Born in Paris, Robert Doisneau initially studied engraving and lithography until he took up photography in 1929. Doisneau first worked with an advertising photographer, where he learned most of his technique. In the early 1930s, Doisneau enlisted in the French army, and later worked for five years as an advertising photographer for Renault. During World War II, Doisneau served in the army once again. After the fall of France, Doisneau worked as a forger for the Resistance and made picture postcards to help support his family.

Inspired by the splendid photographs of Paris at night by Brassaï, Doisneau was convinced to take his photographic skills to the streets of his beloved city. He became well known for his photographs of the liberation of Paris in 1944. Doisneau was soon publishing many of his images in American and French magazines. After World War II, Doisneau became a photojournalist for several Parisian photo agencies. His work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue and LIFE. During the 1960s and 1970s, Doisneau turned to mostly advertising and commercial photography and published a series of photography books for children.

Doisneau specialized in capturing the true spirit of Parisian life. His many images feature subjects like children at play, smokey Parisian caberets, and couples frolicking. He has also taken many portraits of celebrities in France, including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Jacques Tati. Doisneau’s work can be found in museums and collections worldwide.