Here's is what the master said about that fateful day where luck and preparation collided.
"In Times Square on V.J. Day, I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing every girl in sight. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse...I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds."
There are several other notable pictures from the hundreds Mr. Eisenstadt took in the decades he worked for LIFE magazine.
Here are some children watching the story of "St George and the dragon as the a puppet theater in Paris,1963.
"It took a long time to get the angle I liked, but the best picture is the one I took at the climax of the action. It carries all the excitement of the children screaming,"The dragon is slain!" Very often this sort of thing is only a momentary vision, my brain does not register, only my eyes and finger react. Click."
Headwaiter Rene Breguet brings aperitifs to English guests at the skating rink of the Grand Hotel, Saint-Moritz, 1932.
Though I have alway admired his work, I never got to meet Alfred Eisenstadt. He passed way in 1995 but I do count one of his photographs among our most cherished possessions. Last year we were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a signed copy of his magnificent Premiere At La Scala, 1934. It is my favorite of his pictures and made visiting the famous opera house last year in Milan all the more special.
"In Italy, I photographed a gala evening at La Scala. This was one of my first pictures with a Leica on a tripod. Suddenly I saw a lovely young society girl sitting next to an empty box. From that box I took this picture, with the girl in the foreground... Without the girl I would not have had a memorable picture."
To see many more of Mr. Eisenstadt's pictures, click here.