Benoit Tessier

Benoit Tessier

Paris, France
L’Isle-Adam, France
“I like challenges and first times.”


I have photographed everything from politicians to pandas in zoos, from top models to world champion weightlifters.

One Shot

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A man throws a trash bag holder as cars burn at the end of a student demonstration in Paris.
“This picture marks the start of my story with Reuters and also leaves me with very fond memories of the photographers who were with me on that day: Lucas Dolega and Rémi Ochlik, who both subsequently lost their lives while reporting.”


My first memory of photography is learning to build photograms – a kind of photographic image that you make without a camera – at school when I was 13. Through spending two years creating these photograms, I learnt about the chemical side of photography.

I touched my first camera at the school’s photo society in 1992, and I learnt about the various settings, technical shooting and how to zoom.

My first assignment was covering a football game (Tracy-le-Mont vs. Hermes) in February 1995. I was working for the newspaper Le Parisien, and that day I understood that covering a football game with a 35mm lens was an impossible task. The only shot that I could use was the team photo.

The story that left the biggest mark on me was covering the London Olympics in 2012 and witnessing the victory of Ben Ainslie, who became the first person to win medals at five different Olympic Games for sailing - my other hobby!

I like challenges and first times. It was just as exciting going to the Valley of the Queens in Egypt to take pictures of Nicolas Sarkozy and his then new girlfriend Carla Bruni with a Canon PowerShot G9, as it was to witness the launch of the Russian Soyuz VS01 rocket in French Guiana.

My photos are aimed at a large audience. I want to be the eyes of the world, to look and to provide information which broadens our understanding of the world around us and the events that affect people’s lives.

My biggest lesson: never forget to wear your bullet proof jacket when you cover a war conflict!

I respect people who work to promote and defend freedom of speech everywhere in the world.

I like the words of Martine Franck: “A photograph is a fragment of time that will not return.”

Behind the Scenes

Reuters photographer Benoit Tessier (left) and Rolland Quadrini stand in front of a Mica missile installed on a Rafale fighter jet on the flight deck of France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off the coast of Libya.
. Saint-Denis, France
Tessier takes photographs as Usain Bolt reacts after winning the men's 200 metres event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris.