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Everyday life Photography

In the 1830s, Nièpce discovered how to print images onto metal plates. When he died in 1833, Louis Daguerre, followed by Francois Arago, continued to develop his research, resulting in the invention of the daguerreotype which consisted of an image printed onto a silver plate when exposed to the light. Together they had invented photography.

The first ever photographs began to appear. Initially used for research purposes, photography started to spread as daguerreotype studios opened everywhere. Black and white portraits immortalised the faces of the upper middle classes and were later used to capture all members of society. Celebrities were also a popular subject choice and many photographers specialised in taking their portraits, as Jean-Loup Sieff did all throughout his career almost a century after the invention of photography.

In the beginning, taking a portrait or even the simplest of family photos required a great deal of preparation and time in the studio. However, key technological developments brought about the invention of more compact cameras including the Leica and later the digital single-lens reflex, which meant shorter exposure times and made it easier to produce a greater number of photographs.

These advances also helped contribute to the development of the genre of everyday life photography, which became more popular at the end of the Second World War and focused at first on photographing wealthy or urban families. Families, couples, communities... artists were interested in everyday moments (marriage, lovers kissing, children's games). The simplest of moments in life were seen as the most important and were immortalised in film as testaments to the beauty of human life.

Some of the great photographers made a name for themselves in the genre. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, David Goldblatt, Martin Parr and Vivian Maier are only a few of the artists associated with everyday life photography.

Vivian Maier is an American photographer who was born in 1926 in New York. A professional nanny in Chicago, she spent her spare time photographing the world around her and produced around 150,000 photos. Having remained anonymous throughout her artistic life, her genius and photographic accomplishments were finally recognised publicly in 2007.

Cofounder of the Magnum Photographic Cooperative in 1947 alongside David Seymour and Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson was a pioneer of photojournalism but also an excellent photographer in a more artistic sense. He revolutionised photography by working with incredibly lightweight equipment. He didn't use a tripod or a darkroom and treasured a sense of immediacy when taking photographs. He believed that “above all else, the camera is a sketchbook". Henri Cartier-Bresson's photographic technique is unique and unmistakably recognisable. He never photographed with flash and only worked with natural light, something which was highly characteristic of everyday life photography. Often in the same black and white image, the subjects coexist together but are not centred. His framing, focus and depth of field all help us to see the simple beauty of everyday life that he so exquisitely enhances.

Artsper has a range of everyday life photographs for you to discover, including works from Cartier-Bresson as well as many other artists, whose photos reveal the precious moments of the everyday lives of men and women from around the world.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Fine Art Photographs

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Pierrot Men, Série Soatanana Homme au chapeau blanc, Photography

Pierrot Men

Série Soatanana Homme au chapeau blanc, 1995
30 x 45 x 2 cm


Marco Bulgarelli, Buddhist monastery, Bagan, Photography

Marco Bulgarelli

Buddhist monastery, Bagan, 2004
18 x 28 cm


Irène Jonas, Sans titre 1, de la série "un été sans fin", Photography

Irène Jonas

Sans titre 1, de la série "un été sans fin", 2021
30 x 45 x 1 cm


Fabrizio La Torre, 100th Anniversary Celebration Coffret # 11 - Hong Kong 1956 - Tiré à part # 1, Photography

Fabrizio La Torre

100th Anniversary Celebration Coffret # 11 - Hong Kong 1956 - Tiré à part # 1, 1956
42 x 30 x 0.3 cm


Clara Delaporte, La pizza, Photography

Clara Delaporte

La pizza, 2019
20 x 30 x 1 cm


Brian Otieno, Mathematics Corner, Photography

Brian Otieno

Mathematics Corner, 2020
60 x 90 x 1 cm


Xavier B, Paris - Marseille, Photography

Xavier B

Paris - Marseille, 2020
100 x 70 x 4 cm


D-A Woisard, Flashback, Photography

D-A Woisard

Flashback, 2011
50 x 40 cm


Pascal Therme, Hommage à Hockney, rocs rouges, brésil nordeste, 69 éléments, Photography

