Portrait photography and photojournalism are two potentially intense and powerful art forms that don’t always get the recognition they deserve, so we thought we should show you some of the most powerful and diverse portraits of people around the world that we’ve ever seen.

Both the faces of the people in these photos and their contexts speak volumes about the people pictured and the worlds they live in. Some can be unimaginably and even horrifically different from ours, while other once-exotic worlds seem to grow closer and more interconnected with our own. Though they are only photos, looking into their eyes can still give us a feeling of connection.

1Usually, I don't smile in pics so this is very rare. My friend took this while I wasn't paying attention at a BBQ recently

2Maldivian Girl with Aquablue Eyes

3A circus dwarf eats at a diner in New Jersey, 1958. Photo by Bruce Davidson

4My 86 year old math teacher. He’s been teaching for 6 decades

5Lithuanian Woman in Traditional Garb

6Japanese samurai during the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, circa 1865

7A tribesman from rural Papua New Guinea with his face painted like an undead spirit

8Maldivian model Raudha Athif

9Four Tibetan monks came into this guy's drag show in Beijing because they were drawn in by the music and laughter

10Georgian chess player, Sopiko Guramishvili. She was awarded the titles Woman Grandmaster in 2009 and International Master in 2012

11Little girl is thrilled by her Dad's amazing balancing act in Melbourne, Australia

12Stanislav Petrov

Stanislav Petrov, the man who made the decision not to fire at the United States after a faulty report from the Russian missile detection that a nuke had been fired, which probably prevented WWIII.

13Whang-od Oggay, a 101-year-old Filipina tattoo artist, the last to practice Mambabatok, an ancient and traditional form of Kalinga tattooing

14‪Zimbabwean boy with aquamarine blue eyes

15An elder from Balochistan, Pakistan

16Unedited Photo of a girl taking a selfie at a concert

17Robert Rallah, Elder of the Yaramun Ringer's Soak Aboriginal Community, The Kimberley, Western Australia

18Culturally different brothers in Burma

19Hayley. 17. Born in prison...then adopted. Meth addict. Photo by Lee Jeffries

20Iranian chess player Dorsa Derakhshani plays for the US team after being banned from playing without her hijab in her own team

21Her Majesty the Queen bursts into a rare smile as she passes her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh

22Maori woman

23A woman from Luzon photographed in 1875

24Four women at Chicken Bone Beach, a segregated beach in Atlantic City by John W. Mosley, 1960s

25Kate Menson from Ghana


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