Clownfish, Saint Leu, Réunion
It’s not too often that you get a pair of photographers (not bound in matrimony) who promote one another’s work as much Yann Oulia and Gaby Barathieu do. As soon as we featured Gaby as a Photographer of the Week a little while back, he emphatically stressed the talent of his shooting partner and ostensibly good pal Yann. The camaraderie of these two talented shooters is unique in what can sometimes be a competitive environment, and though we would have featured Yann regardless, the incessant encouragement from Gaby was touching.
Juvenile blue triggerfish, Saint Gilles, Réunion
But let’s be honest, it seems these two Frenchmen have an underwater photographic reign over their home of Réunion Island. And if you are scratching your brain with thoughts of how you can quit your job, move to an island where whales practically swim up to your doorstep, and support yourself at the same time, you are not alone! But until the rest of us can figure out that lifelong conundrum, King Yann and King Gaby will continue putting this small French island on the map, making spectators near and far longing to find themselves on a plane heading in their direction.
Goniobranchus geminus, Le Port, Réunion
And as I sit here romanticizing a life on Réunion, I would be remiss if I did not talk about Yann’s work itself, which, well, speaks for itself really, which is why I am ranting about how sweet his living situation is. He has an affinity for macro, which works well in cahoots with his partner, who likes the longer and wider swimmers. In a place where the superstars are humpbacks, it’s difficult to conceive ever wanting to stick a macro lens on your camera; however, as the whales are seasonal, and there is still much to explore in the waters, Yann is making his mark as one of the pioneers of Réunion underwater photography.
Harlequin shrimp, Saint Paul, Réunion
Humpback whale, Saint Gilles, Réunion
Large female humpback, Saint Gilles, Réunion
Gaby Barathieu and humpbacks, Saint Gilles, Réunion
Green turtle, Saint Gilles, Réunion
Yann’s hand selfie and humpback
To see more of Yann and Gaby’s work, check out their website: www.rup.re.
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