Pascal Therme

Hommage à Hockney, rocs rouges, brésil nordeste, 69 éléments, 2008
50 x 200 x 0.3 cm


Lara Alcantara, The last supper (Series of unfortunate fortunate events), Photography

Lara Alcantara

The last supper (Series of unfortunate fortunate events), 2020
109.2 x 119.4 x 6.4 cm


Bernard Pras, Inventaire 100 - Cat Carnaval, Photography

Bernard Pras

Inventaire 100 - Cat Carnaval, 2010
160 x 120 cm


Julie Peiffer, 11h53 - 6,09, Crue de la Seine - Paris 2016, Photography

Julie Peiffer

11h53 - 6,09, Crue de la Seine - Paris 2016, 2016
50 x 50 cm


Antoine Rose, By My Side 6, Photography

Antoine Rose

By My Side 6, 2020
35 x 35 x 0.5 cm


Charlotte Abramow, Rouge sur Blanc, Photography

Charlotte Abramow

Rouge sur Blanc, 2018
10 x 15 cm


Alain Le Chapelier, La taberna trinidad, Photography

Alain Le Chapelier

La taberna trinidad, 2018
50 x 70 x 2 cm


Cécile Baldewyns, Fairy, Photography

Cécile Baldewyns

Fairy, 2014
40 x 60 cm


Justina Napiorkowska, Jump, Photography

Justina Napiorkowska

Jump, 2017
30 x 40 cm


Julien Dubois, HK Woker, Photography

Julien Dubois

HK Woker, 2016
100 x 70 x 1 cm


Laura Makabresku, Lovers (Amants), Photography

Laura Makabresku

Lovers (Amants), 2014
60 x 40 cm


Monica Denevan, Anchor, Photography

Monica Denevan

Anchor, 2013
40 x 50 cm


Maurice Tabard, Untitled, Photography

Maurice Tabard

Untitled, 1945
31.1 x 25 cm


Our recommendations Tommy Schultz, Best wave I, Photography

Tommy Schultz

Best wave I, 2015
50 x 75 cm


Olivier Le Brun, Mada 2, Photography

Olivier Le Brun

Mada 2, 2000
30 x 45 cm


Salvatore Arnone, Paranoia, from paranoia series, Photography

Salvatore Arnone

Paranoia, from paranoia series, 2015
100.1 x 69.9 x 0.3 cm


Slim Aarons, Poolside Party, Photography

Slim Aarons

Poolside Party, 2020
101.6 x 152.4 cm


Baptiste Blanchett, Gotta catch'em all, Photography

Baptiste Blanchett

Gotta catch'em all, 2018
50 x 75 x 1 cm


Guilherme Licurgo, Desert Rose II - Desert Flower, Medium Print, Photography

Guilherme Licurgo

Desert Rose II - Desert Flower, Medium Print, 2014
88.9 x 58.4 x 0.3 cm


Muriel Bordier, Les maîtres nageurs, Photography

Muriel Bordier

Les maîtres nageurs, 2015
90 x 170 x 0.2 cm


Claude Billès, Marinella, Photography

Claude Billès

Marinella, 2020
60 x 110 x 2 cm


Sandrine Darcos, Amazing Sunset Croisette Cannes, Photography

Sandrine Darcos

Amazing Sunset Croisette Cannes, 2019
60 x 90 x 2 cm


Ludovic Careme, Mostar Bridge, Photography

Ludovic Careme

Mostar Bridge, 1995
40 x 40 cm


Ahmet Sel, Chantilly, Photography

Ahmet Sel

Chantilly, 2002
40 x 40 cm


Our recommendations Cristina Aldehuela, Lelo 1, Photography

Cristina Aldehuela

Lelo 1, 2014
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Li Hui, Untitled, Photography

Li Hui

Untitled, 2017
40 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Bernard Reignier, Cavalcade, Photography

