Henri Cartier-Bresson was the oldest of all the 5 siblings. He was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France. Henri’s father was a rich textile manufacturer, whose Cartier-Bresson thread was a popular product of the French sewing kits.
His mother belonged to a family of cotton merchants and landowners. He spent a huge amount of his childhood at Normandy with his mother’s family.
The Cartier-Bresson family resided at Rue de Lisbonne, near Place de l’Europe and Parc Monceau, Paris. Henri’s parents were very supportive of his interest in photography.
Unlike other parents, Henri’s parents helped him financially to complete his professional course without any worries. He also had a keen interest in sketching.
Henri’s first encounter with photography was at a very young age, where he took vacation pictures with a Box Brownie. Later, Henri tried his hands on a 3×4 inch view camera.
While Henri’s father assumed that he would become a part of the family business as an adult, but Henri was determined to do what he wants to do despite other people’s advice against it. But, somewhere he also feared this prospect.
Henri spent above 30 years on assignment for Life and other journals. He traveled across without any bounds and documented some of the greatest disruptions that took place in the 20th century.
Henri didn’t like to be clicked and treasured his private space. As such, his pictures of are scant. In 1975, when he was awarded an honorary degree from Oxford University, he held a paper right in front of his face, to cover it, and avoid being photographed.
He believed that what went on the inside surface was not a matter of concern for others. It was nobody else’s business but only his own.