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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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Linda Tuloup, #2, Photography

Linda Tuloup

#2, 2021
24 x 30 x 1 cm


Vincent Carpentier, Les pêcheurs, Photography

Vincent Carpentier

Les pêcheurs, 2021
73 x 115 x 2.5 cm


Grzegorz Sikorski, Soft morning, Photography

Grzegorz Sikorski

Soft morning, 2018
50 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Damola Ayegbayo, Against All Odds II, Photography

Damola Ayegbayo

Against All Odds II, 2021
91.4 x 91.4 x 5.1 cm


Ralph Hasenohr, Palm Springs in January. 8:14 am., Photography

Ralph Hasenohr

Palm Springs in January. 8:14 am., 2019
45 x 60 cm


Alexandre Henry, Paris sous la pluie, Photography

Alexandre Henry

Paris sous la pluie, 2021
45 x 30 cm


Nadia Ferroukhi, Chine-Les Moso_Yunnan, Photography

Nadia Ferroukhi

Chine-Les Moso_Yunnan, 2008
40 x 60 cm


Didier Fournet, NY Chinatown, Photography

Didier Fournet

NY Chinatown, 2018
130 x 130 x 5 cm


Camille Léage, Bus 60, Parc de Belleville, Photography

Camille Léage

Bus 60, Parc de Belleville, 2016
30 x 40 x 0.1 cm


Aline Isoard, Habitants sur route 1_2019, Photography

Aline Isoard

Habitants sur route 1_2019, 2019
90 x 90 cm


Edouard Partoes, Les chevaux de l'ocean, Photography

Edouard Partoes

Les chevaux de l'ocean, 2017
40 x 60 x 1 cm


Eric Chauvet, New.York 34, Photography

Eric Chauvet

New.York 34, 2018
30 x 30 x 0.5 cm


Simon Yung, Vies.Vues (1014168), Photography

Simon Yung

Vies.Vues (1014168), 2021
30 x 45 x 0.5 cm


Maria Martin, Hombre Ordinaire 13, Photography

Maria Martin

Hombre Ordinaire 13, 2020
45 x 30 x 0.5 cm


Adam Starr, Hey Ma, Photography

Adam Starr

Hey Ma, 2019
40 x 60 x 3 cm


Our recommendations Derrick Ofosu Boateng, Love for Ghana, Photography

Derrick Ofosu Boateng

Love for Ghana, 2019
40 x 30 x 0.3 cm


Our recommendations James Sparshatt, Ensayo, Photography

James Sparshatt

Ensayo, 2004
40 x 50 cm


Our recommendations Théo Gosselin, Lost and Found, Photography

Théo Gosselin

Lost and Found, 2019
20 x 30 x 3 cm


Our recommendations Nobuyoshi Araki, Sans Titre, Photography

Nobuyoshi Araki

Sans Titre, 2000
10.8 x 8.9 cm


Our recommendations Cécile Baldewyns, Cooling Tour, Photography

Cécile Baldewyns

Cooling Tour, 2014
40 x 60 cm


Our recommendations Charles Pétillon, Copier Coller (large), Photography

Charles Pétillon

Copier Coller (large), 2016
111 x 146 cm


Charlotte Abramow, Rouge sur Blanc, Photography

Charlotte Abramow

Rouge sur Blanc, 2018
10 x 15 cm


Antoine Rose, Blue leader, Photography

Antoine Rose

Blue leader, 2019
50 x 50 cm


Our recommendations Joost Wensveen, Blackrock, Photography

Joost Wensveen

Blackrock, 2015
60 x 90 x 1 cm


Our recommendations Horst P. Horst, Istanbul - Untitled #4, Photography

Horst P. Horst

Istanbul - Untitled #4, 1954
39.9 x 39.9 x 0.3 cm


Justina Napiorkowska, Jump, Photography

Justina Napiorkowska

Jump, 2017
30 x 40 cm


Our recommendations Slim Aarons, Coming Ashore, Photography

Slim Aarons

Coming Ashore, 1973
152 x 101 cm


Laura Makabresku, Lovers (Amants), Photography

Laura Makabresku

Lovers (Amants), 2014
60 x 40 cm


Our recommendations Corinne Dubreuil, That beach, Photography

Corinne Dubreuil

That beach, 2006
60 x 90 cm


Alain Le Chapelier, La taberna trinidad, Photography

Alain Le Chapelier

La taberna trinidad, 2018
50 x 70 x 2 cm


José Nicolas, Accra, Photography

José Nicolas

Accra, 2017
40 x 50 cm


Our recommendations Cristina Aldehuela, Lelo 1, Photography

Cristina Aldehuela

Lelo 1, 2014
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Julien Dubois, HK Woker, Photography

