He will have spent 35 years at “New Caledonians”. Thierry Perron, the emblematic photographer of the daily newspaper, has retired. In his career he will have seen almost everything. Years spent photographing men and moments of life, which he describes as “as short as a 12-exposure film.”
Memories of these years as a photographer, Thierry Perron has thousands of them in his slightly yellowed but charming albums, which he treasures at home. Press articles carefully cut, dated, in color such as black and white.
“In 1987, we were six photographers, including a lab assistant, he says. At that time we were working in black and white, so we had to develop the black and white film of the day. You have to remember that just to dry a film, you have to wait 30 minutes. When there was a topic at 5pm or 7pm, we would leave the paper at almost 9pm.
In the late 80s, “We were still black and white, he continues. At the beginning of the 90s we had the arrival of the frame with a single color photo, what is also called the center of the newspaper. We had to juggle with two boxes: one in black and white and one in color. In the beginning, they were slides.”
Among his memories, that of Marie-José Pérec. “At that time, she didn’t want Tontouta to take pictures, so we had a game of hide and seek on the runway and at the airport.”
At 62, Thierry Perron owes a lot to his father. Senior reporter, then editor-in-chief at Caledonian Newshe arrived from Nantes to Caillou in 1987. Personalities, sporting events, presidential and ministerial visits to Events in Ouvéa in the late 1980s… The photographer remembers everything, as if it were yesterday.
“I started my career with a bang, since I participated the world’s first hostage in a court in Nantes with the Courtois affair“, he recalls. He has had many strong moments with “The staging of the haussaria with the signing of the Nouméa Agreement, return of Atai’s skull and all sporting events such as the Pacific Games. All the Caledonians are under the same flag, that of Cagou, and every time it becomes the same family with an extraordinary atmosphere”.
Thierry Perron is retiring and has carefully preserved his collection of 300 cameras. It is now focusing on two projects: the digitization of daily archives and the creation of the Caledonian Image Bank, to preserve forever the snapshots, a legacy of Caledonian history.