Charles David Winter was born Charles David Heintz to Madeleine Heintz in 1821. The following year David Winter married Madeleine and acknowledged Charles David as his son.
Charles David began his career as a lithographer but later turned to photography and opened his own daguerreotype studio in 1848. By 1852 he was making salted paper prints and using the collodion process. Though his photographs of Strasbourg Cathedral were exhibited by the Société française de photographie in 1857 and 1859, Charles David also made portraits, landscapes, and studies of sculptures. He was associated for several years with Emile Schweitzer, but broke with him and left his studio to the care of a successor, Jules Fuchs, in 1884. Winter died in 1904.