Behind the lens: Alfred Eisenstaedt

Even if you don’t recognize the name Alfred Eisenstaedt, you’re definitely familiar with his pictures. Eisenstaedt is the man responsible for that infamous V-J Day in Times Square picture: the photograph which captures a soldier and a woman kissing at the end of WWII.The photographer was born in 1898 and lived in Germany up until 1935. Originally from Dirschau, West Prussia, Eisenstaedt’s Jewish beliefs would cause him to flee to America during WWII. But before he left the country, the future photographer would get a head start in his field.Shortly after the First World War, Eisenstaedt started contributing pictures to the Berliner Tageblatt. What began as a part time profession became a life time pursuit for Eisenstaedt. As the photographer’s recognition grew, he was able to capture the get-together of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, as well as a picture of Joseph Goebbels at the 1933 League of Nations.The year after he arrived in America, Eisenstaedt landed a position at LIFE magazine. The photographer has captured multiple American icons since then, including Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, as well as the Clinton Family. Yet, one of the most infamous of Eisenstaedt’s pictures remains that Times Square kiss.Eisenstaedt passed away in 1995, but his pictures continue to inspire photographers worldwide.

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