Emotionless Portraits


My first photographic jolt occurred at the end of high school.

My boarding school roommate brought home a book by legendary Canadian portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh called Portraits of Greatness. Even if you don’t recognize his name, chances are that you’ve seen his famous portraits of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, Carl Yung, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dwight Eisenhower, Andy Warhol, Ernest Hemingway and so many others. Almost anybody who was anyone during Karsh’s working years (he died in 2002) was photographed by Karsh. See http://www.karsh.org for his official website.

Back to my eighteen year-old self. After class I found a book sitting on a counter in our room. With time to kill, I started flipping through page after page of masterful black and white portraiture. That was the first time that I was moved by photography. For the first time I realized that the combination of ink and paper in two-dimensional book form transcended those simple elements. The sum of those elements amounted to something beyond three dimensions. Present in those pages were emotion and humanity and spirit and personality and beauty and timelessness.

That was a watershed moment for me.

Fast forward many years and I’ve recently found myself focused on the art of headshot photography and particularly intrigued by what I call emotionless portraits. For these portraits I ask subjects to give me as blank, void and emotionless of expressions as possible.


I want to reduce if not eliminate the clutter of expression that often becomes automatic when we’re in front of a camera. My goal is to capture a sense of purity in the structure and details and geometry and personality that remains.

May your life be full of emotion but your portraits be emotionless.

  • Emotionless Jarrid
  • Emotionless Aaron
  • Emotionless Allison
  • Emotionless Soren
  • Emotionless Elizabeth
  • Emotionless Erica
  • Emotionless Erin
  • Emotionless Tula
  • Emotionless Dakota
  • Emotionless Amy
  • Emotionless Vickie
  • Emotionless Anton
  • Emotionless Zac
  • Emotionless Kathryn
  • Emotionless Lancy
  • Emotionless Michelle
  • Emotionless Christina
  • Emotionless Michael
  • Emotionless Miguelito
  • Emotionless Victor
  • Emotionless Elyse
  • Emotionless Katherina
  • Emotionless Byron
  • Emotionless Scott
  • Emotionless Pedro
  • Emotionless Joanne
  • Emotionless Carlos
  • Emotionless Dizni
  • Emotionless Javier
  • Emotionless Ivana
  • Emotionless Biswajeet
  • Emotionless Sriseshan
  • Emotionless Henrique
  • Emotionless Almira
  • Emotionless Manuela
  • Emotionless Victoria
  • Emotionless Chris
  • Emotionless Margo 2
  • Emotionless Rob
  • Emotionless Ashley
  • Emotionless Shannon
  • Emotionless Amanda
  • Emotionless Gordon
  • Emotionless Elsa
  • Emotionless Margo
  • Emotionless 15
  • Emotionless 14
  • Emotionless 13
  • Emotionless 12
  • Emotionless 11
  • Emotionless 10
  • Emotionless 9
  • Emotionless 8
  • Emotionless 7
  • Emotionless 6
  • Emotionless 5
  • Emotionless Denis
  • Emotionless 4
  • Emotionless Seb
  • Emotionless 3
  • Emotionless 2
  • Emotionless Ben
  • Emotionless Tad
  • Emotionless James
  • Emotionless Heather
  • Emotionless Jason
  • Emotionless Drew
  • Emotionless Dave
  • Emotionless Marlon
  • Emotionless Zoe
  • Emotionless Stephen
  • Emotionless Ayla
  • Emotionless Dan
  • Emotionless Kinsey
  • Emotionless Patricia
  • Emotionless Yucel
  • Emotionless Joey
  • Emotionless Lee
  • Approach Method
  • Ex Coelis Morning
  • Big Skies