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100 Humanitarian Portrait Collections

From Invisible Illness Photography to Aging Rebel Portraits

— September 17, 2015 — Art & Design
Far from the glossy editorials and celebrity photoshoots that cover the pages typical magazines, these portrait collections attempt to uncover something unique about humanity -- whether that's something that won't appear in a photo, like an invisible illness, or something shockingly apparent, like drug addiction or age.

The portrait collections showcased here offer warmth, catharsis or a reminder of the realities of human life. Many of them capture death or suffering. The invisible illness series reminds the viewer that even people with no visible symptoms can be undergoing terrible pain as a result of lupus, HIV or lyme disease among other ailments. Others take a happier tone, like the collection of portraits of young people in love. All of them use photography to show their audience a truth of the human condition.
5.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
100
Poignant Sisterhood Portaits
Poignant Sisterhood Portaits
Nicholas Nixon Captures the Bond of Sisterhood in His Archival Series
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99
Faceless Ugandan Portraits
Faceless Ugandan Portraits
This Faceless Portraits Photo Series is Unusual Yet Alluring
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98
Fair Trade Photography
Fair Trade Photography
Africa by Darran Rees Focuses on Livelihoods in Third World Countries
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97
Famous Comparison Portraits
Famous Comparison Portraits
The Me & My Other Me Images Show Celebs with Their Younger Selves
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96
Spanish Expat Portraits
Spanish Expat Portraits
La Cala de Mijas by David Emery Captures a Band of Retired Brits
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95
Stunning Daughter Timelapses
Stunning Daughter Timelapses
The ‘Portrait of Lotte’ Video Fits 14 Years of Photos into 4 Minutes
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94
Animal Caregiver Portraits
Animal Caregiver Portraits
These Photos Dislplay Bonds Between Shelter Volunteers and Animals
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93
Prison Family Portraits
Prison Family Portraits
Lawrence Sumulong Captures a Typhoon Aftermath
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92
Violence-Portraying Drink Coasters
Violence-Portraying Drink Coasters
The Violent Coasters Aim to Discourage Domestic Abuse
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91
Historical Photographic Portraits
Historical Photographic Portraits
William B. Becker's Daguerreotypes Debut at the MIT Museum
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90
Reminiscent Veteran Portraits
Reminiscent Veteran Portraits
Robin Savage Captured D-Day Veterans at the Locations They Fought at
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89
Stop-Motion Late Grandma Portraits
Stop-Motion Late Grandma Portraits
Gan-Gan by Gemma Green-Hope Pays Tribute Through Possessions
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88
Syrian Victim Portraits
Syrian Victim Portraits
Giles Duley Photographs Victims in Syria in a Powerful Way
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87
Queer Muslim Photography
Queer Muslim Photography
Samra Habib's 'Just Me and Allah' Photographic Project Captures Canadians
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86
Gun-Wielding Children Photos
Gun-Wielding Children Photos
'My First Rifle' Depicts American Children with Their Personal Rifles
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85
Armed Sudanese Portraits
Armed Sudanese Portraits
This South Sudan Guerrilla Photo Series is Candid
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84
Disability-Celebrating Portraits
Disability-Celebrating Portraits
The [dis]ABLED Inside Out Project Calls for Change
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83
Homeless Painted Portraits
Homeless Painted Portraits
The Proceeds from These Homeless Art Pieces Benefit Those They Depict
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82
Spiritual Sadhu Portraits
Spiritual Sadhu Portraits
This Holy Man Photo Series is Candid and Striking
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81
Acid Attack Survivor Portraits
Acid Attack Survivor Portraits
This Somber Acid Attack Photo Series Documents Resilient Survivors
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80
Terrifying Teddy Bear Captures
Terrifying Teddy Bear Captures
These Mark Nixon Photographs Reference Scary Childhood Imagery
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79
Hauntingly Abandoned Portraits
Hauntingly Abandoned Portraits
Ghost Town by Kyle Thompson is Inspired by Childhood Depression
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78
Artistic Sleeping Toddler Portraits
Artistic Sleeping Toddler Portraits
Life with Roozle Captures Creative Way to Put Children to Bed
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77
