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Gelatin silver print
Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Antony Penrose commented on this photograph "David E. Scherman who knew Eisenstaedt well told me Eisenstaedt had randomly asked the two who were not a couple to stage the kiss. They clearly enjoyed it and gave Eisenstaedt one of his best known images. It was not unusual for photographers to do a 'set up shot' but the rule was faking was OK if it conveyed the fact." (Facebook, 15 August 2014)
One of the original Life staff photographers, Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) pioneered the use of the 35mm camera for photo-reportage in Germany while cementing his reputation as a photographer capable of making printable images in almost any time-based, assignment-driven situation. He produced over 2,000 people-oriented news assignments during his forty years with Life.
The woman being kissed was Greta Friedman who was a dental assistant wearing a nurse’s uniform. The sailor was George Mendonsa and his girlfriend, and later his wife, Rita Petrie can be seen on the left.
George Mendonsa, The Kissing Sailor in famous photograph, dies at 95, The Guardian (British newspaper), 18 February 2019