Photographer Insight: Robert Doisneau
I was first introduced to the works of Robert Doisneau by way of a beautiful present from my girlfriend at the time. I was very impressed with his work but as time passed by, Doisneau became a symbol for the beauty of the moment. Every photographer captures the moment but there is really no street photographer quite like Doisneau. He looks for humour and interactions within all his images and combines these with the simplicity of composition.
Back in the 1930s, he used a Leica to traverse the streets of Paris and capture the many events and scenes that make it what it is. As you go through his photographs, you will notice a certain air of chemistry between his subjects. They have some underlying story and many times, this is subtly embedded in humour.
To be able to consistently find these moments of humour and photograph them, and that to at his time, was quite impressive. As students of photography, we recommend a mixture of studying people's work but also quite importantly, the practice of looking and observing - be it people, the likely happening of interactions, etc.
Robert Doisneau died in 1994 at the age of 81, leaving behind him a legacy of extraordinary imagery and a way for photographers to truly embrace minimalist photography by way of interacting with the world around the photographer. Doisneau was testament to the fact that agility and observation was an incredibly power tool - much more so than any particular camera or gear.