Robert Doisneau's famous street photo "The Kiss" was actually staged

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What could be more quintessentially authentic than a staged photo about romance?


Unlike the iconic photo of the Times Square kiss at the end of WWII, which was a genuine and spontaneous act of sexual assault.



What the hell? Was WWII staged too? Makes sense. I always thought Hitler seemed a little too melodramatic.

Edit: oh, THAT kiss photo. Oops. Maybe the French were still celebrating Victory in 1950


From the headline (and my ignorance of photographer’s names and photo titles) I thought this article was going to be about the Times Square “V-J Day” kiss photo. It would be nice to learn that the iconic photo was staged and consensual, but I guess it remains no such thing, and a photograph of a crime that was celebrated rather than punished…


Looks convincing to me.


he later justified his actions by explaining that he would not dare to photograph kissing people on the streets

the couple sued Doisneau for money for violating their privacy

Clearly he was right to have staged the photo otherwise it may have ended differently for him. Though, the idea that kissing in public warrants some kind of privacy is just absurd


It’s just a sad commentary that this story contains two instances in which people thought they smelled money and figured they should sue to get some of it; two despite having done nothing at all to earn a share, and the other having been paid under contract already. These primates are jealous monkeys.


Every photograph is staged by the photographer’s eye and heart.


Yep. Including surveillance photos and driver’s licence photos. (No sarcasm)


If you use a photo booth, are you the photographer? Or is the photographer an amalgam of you, whose intention caused the photo to be taken, and the designers and builders of the machine, as well as the proprietor who had it installed?


They designed a camera housing, you chose the camera.

Same partnership as most shots, in its own way.


There is never a case in which the photographer is not intimately involved in the final product - even a blind photographer. But this is true of all art. The artist can’t be separated from the work. There is always some element of biography.


I think that there is probably a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa that will probably claim to have influenced that shot, and will be demanding a share of any royalties. :wink:


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Nice find! Did you know that Canon actually had a model called the AE-1? It was the first fully automatic SLR. It was a horror to use.

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Who took the picture?

These are some instances from the original google street view (before the blurs) that I found:

Who took the photos? Obviously the original images were captured by the google camera, but I found moments in these images, and kind of took a photo (screen capture) of those moments.

I would never say I took these pictures, but think about a camera that captures 3D moving images of everything that’s happening somewhere, like a street scene, so, basically, what it has captured is a mirror image of what is there and what happened.

Now, imagine going into an environment where this scene is projected around you, and you’re able to wander through, taking photos. You capture an amazing and beautiful moment. So - did you take the picture or did the 3D camera that just copied the world take it?

It’s clearly some kind of collaboration.

I think this gets to something even more fundamental. When someone takes an amazing photo of a landscape, or even an interesting spontaneous moment in time, it’s still a collaboration between the photographer and the universe.

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