Robert Doisneau was a French photographer who spent his career documenting the French people, focusing on everyday life.
Doisneau’s parents passed when he was a child, so he was raised by an “unloving aunt.” He originally studied lithography, but eventually turned to photography around the age of 16. He started out working as a camera assistant.
“He was reportedly so shy that he started by photographing cobble-stones before progressing to children and then adults.”
In 1932 he sold his first photo story to Excelsior magazine. Doisneau worked for Renault as an industrial and advertising photographer until 1939. In 1939, he was fired for being constantly late. He was forced to try freelance advertising, engraving and postcard photography to earn his living. During the war he worked for the resistance forging documents. In 1948, he began work for French Vogue, but his heart was in photojournalism, and the streets of Paris, to which he returned in 1951.
“I don’t photograph life as it is, but life as I would like it to be.”