Rene-Jacques was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For more than 40 years, from the 1930s to the 1970s, Rene-Jacques was a highly regarded and much-requested photographer. He photographed French landscapes, industrial subjects, architecture, sports, and art. He made set photography for the film Remorques by Jean Gremillon in 1939, and he illustrated books. After World War II, Rene-Jacques made numerous documentary works about French towns and the French countryside.
His landscapes and his dramatic views of Paris are among his best works. Rene-Jacques was active in organizations such as Le Groupe des XV (a group of 15 French photographers), which sought to raise the status of photography to a profession. Beginning in the 1970s, Rene-Jacques stopped producing photographs for 20 years. He returned to his craft in 1993 after an exhibition at Saint-Benoit-du-Sault in France.