Born in 1905 in Moscow, Semyon Fridyland worked as a shoemaker from a young age.  He was invited to Moscow to work as a photographic laboratory assistant for Ogonyok, the first Soviet illustrated weekly magazine, founded by his cousin Mikhail Koltsov, who was a well known journalist.  Shortly, Fridyland began to take photographs, and his growing interest quickly turned into becoming a professional photojournalist.  He worked for the agency Soyuzphoto, and then the magazines USSR in Construction and Pravda.  Later he headed the photographic department at Ogonyok.  Fridyland died in 1964.