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Photographers You Should Know: Alfred Eisenstaedt

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Information for this article was collected from Art Scene California

Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt is known as the “father of modern photojournalism” and was one of the most prolific candid photographers of the 20th Century.

‘V-J Day in Times Square,’ is one of Eisenstaedt’s most famous photographs. The image was made August 14, 1945 in Times Square, New York City. (Photo Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt, via Life Magazine)

‘V-J Day in Times Square,’ is one of Eisenstaedt’s most famous photographs. The image was made August 14, 1945 in Times Square, New York City. (Photo Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt, via Life Magazine)

The German-born photographer was born in 1898 and started photography at the age of 14 with an Eastman Kodak Folding Camera. In 1927, at the age of 29, he sold his first photograph and in 1928 he began working for Pacific and Atlantic Photo’s Berlin office as a freelance photographer.

By 1935, Eisenstaedt migrated to the United States and in 1936, he became a founding staff photographer for Life Magazine.

He believed in using relatively little equipment in order to be as unobtrusive as possible. Near the end of his career, Eisenstaedt said, “My style hasn’t changed much in all these sixty years. I still use, most of the time, existing light and try not to push people around. I have to be as much a diplomat as a photographer. People often don’t take me seriously because I carry so little equipment and make so little fuss. When I married in 1949, my wife asked me. ‘But where are your real cameras?’ I never carried a lot of equipment. My motto has always been, ‘Keep it simple.’”

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