Alfred Eisenstaedt was a staff photographer for Life Magazine in 1938 where he frequently teamed with senior editor Noel F. Busch. In 1938, for example, Busch interviewed Carole Lombard and Eisentaedt photographed her. They also interviewed and photographed Bette Davis that same year. Eisenstaedt possessed the unique talent to capture a story in a single, tell-all moment. The photographer’s job, he once wrote, “is to find and catch the storytelling moment. His pictures let people and events speak for themselves. Portrait assignments became a specialty, and in the process he accumulated many little-known secrets about his subjects.
Eisentaedt captured the mood of part of an interview that Lombard said was "definitely off the record."
Many people consider Alfred Eisenstaedt the defining photojournalist of the 20th century. His best known work is probably the photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on VJ Day in 1945. A sailor, elated because the war is over, kisses a nurse amidst a New York crowd, will perhaps always be Eisenstaedt’s signature photograph. Acclaimed as one of the Ten Greatest Images of Photojournalism, it reflects “Eisie’s” keen sense of spontaneity.
Candid photography is best described as un-posed and unplanned, immediate and unobtrusive. This is in contrast to classic photography, which includes aspects such as carefully staged portrait photography, landscape photography or object photography. Candid photography catches moments of life from immersion in it.
Over the years 92 of his photographs graced the covers of Life Magazine. Eisenstaedt's work is amazingly luminescent. He captures a spiritual glow in his subjects and in nature. Realizing that he was using natural light, the images and detail are very well illuminated regardless, much like what you find in Ansel Adams's work. His people have an animation of body and personality that makes the viewer feel more alive as well. Whether professional actor or ordinary person, they each resonate with the viewer through intense and attractive emotion.