A selection of images from the Robert Doisneau Retrospective at the Château de Malbrouck in 2011.
La Pause, Mine de Giraumont Meurthe et Moselle, 1960 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO
The photographer must be absorbent–like a blotter, allow himself to be permeated by the poetic moment…. His technique should be like an animal function…he should act automatically.
Baiser Blotto, 1950 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.
Be Bop en cave, Saint-Germain-des-prés, 1951 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
Chance is the one thing you can’t buy. You have to pay for it and you have to pay for it with your life, spending a lot of time, you pay for it with time, not the wasting of time but the spending of time.
Drapé de Grès, Paris, 1955 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time.
Jacques Prevert au gueridon, 1955 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
I like people for their weaknesses and faults. I get on well with ordinary people. We talk. We start with the weather, and little by little we get to the important things. When I photograph them it is not as if I were examining them with a magnifying class, like a cold and scientific observer. It’s very brotherly. And it’s better, isn’t it, to shed some light on those people who are never in the limelight.
Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville, 1950 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
You’ve got to struggle against the pollution of intelligence in order to become an animal with very sharp instincts – a sort of intuitive medium – so that to photograph becomes a magical act, and slowly other more suggestive images begin to appear behind the visible image, for which the photographer cannot be held responsible.
Les pains de Picasso, Vallauris, 1952 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
If you take photographs, don’t speak, don’t write, don’t analyse yourself, and don’t answer any questions.
Tir à l'oxygène liquide. Transport des cartouches, Mine de Murville, Meurthe et Moselle, 1960 © Atelier Robert Doisneau courtesy of GAMMA-RAPHO Agency
A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there — even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.