Outdoor photographer with a passion for nature, travel and hiking, Dylan Moron chose our 100% recycled parka to accompany him to Madeira and face the elements.
How did your passion for photography come about?
My passion for photography appeared gradually in my high school years when I discovered the work of Théo Gosselin, a French photographer who inspired me a lot.
It was only a few years later, in 2016, after moving to Bordeaux for my studies, that I bought my first camera and that's when my passion really began.
Having the chance to live in a beautiful region, I then began to discover the beauty of French landscapes and developed a passion for outdoor photography in the magnificent Pyrenees with a group of photographer friends.
My creative journey then took me to New Zealand, which allowed me to take my photography to the next level and earned me the award of "Wilderness Outdoor Photographer of 2020".
Why did you choose to specialize in outdoor photography?
In parallel with photography, in addition to having the fiber of travel, I developed a great passion for hiking. The numerous excursions in the Pyrenees and my crossing of New Zealand on foot have definitively sealed my love for outdoor photography.
There is no place on earth where I feel more alive than in nature and if everyone could spend more time enjoying these simple moments outdoors, I'm sure the world would be much better off.
Today, I am keen to share my knowledge, experiences and I do not hesitate to make people aware of good practices to have in kind through my photos. As a photographer and thanks to social networks, we have the power to positively “influence” the people around us and photos are a great way to get messages across.
What do you prefer today in your work?
I love all aspects of my job, even the less “sexy” ones because yes, taking pictures represents maybe 10% of a photographer's activity. The rest of the time, we are in front of the computer doing lots of tasks that have nothing to do with photography, which is not a bad thing, because once the camera is in hand, we have even more fun to create!
If I had to select the aspects that I like the most in my job, it would be the freedom to be your own boss, to manage your schedule and your missions as you see fit. Secondly, collaborating with inspiring brands and people, we learn a lot from others and experiences. Finally, simply creating images and memories in nature, without a doubt the best part of the job.
How do you organize your projects?
What fulfills me the most in my job is to transform personal projects into professional projects. As an artist, having a brand like Apnée, able to give you full confidence and great freedom to create, is certainly every photographer's dream.
Generally, I plan my personal projects according to my desires for destinations and once this has been determined, I work on developing a story and a storyboard. Once the project is established, I “pitch” it to brands/companies likely to be interested in the idea.
When I'm not working on personal projects, I work for different clients and industries, depending on demand.
Can you tell us about your trip to Madeira?
I have always dreamed of discovering Madeira Island. Located southwest of the Portuguese coast, this island emerged from the Atlantic about 20 million years ago. Volcanic activity has shaped and given the island a mountainous terrain which today is a paradise for hikers and photographers from all over the world.
I still remember the stories of my friend François, who went there during my student years. As he spoke to me, I could imagine myself, there, in the middle of these steep mountains with volcanic colors, or here in these green and humid tropical forests, or even there, at the edge of this cliff photographing the waves in the distance. A few years later, I decided to fly away and discover these landscapes with my own eyes.
What surprised me when I arrived in Madeira was the diversity of landscapes that you can cross in a very short time: you can be at the edge of the ocean and find yourself at the top of a mountain in l within a few minutes.
The second thing that surprised me was the speed at which the weather can change, I was particularly lucky to witness a scene that will remain in my memory: a "tsunami" of clouds arrived from ocean and literally engulfed the island in the snap of a finger.
It is better to be careful and plan ahead if you decide to venture out into the wilderness for several hours or days.
Behind this trip was a project called " From the sea to the sky ": to produce a photo and video report of a typical day, from sunrise to sunset, capturing the variety of landscapes offered by the island, from the ocean to the top of a mountain.
What struck me,
beyond the landscapes worthy of the most beautiful scenery, are these dwellings built on very steep slopes, I sometimes had the impression of being somewhere in the middle of America from South. Moreover, the inhabitants are very welcoming and smiling, we feel that life is good here, so good that I already want to leave to explore every corner of the island.
What is the place of eco-responsibility in your life, your profession?
Being a nature lover and a great hiking enthusiast, it is my responsibility to act positively on the environment on my scale. My job sometimes leads me to cross France or go abroad, that's why I prefer train journeys as much as possible when possible, less expensive than the plane and faster than the car, it's my favorite means of transport today.
Being independent also means having the choice of your clients and I am not afraid to refuse a contract if a company does not reflect my values. It's sometimes complicated to say no, but to say no is to give yourself the freedom to say yes to future projects that have more meaning.
What brands inspire you?
There are many brands that I appreciate, but if I had to name those that inspire me, I would say Patagonia, Icebreaker and more recently Apnée, for the values they convey and the content they produce.
How did you discover Apnée? What do you like about the brand?
I have only recently known Apnée but as they say “better late than never!” »
It was when I imagined a photo project on the Island of Madeira that I discovered Apnée. This brand seemed obvious to me because of its values, its commitments and its universe, this is how our relationship began.
Being concerned about the environment, I want to work with brands that are committed and that share common values, that's what I found with Apnée. In addition to designing aesthetic and high quality products, these are designed using recycled materials from waste collected at sea or on beaches.
What is your favorite piece of the Apnée dressing room? For what reasons ?
The 100% recycled Parka is undoubtedly the favorite piece of my wardrobe. She accompanies me everywhere whether in town, at the ocean, in the forest and even in the mountains for a short expedition.
In addition to protecting me perfectly against the elements, the large exterior pockets are very useful for slipping in some of my photo accessories (filters, SD card, microfiber cloth, etc.) and I can even fit a small lens there if needed. It may seem like a small thing, but as an outdoor photographer, having quick access to your accessories can make all the difference when it comes to capturing the perfect moment.
Our three little ritual questions for the end:
What are you most proud of?
Probably the fact of having walked 2000 km across New Zealand in 2019 following the Te Araroa trail, and where I was able to make my first adventure documentary film.
This three-month adventure across the country has been nothing short of amazing. Waking up every morning in the middle of nature, meeting new people and documenting daily life on the Te Araroa with my camera was not something I could have ever imagined doing.
What I remember is that to learn and grow, the best way is to get out of your comfort zone. It doesn't necessarily have to be a 2000 km journey. Sometimes it can be trying something new or finding a new adventure close to home.
What are your plans for the future?
I am preparing a second documentary film which will document the first march of the Hexatrek, a 3000 km hike through France which connects 47 GR®, from Hendaye to Wissembourg passing through the most beautiful landscapes of our country.
A small easy gesture for the planet?
When I go hiking, I always have a small plastic bag with me to bring back my waste and I take the opportunity to pick it up if I see it on my way. It always pains me to see rubbish in the middle of beautiful natural parks. In addition, I try to raise awareness on good practices to have in kind via social networks and the photos I share.