Decrauzat’s biography can only be roughly reconstructed. He was born on 16 March 1879 in Biel, the middle son of Jules Decrauzat, senior, and Estelle Adèle Lambelet. Having spent his early years in Biel, he moved to Geneva with the family in 1895. Jules studied sculpture at the Ecole des Arts Industriels and, with a diploma under his belt, set off for Paris in 1897, where he initially earned his living as a sculptor, while at the same time attending evening courses at the Ecole Pathé. There he discovered the two young media of film and photography, as well as the new profession of photo-journalist. He also recognised a potential as yet unused by the press: the possibility of responding directly, dynamically and intuitively to world events. Most of the photographs printed at that time were static, posed and hardly suitable for conveying a lively impression. Jules Decrauzat was looking for a different kind of photography. He envisaged instantaneous photography, recording movement and action within seconds so as to capture decisive moments.