I have recently been very moved by what I have seen/read on the internet about the work of Yousuf Karsh.

I would really like to get more insight into how he captured the true character of his subjects.

There are plenty of books on Amazon about Karsh, but I don't know which might help me to develop the insight I am looking for.

Does anyone know of a good book that would get me started? (Or any other resource?)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not a book, specifically, but visit karsh.org for some really good info. His anecdotes are awesome. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jul 7, 2011 at 15:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ The site is great -- and it is essentially a subset of the Biography book. I recognise both the images and the blurbs from the book. (I wish I still had the book -- it's one of those ones you buy for yourself thirty of forty times, and find yourself giving away, still in like-new condition, to people who love it as much as you do. And everyone loves it.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Jul 7, 2011 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Stan - Yeah, I really liked it. It wasn't a book, so I didn't post as an answer, but I figured it was of interest anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jul 8, 2011 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, @John. I've been to the website, and I can see I'll be spending some more time there over the next few days. :) Would you post it as an answer? I did specify "or other resource" in my question, and I think that having it as an answer would make it more findable. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Finch
    Jul 8, 2011 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AJ - No problem, posted as an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Jul 8, 2011 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Karsh's own book, Karsh: A Biography in Images, is about the best there is for that. Beyond the biography, each of the photographs in the book includes a blurb about the reason the portrait was done in a particular way, what the pose, perspective and lighting were meant to capture. It's shy on the technical details if you're looking for "Karsh recipes", but it is a great source of insight into the psychological and iconographical aspects of his work.


Not a book, specifically, but visit karsh.org for some really good info. His anecdotes are awesome.


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