Julien Dubois

HK Woker, 2016
100 x 70 x 1 cm


Anne Eliayan et Christian Pic, Secret partagé, Photography

Anne Eliayan et Christian Pic

Secret partagé, 2020
80 x 120 x 1 cm


Maurice Tabard, Untitled, Photography

Maurice Tabard

Untitled, 1945
31.1 x 25 cm


Monica Denevan, Anchor, Photography

Monica Denevan

Anchor, 2013
40 x 50 cm


Li Hui, Untitled, Photography

Li Hui

Untitled, 2017
40 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Salvatore Arnone, Paranoia, from paranoia series, Photography

Salvatore Arnone

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


Baptiste Blanchett, Gotta catch'em all, Photography

Baptiste Blanchett

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


Olivier Le Brun, Mada 2, Photography

Olivier Le Brun

Mada 2, 2000
30 x 45 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


Joël Moens, Bright Sunshine, Photography

Joël Moens

Bright Sunshine, 2018
120 x 90 x 4 cm


Emmanuelle Barbaras, Assemblée femmes Dakar, Photography

Emmanuelle Barbaras

Assemblée femmes Dakar, 2018
45 x 38 x 1 cm


João Luiz Bulcão, Brasil 2, Photography

João Luiz Bulcão

Brasil 2, 2000
30 x 45 x 0.1 cm


Claude Billès, Marinella, Photography

Claude Billès

Marinella, 2020
60 x 110 x 2 cm


Gérard Uféras, Opéra XIV, Photography

Gérard Uféras

Opéra XIV, 2006
60 x 40 x 2 cm


Jodi Bieber, Cardiff by night, Photography

Jodi Bieber

Cardiff by night, 2003
70 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Gustavo Cabarcas, Amazonie, Photography

Gustavo Cabarcas

Amazonie, 2016
30 x 45 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Stefanie Schneider, Every single incident weighs tons (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence), Photography

Stefanie Schneider

Every single incident weighs tons (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence), 2013
20 x 20 x 0.1 cm


Lionel Morateur, Mort d'un clown, Photography

Lionel Morateur

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


Alessandra Bisi, Ibrid Cracovia, Photography

Alessandra Bisi

Ibrid Cracovia, 2018
47 x 35 x 1.5 cm


Cyril Manzini, Purification, Photography

Cyril Manzini

Purification, 2019
30 x 30 cm


Our recommendations Adeline Spengler, Creating the future, Photography

Adeline Spengler

Creating the future, 2013
60 x 60 x 3 cm


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

André Le Mauff

L'arbre, n°1/2, 2018
25 x 25 cm


Bernard Reignier, El Juli, Photography

Bernard Reignier

El Juli, 2019
52 x 52 x 1 cm


Our recommendations Mohamed Bourouissa, Azul, Photography

Mohamed Bourouissa

Azul, 2009
61 x 78 x 1 cm


David Bordes, Sainte Rita et Yves Klein, Photography

David Bordes

Sainte Rita et Yves Klein, 1999
50 x 60 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


Our recommendations Bernhard Lang, AV_Adria_023, Photography

Bernhard Lang

AV_Adria_023, 2014
84 x 120 x 0.5 cm


Thomas Hoeffgen, Lagos la dingue, Photography

Thomas Hoeffgen

Lagos la dingue, 2009
40 x 103 x 0.1 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


Yuyang Liu, Alone on Flight, Photography

Yuyang Liu

Alone on Flight, 2020
50 x 50 x 0.1 cm


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