Yousuf Karsh Portrait Photography: The One Whom the Famous Call when They Start to Think of Immortality

 

Photo by Yousuf Karsh
Yousuf Karsh—born on 23 December 1908 to Armenian parents in Armenia's Mardin, which is now located in Turkey—didn't have a happy childhood as he happened grew up in the midst of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

 

Photo by Yousuf Karsh
Later when he turned 16 his parents decided to sent him to Canada with his uncle who was a photographer and owned a photography studio in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Yousuf was assisting his uncle in his studio and was going to college. His uncle noticed that his nephew was a smart boy and there may be a great photography future waiting for him.

 

Photo by Yousuf Karsh
That's why his uncle decided to help him and sent him for an apprenticeship with John Garo, another photographer, in Boston, the United States. Karsh attended his apprenticeship eagerly and returned back to Canada in five years to work with photographer John Powls in his studio, which the family gave him after they retired. He moved the studio into Château Laurier hotel in 1973, the place where his first exhibition took place, and it stayed there until his retirement in the 1990's.
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
Karsh received international recognition on 30 December 1941 when, after a speech given to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa by Winston Churchill, he took a portrait photo of him during two meager minutes of time. The photo was immediately featured on the cover of Life magazine and later came to be considered as the most famous photo of Churchill and the most printed portrait ever.
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
The International Who's Who issued a list of 100 of the most notable people of the century. And out of them he made photos of 51 people and was the only Canadian to appear on the list himself.
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
His photography style was formed by many schools and photographers. His most well-known feature was to give a separate source of lighting to the subject's hands. The majority of his photos were made with 8×10 bellows Calumet camera.
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize," he said. 
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
His most famous models were Muhammad Ali, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, Joan Crawford, Albert Einstein, Princess Elizabeth, Indira Gandhi, Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, Pope John Paul II, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, The Marx Brothers, Pablo Picasso, Pope Pius XII, George Bernard Shaw, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many others.

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