American photographer Mitchell “Mitch” Epstein was born in 1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In the early 1970s he studied at the Cooper Union, where he was a student of black-and-white photographer Garry Winogrand. After Winogrand brought photographer William Eggleston to his class, Epstein was inspired to produce colour photographs which at the time were considered a tool of advertising. Epstein later helped pioneer the redefinition of colour photography as an art form. By the mid-1970s, Epstein had abandoned his academic studies and begun to travel, embarking on a photographic exploration of the United States.