Willy Ronis early photo works are more of the reportage genre and are dedicated to civil unrest, street demonstrations and the rise of the Left Front in France. But most of all, he was remembered for his romanticized vision of Paris and its inhabitants, becoming the leading master of French humanistic photography.
He wandered on the streets of Belleville and Ménilmontant, camera in hand, capturing spontaneous moments. But Ronis is not a detached and impartial street photographer. His images are imbued with a sense of closeness and sympathy, as the author knew and understood the Parisians very good.
In 1985, Willy Ronis began working on his photo archive to select what he considered the essence of his work. He collected six albums, which thus constitute his "photographic testament".
Willy Ronis was not only taking pictures, but also taught photography, and awarded numerous awards. He died in Paris on September 12, 2009 at the age of 99. He said that almost all his photographs are random. That photographs come from random glances, random beams of light, and a thousand stories. So you just should not forget to take your camera.
Willy Ronis wrote a book about photography: "Ce jour-là" ("On this day") - a book in which he leafs through his favorite photographs year after year, as he never parted with a camera during 89 years out of 99 he lived, and where he recalls how and where each one was made.