"Taking pictures is like fishing or writing. It's getting out of the unknown that which resists and refuses to come to light. "

- Jean Gaumy

b. 1948


Based in Paris, France


Available for commissions
& assignments

Jean Gaumy was born in France in 1948. He is known for his eloquently evocative photography and cinematography, achieved through a deep engagement with his subjects. From his famous long-term projects on the fishing industry, Arctic exploration, and 1980s Iran to his groundbreaking work on the French penal and healthcare systems, he produces work that is both vivid and impactful. From 2005, he undertook location scouting and shoots for the film Sous-Marin, spending four months underwater aboard a nuclear attack submarine. His numerous works on human confinement have been coupled with a more contemplative photographic approach in recent years.

In 2008, he started photographic reconnaissance work that has taken him from the Arctic seas to the contaminated lands of Chernobyl and Fukushima. For the same project, he began a series of mountain landscapes. Iin 2010, he received his second Prix Nadar for the resulting book, D’Après Nature. The same year, he spent time aboard the last and most modern submarine dedicated to nuclear deterrence.

In 2020, after a stint in Niger, Gaumy spent two years documenting daily life as well as social and medical services during the Covid-19 crisis in the town in France where he lives, Fécamp, in Upper Normandy. Among other projects over the past decade, he has been pursuing a series on the Cordouan lighthouse in Gironde – the oldest working lighthouse in the world, classified UNESCO World Heritage in 2021. He is also working on a long-term project on Monet’s garden in Giverny.

Gaumy’s work has been exhibited worldwide, and he has received many accolades for both his film work and photography, including being appointed “Peintre Officiel de la Marine” and being elected as a member of the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France in 2018.

Gaumy joined Magnum Photos in 1977, becoming a full member in 1986. He has lived in Fécamp since 1995.

Selected works


Pleine Mer: Men at Sea

Jean Gaumy

Over 14 years, French photojournalist Jean Gaumy captured the fierce conditions of the fishermen who worked on open-deck trawlers capturing the harsh reality of life at sea

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