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Robert Doisneau

Photo of the week by Robert Doisneau

Street Photo of the week by Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau is one of the most talented and amazing photographers that has ever lived. Period. He was an active Street Photographer for more than 60 years, more than most others and his work depicts the evolution of the modern world from the early 1930s all the way up until the end of the 20th century, in the mid 1990s. His photographs of France are iconic, they are epic. You have certainly seen one or more of them in your lifetime even if you don’t know that he was the photographer that made the shot. He was creative, innovative, funny, brave and daring. He would take the photo of a funny situation just as passionately as he would photograph the fighters of the French resistance in the barricades during WWII. He would capture the magic, playful moments of children, just as well as the sensational look of a beautiful woman. He would be there to snap the moment, to forever record scenes that are now part of European Modern History.

Introduction

Art, like life, can be way too serious. Street Photography is no exception. Personally, I’ve found myself too wrapped up in trying to capture the “decisive moment”. Or, maybe worse yet, pressuring myself to seek out that compelling subject or composition. This can be a dead-end road for any street shooter. It can be lost on us that life and our practice of street photography, is also really a comedy of errors. Life is lived through lessons we’ve taught and, hopefully, learned from mistakes we’ve made. Street Photography is much, if not exactly, the same. But life is not just a comedy of errors, it’s also just a comedy. We, as humans, are playful creatures. We joke, we laugh, we kid around. We do silly things. We wear silly clothes. And if you think about being a Street Photographer, well you also realize it really is a fool’s folly. Think hard about that! Maybe war photography could be more unpredictable and/or dangerous, but street photographers are the foot soldiers on our everyday streets. A bold analogy that can be debated, for sure,  but we are the “boots on the ground” documenting, capturing everyday life. Capturing and documenting life… truly a fool’s folly and an incredibly tall order! And some brave Street Hunters may choose to put themselves in “hairy”situations in order to get a stark, grim or chilling shot. But most of us walk on well-paved streets. Walked on and paved by people like us… common folk. Being human, being playful. For this week’s Under The Influence, I’ll be taking a look at the master of being playful and one of the early masters of Street Photography , Robert Doisneau. Come along, let’s lighten up a little.