Willy Ronis was one of the world’s top three humanist photographers. He was also known as a leading French photographer, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. Most of his pieces reflected the people's everyday lives, shedding light on ‘the ordinary’ and transforming them into ‘special beauty.’
One of his masterpieces is ‘The Little Parisian,’ which captures a young boy running down the road with a baguette (1953). His writings and photos are reminiscent of our own stories that reflect our lives. Perhaps that is why his works make us smile.
His works bring meaning to the world we live in today. With smartphones in our palms, sometimes we take more pictures than photographers and exclaim that our photos are works of art. We can share our work anywhere without holding photo exhibitions. At the same time, however, do we think about how we take photos of objects with our smartphones? Perhaps we give more priority to settings, image edit apps, hashtags, or mentions. Photos are taken to capture memories and records, but also used for self-promotion or marketing and even abused to hurt others.
What should be our approach to taking photos? What kinds of photos do we usually take? What kind of person am I? Photos that are timelessly cherished reflect stories of people and love. Ronis’ works, which were created when photos were rare, raise questions for us to think about in a world where photos are too frequently taken.