On Monday, April 16th, Google honored one of my favorite photographers with a Google doodle.
According to Matthew Shaer of the Christian Science Monitor, Robert Doisneau was “Only one of the most recognizable stylists in the annals of modern photography – a Paris-born flâneur who wandered the streets of his home city with his trademark Leica in hand, collecting images of the local street life.” Doisneau was born on April 14th, 1912, and passed away on April 1st, 1994, making last Saturday his ‘would-be’ 100th birthday.
I remember seeing one of Doisneau’s photographs for the first time when I was 11, in 6th grade. My English teacher told us to find a picture from a book in the library and write a long story about it. I found this one…
While all of the other kids chose to write about motorcycles and baby elephants, I chose to write about a kiss. I can remember that I wrote some elaborate love story where the man in the picture was a prince and his lady love was just a commoner. His parents disapproved of his choice in marriage and so the two were running away together. Now let me explain, I was not some love struck 11 year-old. But I had just seen Romeo and Juliet right before this assignment (yes, the one with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio) and I was truly traumatized. I must have been the only person to see that movie who had no idea they would both die at the end! It was a horrible first experience with a Shakespeare play. So with that tragedy in mind, I happily rewrote Shakespeare’s play for him using Doisneau’s photograph and gave it the proper ending that I thought it deserved. Everyone, of course, lived happily ever after. I can’t remember what grade I received for the story, but I do know that for my entire life, this photograph is how I pictured love to look and feel. Read the REAL story behind the photograph here.
Here are a few more of Doisneau’s photographs that I just love…
“Toute ma vie je me suis amusé, je me suis fabriqué mon petit théâtre.”