Harold Feinstein was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1931. At the age of 15 he began photographing. He joined the Photo League where he received his photography education. By 19 he was considered a young prodigy in the field, having his work purchased by Edward Steichen for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Feinstein had his first exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1954 and at the Museum of Modern Art in 1957. His career has spanned the greater part of the twentieth century, from his most notable work documenting Coney Island, New York, to his more recent color photographs of Flowers and seashells. His portfolios cover an expansive range of subject matters beyond these, including his photo essays from the Korean War, documentary street work, nudes, landscapes, and still life.