Born to a wealthy Bohemian and Czech family, Funke enrolled at the Charles University of Prague and later in Bratislava but abandoned his studies to become a photographer. At the beginning of his career he experimented with Constructivism, Surrealism and Expressionism, before focussing purely on photography. In 1922 he founded with Sudek and Schneeberger the Czech Photographic Society. From 1931 he began teaching in Bratislava with Ladislav Sutha and in Prague. He was editor of the journal Fotograficky Obzor (Photographic Horizons). He travelled extensively and documented the social conditions of poverty in Bad Living Series.