Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau was a champion of humanist photography and a pioneer of photojournalism. His iconic black and white images of life in Paris some of the most recognisable to this day. He was awarded several prizes for photography during his lifetime and his work continues to be published and exhibited internationally.

Robert Doisneau, born in 1912 was a French photographer, at the forefront of pioneering photojournalism.


Raised by his aunt, he studied arts and crafts from a young age, and experimented with photography aged 16. While working at an advertising agency in the late 1920s, he soon progressed to become a staff photographer; this would be the start of an illustrious career. Doisneau soon had his work published in magazines, and worked on prestigious advertising and photojournalistic campaigns. Life altered at the breakout of the Second World War, he was recruited as both a soldier and photographer for the French Resistance.


He is predominantly known for his unassuming, often surreal, and light-hearted portrayal of life on Paris streets; a preferred focus opposed to high fashion. One of his most well known works, classic to his style, is Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), showing a kissing couple embracing on the streets of Paris in 1950. He commented, "The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street."


Doisneau died in 1994. During his life he was awarded several prizes and recognitions; in 1984 he was appointed a Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour, and an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal Photographic Society in 1991. He continues to have his work published and exhibited around the world, cementing his place in art history.