Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica M3 rangefinder camera. He is best known for his photograph capturing the celebration of V-J Day.
Eisenstaedt was born into a Jewish family in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, being wounded on April 9, 1918. While working as a belt and button salesmen in 1920s Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Berliner Tageblatt.
Eisenstaedt was successful enough to become a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable pictures taken by Eisenstaedt in his early career include a waiter ice skating in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish.