo or Video?
I like shooting both although I’m not a big fan of video editing, although when I see the results, I realise that I love both.
With a drone you can take amazing videos around yachts, which are even more impressive than drone photos, so I would say I definitely love both!
What is your favourite part of the job?
The travelling is definitely one of the best parts of the job. When a client commissions me for a project, it allows me to fly all over the world. Next to that, I am always on the water, usually on an amazing superyacht in beautiful weather as clients don’t normally want a yacht to be photographed in the rain.
Do you have a favourite photoshoot that you’ve done so far?
My favourite project so far was shooting a 50+ meter sailing yacht in Mallorca, that was truly spectacular.
We left the harbour early in the morning so we could catch the sunrise at a beautiful location behind a small island. After that the wind started picking up, which was great as we could take some stunning, unique photos under sail.
What is the best place you’ve visited?
The most spectacular landscape to shoot was in Norway. I was lucky enough to visit it twice in 2022 to shoot two yachts so I’m hoping to go back again this year.
Finally, would you have done anything different?
I feel like I have made all the right choices in life so far, so I don’t think I would have done much different!