October 6, 2010

The Vespa kiss

For some weeks I had been looking for a very nice shot by Robert Doisneau online, but I just could not find it [addenda: this might be the only one]. In my memory, it was a couple sitting on a Vespa kissing each other "through" the helmets. Something very similar to this one, also by Doisneau, called Le baiser blotto (1950):

Last week, I was walking in the Schellingstrasse in Munich. It was already dark, there were no cars at all, just very few people, and I was thinking of Doisneau and some pictures I would like to do. I was sure that I had seen the Vespa version of the Baiser blotto somewhere, but I also started to suspect that it  might well had been a product of my own imagination. In any case, I was hoping to be able to make such a shot.

And life surprises you always. When I was about to cross the street, red light. I stopped. In that very moment, being the street completely empty, a Vespa stopped next to me as well, on my left. The girl on the back knock with the open palm of her hand on the helmet of her boyfriend. He turned on his left.

And they kissed through the helmets!

It was like a gift for me. And an irony, since I was carrying no camera with me that night. The only thing I could do was to stay there, enjoy the moment, be a witness of their cute kiss and love. I felt like in Budapest and decided to save the moment for me.

But then I became, of course, even more obsessed with the Vespa kiss. I could just find it on a book and scanned it: "Helmeted kisses" (1966).

And so I realized that it was very different to what I had in mind. This shot has nothing to do with the Baiser blotto. Here, you cannot see the Vespa, which was a product of my imagination. And the girl is not sitting, but she just stepped down of the bike to kiss her boyfriend goodbye, you notice that since they are kissing on their cheeks and on the plural form of the pic's title, since most French people kiss on both cheeks. And they are not in the street, but in a parking lot.

My Vespa kiss was a better shot! Next time.

Update July 2012: I found this pic by Ruslan Lobanov.



Anonymous said...

Is it not better to be the one who gets the kiss?

Enrique G de la G said...


Anonymous said...

So go on and kiss!