Robert Doisneau

Famous French ‘Street Photographer’ and more

Book now available to browse in the Horner Book Corner of CameraWork45

along with books on William Klein and Elliott Erwitt


A visitor last week shared with me her fond memories of the photos of a book called ‘Gosses de Paris’ by Jean Dongués. ‘Gosses’ translates as Kids, so the book would be called ‘Kids of Paris’.  As  I suspected , the photos  were  by Robert Doisneau ( 1912-1914).  Like him, hate him, find his photos too romantic or too contrived, it doesn’t matter really, his body of work fully deserves its place in photographic history.

One of his most famous images, ‘Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville’ got him to some bother in later years when people claiming  to be the couple sued him for royalties no less !  The case was dismissed.  According to Lot Search a traditional silver halide 90 by 120 cm print made in 1981, fetched around US $ 166, 500 at Christie’s in Paris . 

The book I acquired is  the English version of the edition devoted to Doisneau from a set of books called Photofile. (In France this series is called ‘Photo Poche’. ‘Poche’ means ‘pocket’ and refers here to pocket size books. The books are extremely well printed !)


A wonderfully candid interview of Doisneau introduces the photos.


After you’ve finished  enjoying the Doisneau book, you could also browse from the same series a book (english text) on Elliott Erwitt ( 1928 ) and another ( french text)  on William Klein ( 1928 ), two other photographers who took to the streets with unique approaches, possibly more difficult to appreciate but that I find more meaningful.

   Anyway, spread the word that CameraWork45 is open and welcomes everyone ( of a suitable age) to sit with a cup and browse through some excellent books about photography.  Just make sure I’m in .  And if you’re too far away, look these books up, or at least these photographers if you’re not familiar with them.

Best wishes