Bernard Reignier

Cavalcade, 2019
52 x 52 x 1 cm


Gérard Uféras, Opéra XIV, Photography

Gérard Uféras

Opéra XIV, 2006
60 x 40 x 2 cm


Emmanuelle Barbaras, Assemblée femmes Dakar, Photography

Emmanuelle Barbaras

Assemblée femmes Dakar, 2018
45 x 38 x 1 cm


Jean-Pierre Attal, Paysages ethnographiques #7, Photography

Jean-Pierre Attal

Paysages ethnographiques #7, 2012
75 x 100 x 2 cm


Elisa Haberer, Plongeurs, Photography

Elisa Haberer

Plongeurs, 2008
100 x 100 x 0.1 cm


Cyril Manzini, Purification, Photography

Cyril Manzini

Purification, 2019
30 x 30 cm


Jodi Bieber, Cardiff by night, Photography

Jodi Bieber

Cardiff by night, 2003
70 x 50 x 0.1 cm


João Luiz Bulcão, Brasil 9, Photography

João Luiz Bulcão

Brasil 9, 2003
40 x 60 cm


Gustavo Cabarcas, Amazonie, Photography

Gustavo Cabarcas

Amazonie, 2016
30 x 45 x 0.1 cm


David Bordes, Sainte Rita et Yves Klein, Photography

David Bordes

Sainte Rita et Yves Klein, 1999
50 x 60 cm


André Le Mauff, L'arbre, n°1/2, Photography

André Le Mauff

L'arbre, n°1/2, 2018
25 x 25 cm


Thomas Hoeffgen, Lagos la dingue, Photography

Thomas Hoeffgen

Lagos la dingue, 2009
40 x 103 x 0.1 cm


Polo Garat, Sans titre, Photography

Polo Garat

Sans titre, 2017
100 x 150 x 3 cm


Yuyang Liu, Alone on Flight, Photography

Yuyang Liu

Alone on Flight, 2020
50 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Joël Cadiou, Enfants de pêcheurs, Photography

Joël Cadiou

Enfants de pêcheurs, 2002
29 x 43 cm


Philippe De Poulpiquet, Tripoli, Photography

Philippe De Poulpiquet

Tripoli, 2011
30 x 45 cm


Chiara Dazi, Le lutteur, Photography

Chiara Dazi

Le lutteur, 2003
60 x 60 cm


Isabelle Picarel, Ecosse, Photography

Isabelle Picarel

Ecosse, 2013
53 x 80 cm


Panos Kokkinias, Chalandriani, Photography

Panos Kokkinias

Chalandriani, 1999
80 x 111.5 cm


Albert Watson, Flower Seller, Maroc, 1989, Photography

Albert Watson

Flower Seller, Maroc, 1989, 1989
60.3 x 50.8 cm


Gilberto Perin, Tuneis, Photography

Gilberto Perin

Tuneis, 2012
40 x 60 cm


Stephan Zaubitzer, Echecs, Photography

Stephan Zaubitzer

Echecs, 2012
50 x 60 x 5 cm


Alessandra Bisi, Ibrid Cracovia, Photography

Alessandra Bisi

Ibrid Cracovia, 2018
47 x 35 x 1.5 cm


Peter Keetman, Peter Keetman Portfolio 1936–1960, Photography

Peter Keetman

Peter Keetman Portfolio 1936–1960, 2001
121.9 x 254 x 0.3 cm


Linda Tuloup, Viens, Photography

Linda Tuloup

Viens, 2009
30 x 30 x 8 cm


Estelle Hanania, Last Parade, Photography

Estelle Hanania

Last Parade, 2015
56 x 41 x 1 cm


Anthony Mirial, Le Grand Voyage, Photography

Anthony Mirial

Le Grand Voyage, 2018
80 x 120 cm


Robert Curran, Little Buddha, Photography

Robert Curran

Little Buddha, 1998
105.4 x 86.4 x 2.5 cm


Rodrigo, Healthy, Photography


Healthy, 2019
21 x 29.7 x 0.2 cm


Lionel Morateur, Mort d'un clown, Photography

Lionel Morateur

Mort d'un clown, 2019
60 x 90 x 0.5 cm


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