What a beautiful world we live in, and what more breathtaking an expression of its limitless variety and beauty than the human face.

A picture truly is worth a thousand words, but the best portraits capture more in expressions, colours, shading and composition than could ever be explained in writing. Here we take a tour of the world in fascinating faces – a tribute to the variety of humanity and the stunning beauty just waiting to be discovered as we travel the globe and meet its inhabitants face to face.

Vietnam

Botswana

India

Niger

Sikkim

A genuine smile can be hard to capture, but when achieved it lends a sense of openness and sincerity to the portrait. The lines and creases on this Sikkim man’s face give a strong impression of character and humour, and added in with his unusual dental collection and the blue-tinged light, make for a great portrait!

Madagascar

Italy

South Africa

Great people-shots also make the viewer want to learn more about the world of the subject. This child is an AIDS orphan from the South African province of Kwazulu-Natal. Knowing the context lends a new depth to the image and the image provides a brief but personal perspective on an issue of national significance.

Peru

Virginia, USA

Hungary

Canada

This unhappy two-year old from Canada is getting his first haircut! His woeful face in contrast to the grim determination of the hairdresser, who has doubtless been in this situation before, is priceless!

California, USA

North Carolina, USA

Nepal

Brazil

Iran

England

Japan

New Zealand

Great travel portraits capture something of the destination in the people who live there. For example, this shot from New Zealand is of a street party for the 2010 Rugby Sevens tournament in Wellington and nicely captures the nation’s obsession with rugby in a dynamic and well-lit composition.

Russia

Slovakia

Mongolia

This shot from Mongolia nicely juxtaposes the traditional ‘deel’ Mongolian dress, worn for centuries, with the child’s more modern Mickey Mouse face paint and chewing gum. Cute kids always make for great shot, and by mixing in both local and popular culture, the narrative of this photo is expanded.

Norway

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