Roger Schall


Baigneur plongeant dans les vagues Deauville été 1935 © Roger Schall
Jeux d'enfants plage de Deauville été 1936 © Roger Schall

Retrospective at the Planche(s) Contact Festival in 2018

Roger Schall, famous French photo-reporter of the 1930s, was born in Nancy. Son of a photographer, he was trained by his father and then as soon as he joined, in 1925, the photographic section of the Army.

1931: Opening of his first photographic studio in Montmartre, avenue Junot.

1934: During a very productive period for illustrated press, the Shall studio, created and co-directed by Roger Shall and his brother Raymond Schall, has 14 employees and is used up to 1939 as a press agency. The Schall photo-reportages are published throughout Europe and United States and in more than 100 illustrated magazines. Naked subjects and the photos of Paris are published next to those taken by Brassaï and Jean Moral.  

1934: Roger Schall starts his career as an international reporter at the Rolleiflex. First summer photo-reportage in Deauville, commissioned by Lucien Vogel for the VU magazine. First collaborations with Vogue. Fashion is captured by Roger Schall maintaining the style of a photo-reportage (the subject moves and the setting is natural), while fashion photography at the time was mainly done in studios.

1935: Photo-reportage of the Jubilee of King George VI in London, published by the English edition of Vogue. Portraits of Colette. After making a photo-reportage about the construction of the Normandie liner in the Penhöet building site, Lucien Vogel asks him to attend the inaugural trip from Le Havre to New York. Exclusive photographer accredited by the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, he shares his cabin with Blaise Cendrars. Short stay in the USA and photo-reportage in New York, Harlem, Coney Island. Stay in Deauville.

1936: Photo-reportage in Berlin to cover the preparation of the future Olympic Games, for Vu. Third photo-reportage in Deauville to capture the first paid vacation leave.

1937: Publication of Paris de Jour, a work prefaced by Jean Cocteau (Arts & Métiers Graphiques) and the Nu en photographie by Marcel Natkin. The photos by Roger Schall stand alongside those of Man Ray, Laure Albin Guillot and Pierre Boucher. Fourth summer photo-reportage in Deauville.

1944: Publication of A Paris sous la botte des nazis, image photo-reportage of four years of Occupation. This work, prefaced by Charles de Gaulle and published by Raymond Schall, includes photos taken by Roger Schall, Robert Doisneau, Roger Parry, Les Frères Seeberger, Pierre Jahan,… 

 1947: First steps in the advertisement photography in his studio of Montmartre 

1948 > 1969: Several photo-reportages in France: L’Eté à Deauville (Summer in Deauville) for France Illustrations, the stud farms of Marcel Boussac (publication of Chevaux de France, Editions Prisma, 1964), the races (Longchamp, Ascot), industrial photography (Forges et Aciéries de la Loire, Le Creusot, Saint Etienne, the factories of Saint-Gobain…), the presidential hunting sessions in Rambouillet, new assignments by the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique

New portraits of painters, writers and actors

He keeps working in advertisement; he makes fashion reportages and works for haute couture (Jeanne Lanvin, Jacques Fath, Grès…)

1970: Roger Schall focuses again on painting and drawing. He collaborates with several publishers and museums and manages his collections and photographic fund.

1995: Roger Schall dies on December 4th in Paris, aged 91.