June 7 2016

Photographer Spotlight: Robert Doisneau

Instead of buying more photography equipment, I read somewhere that you should invest in photography books, in other words, study the work of masters. I just bought a hardcover book on the photography of Robert Doisneau. (I’m hereby committing to buying one photography book per month.) Doisneau is most famous for his photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris but his photos of children are equally as arresting. I also like his quotes.

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.”

“Life is short! Break the rules! Forgive quickly! Kiss slowly! Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.”

“I always keep my foot a little in the door to let chance come in, pilfer something, or bring something I hadn’t thought of.”

“I don’t photograph life as it is, but life as I would like it to be.”

Doisneau was known for his playful and ironic images of amusing juxtapositions on contemporary Paris streets. Influenced by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, in more than twenty books he presented a charming vision of human frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments.

Interesting fact: In 1948 he was contracted to work as a fashion photographer by Vogue. The editors believed he would bring a fresh and more casual look to the magazine but Doisneau didn’t enjoy photographing beautiful women in stunning surroundings; he preferred street photography.

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EPSON scanner image

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