In Yousuf Karsh's 93 years, he had amassed more than 15,000 sittings to his name, capturing portraits of famous and worldly people. He rose to international prominence due to his portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941. At first, it was an honor for the amateur Karsh to walk up to or invite people to photograph them. After that, it became a privilege for future subjects to be accepted into Karsh's gallery. Karsh's website is a source for great insight into the photographer's life, in his own words and through his works. You can read more in this 1988 interview Karsh gave to the Paris Voice, see a few more portraits from the Smithsonian Magazine, and view an interview in three parts. [more inside]
Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.*
With her most recent series, Alienation, South African photographer Anelia Loubser finds the extraterrestrial in all of us. Here are the mugshots she used as source material. More Loubser at Behance, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you visit the Humans of New York website or on the Facebook page now and in the next few months, you'll find portraits and stories from beyond New York. Brandon Stanton and HONY will be going on a "world tour," to be part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group effort to raise awareness for the eight international Millennium Development Goals with a target date of 2015 . Currently, HONY is "suddenly a war report form Iraq". [more inside]
The Identity Project "seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality." Accompanying each portrait are words the subjects prefer to use to describe themselves -- "Boi," "Provocateur Lesbian Dandy," "Queer Femme Beefcake," "Gold Star Gay Wife," "Gay Masculine of Center," "Lezzer Queer Bossy Mama," "Inbetweener," "Legally Married." By San Francisco photographer Sarah Deragon. [more inside]
Before They Pass Away: Powerful Portraits of Secluded Cultures on the Brink of Extinction. Q&A with Jimmy Nelson.
Christoffer Relander creates multiple-exposure portrait photographs, crossing humans and nature to haunting effect.
"Blow Job" is a series of portraits of people with gale-force winds blown directly into their faces. (SFW) [more inside]
"The Soldier Portraits Project...consists of portrait photographs of soldiers of the United States Army, primarily of the 3rd Infantry Division...[t]he photographs are made using the 150 year old collodion wet plate process - the same process that was used to document much of the period (and many of the soldiers) of the Civil War." [more inside]
The original time-lapse self portrait? And some modern artists: Enchanting self portraits from Iceland's Rebekka Gaudleifs. Nude self portrait (NSFW) from Israeli artist Roni River. Disturbing stories from Canada's projecteye (NSFW) and magical self-portrait from New Hampshire-based Sarah Ann Loreth.
Seydou Keïta, self taught Malian portrait photographer, shot some of the most renowned portraiture of 1940 - 1960's Bamakan society. [more inside]
In addition to being a five term US senator, Barry Goldwater was an accomplished photographer, particularly of people and landscapes of the American West. [more inside]
The Aura Camera was developed in the 1970s by Polaroid as a way to see auras around people as a psychic might. Though very rare, Carlo Van De Roer managed to get his hands on an AuraCam 6000 to capture a stunningly unique series of portraits [some mildly NSFW].
Portraits – Somewhat creepy but arresting, nevertheless.
"I found him, this little dog in a dumpster down in the projects in the South Side while I was pickin’ up cans. The reason I picked it up is because whenever I see a little child I give it to him." [more inside]
Obama's People [full-screen slideshow]: one photographer; one background; fifty-two members of the incoming US administration. Oh, and one "significant item" per person. The kind of thing -- not just a political piece, but a photographic project -- that reminds you what the institutional clout of the New York Times can make possible.
"When my friend Richard Renaldi showed me the first images from the new series Touching Strangers I was just amazed. Asking two complete strangers to not only pose with each other, but to also touch each other while doing that... And this in a culture whose discomfort with touching someone you don't know, or touching something that someone else might have touched still baffles me, even after having spent almost ten years in it!" - A Conversation with Richard Renaldi about 'Touching Strangers' [more inside]
Elizabeth Heyert struggles to remove the photographer from portraiture, moving contra Richard Avedon. Three series: Sleepers (interview), Travelers (interview), Narcissists [NSFWish] (essay).
In the 17th century Dutch painters began to create informal paintings that focused on the features and/or expressions of anonymous people. These were called tronies. Although a tronie showed a person’s face, it wasn’t considered a portrait. [...] In 1995 Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens began a series of tronies featuring his daughter Paula. some images NSFW
Like to faire une photo? You're not alone. The inimitable (but perhaps for not much longer) National Geographic magazine has advice for taking portraits, travel photography, landscapes, excitingly vague 'adventure' photos and even plan old digital photography. After you've created magic how about selling it or getting published? Sharing is so 2007.
Creative Americans: The Carl Van Vechten Photographs Collection at the Library of Congress consists of 1,395 photographs taken by American photographer Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) between 1932 and 1964. The bulk of the collection consists of portrait photographs of celebrities, including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance. Portraits include those of Tallulah Bankhead, Salvador Dali, Truman Capote, Dizzy Gillespie, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eartha Kitt, and Joe Louis. They are all available in medium or high resolution JPEG’s or uncompressed archival TIFF versions.
The Adaption to my Generation - daily portraits of Jonathan Keller...from 1998 to the present (as he states, "The project will continue until the day I die. Only then will it be complete, and worth its true value."). Also of note...his links page, which includes links to other "passage of time" (like the Portrait of Louise Anna Kubelka from birth to adulthood and Nicholas Nixon's "25 Years of the Brown Sisters") and "obsessive" (like Eat22 and 365 Plrds) photo projects...via Information Aesthetics.
Wrestling with Diane Arbus "She set up no lights, just pulled out her Rolleiflex, which was half as big as she was, checked the aperture and the exposure, and tested the flash. Then she asked me to lie on the bed, flat on my back on the shabby counterpane. I did as I was told. Clutching the camera she climbed on to the bed and straddled me, moving up until she was kneeling with a knee on both sides of my chest. She held the Rolleiflex at waist height with the lens right in my face. She bent her head to look through the viewfinder on top of the camera, and waited".
Simon Hoegsberg's latest project involved stopping passersby and asking what they were thinking at exactly that moment. These are their thoughts and portraits.