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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Photographer Profile ~ WILLY RONIS


“The Lovers of the Bastille,” 1957, by Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, had dreamt of becoming a composer. Tragically, the early death of his father, who ran a photography store and portrait studio, meant he had to start working at a young age to support the family. 

In 1936, tired of spending his days in the family store, he decided to take his camera into the streets of Paris and went on to create a body of work that continues to inspire and captivate. 

Ronis unfairly lived in the shadow of Robert Doisneau and Henri Cartier Bresson for much of his life and did not receive the proper recognition until his twilight years. He is now considered by many to be the father of "Humanist Photography" His sensitivity and humanity can easily be seen in his masterful work. 

 “ ‘Photographing couples on the banks of the Seine in spring — what a cliché!’ But why deprive yourself of the pleasure?” Ronis wrote in his photo album. “Every time I encounter lovers, my camera smiles; let it do its job.”

“The Little Parisian,” 1952.

Credit...Willy Ronis

“Chez Max,” 1947, at an outdoor ball in Joinville-le-Pont outside Paris.
Willy Ronis

Credit...Willy Ronis

Café de France, Isle–sur-la-Sorgue, 1979

“My photographs are not an attempt to overcome death and I’m not aware of suffering any existential anxiety. I don’t even know where I’m going, except forward – more or less fortuitously – to the things or people that I love, that interest me or disconcert me.”

1 comment:

  1. excellent work, as always!
    my only complaint is that you don't do more of those photographers' portraits :)