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Photograph by Robert Doisneau, Paris, 1951

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“I’m not a collector at heart. I’m never tormented by the longing to possess things. I’m quite happy with my pictures. I’ve been cohabiting with them for years now and we know each other inside out, so I feel I’m entitled to say that pictures have a life and a character of their own. Maybe they’re like plants they won’t really flourish unless you talk to them. I haven’t gone that far – not yet anyway. Lots of them behave like good little girls and give me a nice smile whenever I walk past, but others are real bitches and never miss any opportunity to ruin my life. I handle them with kid gloves.”

Robert Doisneau, Three Seconds of Eternity

I have seen this photograph for the first time couple of years back in Paris. It was printed in (a huge) portrait format and hanging on one of the walls of the Hotel Alane’s breakfast room. I was having croissant and orange juice and planning the day ahead with my love. We were in the honeymoon.

When we left Paris, we bought a print – landscape format this time, as souvenir. Once on a shelve or a wall, it turns that place into a home. Now it hangs on the wall of an attic with a view in Sydney, Australia.

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By Robert Doisneau