The World of Doisneau

9 years ago by

The World of Doisneau

Robert Doisneau’s work is an inspiration for any street style photographer.

He’s best known for photos like, “The Kiss,” where he caught a couple locking lips in a crowd by Hôtel de Ville. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Or his photos of children playing by the Eiffel Tower. Not all of Doisneau’s work was innocent and lighthearted though. He also roamed the Paris streets at night, entering nightclubs to snap photos of couples dancing and courting at the bar. So sultry and raw.

While the focus of his images was not style, his ability to capture the spirit of a moment is what a good street style photographer aspires to achieve. His images are intimate — you’re right there with his subjects. You understand them. You’re in their world. In this way, his photographs are alive.

When I look at his photographs, their movement and life gives me energy. They wake my eyes up.

What do his photographs make you feel? Do you have a favorite?

If you like Doisneau’s work, Jean Claude Gautrand has compiled the most extensive collection ever of Doisneau’s photographs, which can be purchased here.


Add yours
  • They make me feel….like booking a trip to Paris as soon as possible! :)

  • any artist who knows the resorts of the heart will become a classic! :)


  • Beautiful! The whole picture just screams romance!!!


  • Lisa Walker December, 17 2014, 12:48 / Reply

    I had this framed for my 15th birthday (1985?) and it still hangs on my old bedroom wall back in Sunnyvale, California… Looking back, I think it was part of my inspiration to study French cooking and become a chef! But at the time I just wanted to be them– in Paris…

  • Le travail de Doisneau est tellement intéressant, toutes ses photos sont très belles et je ne me lasse jamais de les regarder !

  • Agree, he is up there with the best of them. His photographs evoke life; and make me feel liver than life. Hope that makes sense…

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  • I really love Doisneau work even if my favorite is Raymod Depardon which I love because his work is social and more politically involved.
    I don’t know if you know but this beautfil picture “the kiss” is not a random picture (even if it looks like) but a directing picture. it doesn’t make it less beautiful and less stirring but it is good to know :)

  • It could have been done only in Paris..so elegant timeless..so french..and yes this image was prepared…it’s not random…still amazing!!!
    Yael Guetta


  • Hi,
    My parents used to have this framed in the TV room in my old apartment.
    Your article inspired to do some research on him.

  • I’ve read more than once that while his photos seem to be spontaneous, they were all staged, especially “The Kiss.” So are you trying to say that that’s how street photographers do it?
    Of course, you might argue that it doesn’t matter.

    I personally find Doisneau’s work too much of a clichee – and that sometimes makes me sad because it’s not the fault of his work, but simply due to the fact that I’ve seen them soooo many times and it’s so common to like them (or at least it used to be). It’s like when people of a certain age say their favorite book is Steppenwolf by Hesse.
    I often wonder what it is about art that changes over time because of what other people do with it, because of too many people liking it (or the wrong sorts of people), or because its idea becomes so common, so unoriginal.
    Is it the same with all art? Or is there art that’s immune to this effect? Can you prevent or change it?
    Or is it just a matter of the generation you belong to?

  • I completely agree. It is true that these pics aren’t spontaneous, but I often wonder about streetsyle pics being spontaneous as well. Yet I believe this can be an inspiration, due to the movement in the pic. This may al be set up, as a photo (or piece of art) it’s a good work because there’s more to it than only the couple. Bringing some of this into streetstyle-photography would make it a lot more fun and less boring. It’s time for fashionphotographers to start reinventing themselves. A lot of ‘photographers’ take pics as if there’s nothing more to it than the clothes (and the models), but I really believe they should try and make pretty photos, not photos of pretty clothes.

    De plus, this pic shows that directing a pic, as in tell a model how to pose, can still work and bring a nice shot. There still is a spontaneous part in this pic, namely the people passing by. I’d love to see streetstyle presented this way.

  • They make me feel nostalgic. The photo above brings my thoughts to the present moment and how lucky it is that somebody caught that moment exactly as it is. The couple and the people around them are equally perfect, and it reminds me that as messy as life can be, all of life is perfect if we see each moment as it truly is.

  • I love his photographs…he has a wonderful way of making you feel so much


  • Doisneau isn’t one of my favorite photographers. His work is so classic and amazing.
    My favorite photo is of a carousel in Paris in the rain.

  • Dans les cours de photographie, ils nous apprennent que ses photos étaient des mises en scène. trop pas street art! Trop cliché pour moi.

  • This photograph used to hang in one of my classes when I was in grade 10. I would just stare at it daydreaming, imagining a different life. As a 15 year old I would long for a romantic love life, hoping as soon as I graduated I would be free and go venture out to the world to have adventures and fall in love. Instead of listening to the teacher this image would distract me and take me to other places. Exactly what a photograph should do.

  • apparently this Guy just jumped on a Young woman and kissed her by surprise and by force
    So I don’t really appreciate it to be a symbol for romance

  • Le travail de Doisneau est très beau même si c’est mis en scène. Ceci dit, allez vous me faire croire que les photos de street style sont toutes prises au vol?

  • I saw a Doisneau exhibition a couple of years ado in Rome, there were so many beautiful photos… Coco Chanel, Juliette Binoche, the house of Dior.
    This photo is so romantic, makes you want to fall in love (and go to Paris).

  • une bouteille à la mer :
    je cherche des infos sur une photo de Doisneau : http://bricolecasserole.canalblog.com/archives/2011/05/10/21105323.html
    merci !

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