Émile Godefroy

Émile Godefroy was born on 29 July 1925 in Albi in southern France. During WWII he joined the Maquis – the French resistance movement – where he carried out sabotage acts against the German occupying forces and trained new recruits. After the war, in 1948 he became a photographer, working in Toulouse. Self-taught, Godefroy started out by photographing street scenes and later became the official photographer of military ceremonies and civil events in Toulouse. He documented life in Toulouse in a career lasting over 50 years. He documented General de Gaulle’s visit to the city in 1958, art events and performances, official ceremonies, society events and celebrities, such as Joséphine Baker and Edith Piaf. He used black and white film until 1960, after which most of his work was in colour. In 1963 he took a photo of the radio and television repair workshop at ORT Toulouse [see image].

Godefroy was honoured with the insignia of Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite [National Order of Merit awarded by the President of the French Republic] in 2004. Godefroy’s photos are held by the Toulouse City Archives. "In Toulouse many people remember Emile on his stepladder with his camera."[1]

Émile sadly passed away in 2021.