I grew up inland in Belgium until I was 15 when we moved to the seaside, to a little town called Knokke, near the Netherland's border.
Where do you live?
After eight years in Tenerife in the Canary Islands I decided to move back to Belgium, and now live back in Knokke.
How old are you?
What was your first camera?
A Canon EOS 10.
What is your current set up?
Canon EOS 1D mark II, EOS 40D, Canon lenses: 70-200mm, 100-400mm, 28-135mm, wide angle 15mm and fisheye 14mm. Flashes: Speedlite 550 and 430.
How did you get into photography?
I started filming kiteboarding and got bored pretty fast but could take piccies with the camera at the same time. I started doing that and it was just way more fun! I got some good ones early on actually even though I had to wait two seconds after pushing the button to see something. After that I bought some cheap second hand stuff and started shooting everything I came across. I had a lot of help from John Carter, too - he taught me heaps!
When did you become a professional photographer?
I don’t see myself as a profesionnal photographer really. I started sending my stuff to magazines and then bit by bit started doing more and more shoots. Then Nobile came around and I was lucky enough to be part of their team from the beginning.
When did you get into shooting kiting and how did it come about?
Shooting kiting and photography came at the same time. Photography had actually always interested me during school, but the teachers had always talked me out of studying it.
Can you remember the first shot you got published?
I think it was a shot of Mark Shinn in Maui, but I’m not 100% sure. I do remember my first cover though - it was a shot of Mark Shinn in Cumbuco, Brazil and he was jumping over a parasol. It was published in Kiteboarder magazine in France but they credited Stephen Whitsell as the photographer! I was gutted, but happy at the same time. It was my first cover and didn’t have my name on it, but the fact that they thought it was one of Whitesell's meant it was a good shot!
Which is your favourite ever shot?
That changes regulary to be honest. I think any animal shot has to be the best one. I just love shooting animals.
Who is your favorite rider to shoot and why?
There are two riders I really like to shoot with. First is Mark Shinn - we did so much stuff together; he knows where he has to be and what he has to do to get a good shot. Then there’s Boris Judin. I remember the first water shoot I had to do with him - he had never done a shoot with a photographer in the water and I thought we would need some extra time so he could get used to it. But in the end the best shots I got from that day were of Boris!
Where is your favorite place to shoot and why?
Mmm, there are several places where I like to shoot. Egypt is amazing for sure because of the colour of the water; it’s so much easier to get good shots in places like that, but, on the other hand I like the Canaries too because of the dramatic look and the fact that it's not always easy to get a good shot. You have to work for it. I like that.
Where is the most terrifying place you've ever shot?
We were in Australia near Surfer's Paradise and went kiting/shooting in an estuary. CJ Jones said to me, 'Flo, whatever you do, don’t go too far over there in that deep part as it is a breeding zone for tiger sharks.' I shot everything in ankle deep water.
Do you have any advice for aspiring kiting photographers?
Shoot in all the conditions you can; cloudy, sunny, snow, background, no background etc. etc. Don’t just keep your finger on the button - try to get to know your camera and learn to communicate effectively with the riders.
See more of Flo's shots and equipment information at Nobile's wesbite: www.nobilekiteboarding.com
See why Flo couldn't leave Tenerife for eight years and have your arm twisted into a trip at our Tenerife travel page by clicking here
Flo shot our 2007 board test in Tenerife. See the images and reports by clicking here
And she also shot our kite tests in 2007. Get all that juice by clicking here
Download this shot of Flo's of Shinny shredding as a high res wallpaper by clicking here
Kiteworld issue #30 - the guest editors' issue - is available to read online for free by clicking here