He and Henri Cartier-Bresson were pioneers of photojournalism.
He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. Doisneau was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1984.
The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.
I don’t photograph life as it is, but life as I would like it to be.
I would never have dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate.
Maybe if I was 20, success would change me. But now I’m a dinosaur of photography.
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.
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.
Nowadays people’s visual imagination is so much more sophisticated, so much more developed, particularly in young people, that now you can make an image which just slightly suggests something, they can make of it what they will.
Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile!