I think no other photographer has quite touched me with his work like Robert Doisneau. The French street photographer who would have turned a century old today has captured an almost infinite amount of beautiful photos picturing mostly urban life in his beloved Paris. If I could have only taken one of that quality I could put my mind at peace forever.
Strangely enough he became most famous for his staged photo of a kissing couple (“The Kiss by the Town Hall”) despite all (or most) of his other images a true candid photographs.
He had an amazing eye for composition, a great sense of humour, a lot of patience and even more luck and managed to combine all in his often hillarious juxtaposing black and white images.
Sometimes they are so perfect that I assume that he might have composed a few of them (not just the famous kiss-photo) – but as you can see in the videos below he called himself a picture fisher rather than a picture hunter. He spent quite often a long time at one location feeling or hoping that there would somehow be a good photo to take, but he had to be patient and wait for the right ballance of story and composition to get a photo that satisfied him.
It made me really happy that Google today featured his 100th birthday by turning their famous logo into a collage of his images, because I feel that these days not enough people know about his incredible work. And I really believe everyone should know who Robert Doisneau was – and not only because of his kissing couple image.
So here a few of my favourite of his images
And here are two short videos that give you a glimpse into the way he thought while “fishing” his pictures.