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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