Willy Ronis was born in Paris, the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania. As a young boy, he worked with his father in the family portrait studio and studied piano. His father's love of music, as well as his early photography work, developed Ronis' sense of composition.
He followed his passion into a career in photojournalism, and, as a result, Ronis became part of the great Parisian group of documentary photographers that also included Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. The images created by Willis Ronis capture the simple pleasures of everyday life. Not one to focus on suffering, his photographs are often light-hearted, humor-filled, and full of compassion, even as they capture the delight of French joie de vivre.
Ronis has had several books and monographs published on his work. As one of the great masters of twentieth century photography, Ronis has work is in the collections of major museums and private collectors around the world.