Henri Cartier-Bresson

Xavier Mozham-Kennedy

Early Life

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France on August 22, 1908. Cartier-Bresson died on August 3, 2004 in Montjustin, France. Cartier-Bresson father was a wealthy textile manufacturer. His mothers family were cotton merchants so Cartier-Bresson came from a wealthy family. Cartier-Bresson was financially supported by his parents to pursue photography which led him to attending École Fénelon catholic school that prepared him for Lycee Condorcet. Cartier-Bresson later attended a private art school called Lhote Academy. Cartier-Bresson also studied at the famous Cambridge University where he became bilingual. Cartier-Bresson also served in the military during the world wars.

His Photography

Cartier-Bressons style was black and white photography and never using a flash.He said using a flash was "impolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand.".


"Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing."


-Henri Cartier-Bresson

MoMa.org said "Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the most original, accomplished, influential, and beloved figures in the history of photography. His inventive work of the early 1930s helped define the creative potential of modern photography, and his uncanny ability to capture life on the run"


Henri Cartier-Bresson was a four time winner of the Overseas Press Club of America Award(1948,1954,1960,1964), he also won the A.S.M.P. Award(1953), the Hasselblad Award(1982), also the Grand Prix National de la Photographie(1981).


I really like his work because it shows photography in a different perspective than most pictures that you see due to the fact that he does not use a flash and his pictures are in black and white.

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