Gender Defying Portraits
Gender Defying Portraits
This Photo Series Showcases Gender-Non-Conforming Beauty
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76
Refugee Reality Portraits
Refugee Reality Portraits
The 'Humans of Al-Rashidiya' Blog Stars Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
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75
New Father Portraits
New Father Portraits
The Book of Dads by Dave Young Captures a Man's Parental Anxiety
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74
Colorfully Queer Photoshoots
Colorfully Queer Photoshoots
The 'Radical Queer' Series Captures the Beauty of Being Different
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73
Intimate Parental Portraits
Intimate Parental Portraits
'Two People' Explores the Bonds of Domestic Life and Family
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72
Humorously Puckered Portraits
Humorously Puckered Portraits
Shot Face by Tim Charles Captures People Taking a Shot of Alcohol
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71
Disability-Documenting Photo Series
Disability-Documenting Photo Series
This Touching Photography Documents Life with Down Syndrome
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70
Gritty Californian Photography
Gritty Californian Photography
Travis Jensen's San Francisco Photography Captures Urban Scenes
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69
Emotionally Evocative Portraits
Emotionally Evocative Portraits
The Mike Larremore Faceboard Project Displays Many Human Emotions
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68
Charitable Fashion Portraits
Charitable Fashion Portraits
This Alexander Wang Photoshoot Features 38 Different Celebrities
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67
Diverse Clan Portraits
Diverse Clan Portraits
1000 Families by Uwe Ommer is Captured Around the World
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66
Juvenescent Mosaic Portraits
Juvenescent Mosaic Portraits
Munish Bansal Made a Mosaic Portrait of His Daughter for Her Birthday
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65
Trapped Hair Portraits
Trapped Hair Portraits
These Unnerving Paintings Show Women Ensnared by Their Own Hair
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64
Poignant Dead People Portraits
Poignant Dead People Portraits
Walter Schels Captures the Views of People On the Verge of Dying
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63
Gender-Bending Portraits
Gender-Bending Portraits
Poem Baker's 'Hymns from the Bedroom' Explores Gender Constructs
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62
LGBT Couple Photo Books
LGBT Couple Photo Books
Sebastien Lifshitz Documented Pride Photos for His New Book
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61
Candid Manhood Photography
Candid Manhood Photography
Jodi Bieber Captures Male Subjects in Vulnerable States
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60
Superimposed Body Portraits
Superimposed Body Portraits
This Art Shows Detrimental Effects of Society’s Beauty Standards
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59
Compelling NYC Portraits
Compelling NYC Portraits
This Cinematic NYC Photo Series is Moving and Nostalgic
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58
Vulnerable Body Image Photography
Vulnerable Body Image Photography
Jen Davis Documents Her Life-Long Struggle with Obesity
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57
Cathartic Relationship Portraits
Cathartic Relationship Portraits
Stevie Raelynn Johnson Reenacts a Poignant Photograph
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56
Disappearing Family Businesses
Disappearing Family Businesses
Carl Corey Captures a World Dominated by Big-box Retailers
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55
Quirky Personality Portraits
Quirky Personality Portraits
Ben Smith's Unique Paintings Explore Divergent Personal Identities
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54
Japanese Street Portraits
Japanese Street Portraits
The 'Tokyo Street Portraits' Photos Consist of Intimate Close-Up Shots
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53
Iranian Father-Daughter Photos
Iranian Father-Daughter Photos
The 'Iranian Fathers & Daughters' Photos Defy Stereotypes
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52
Riveting Red Head Portraits
Riveting Red Head Portraits
This Ginger Portrait Photo Series is Poignant and Aspirational
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51
LGBTQ Victim Portraits
LGBTQ Victim Portraits
'From Russia Without Love' Confronts Prejudice
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50
Aging Rebel Portraits
Aging Rebel Portraits
This Photograph Series by Muir Vidler Captures Aging Rebels and Mavericks
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49
Provocative Plastic Surgery Portraits
Provocative Plastic Surgery Portraits
Phillip Toledano Snaps Serial Plastic Surgery Recipients
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48
Age-Defying Ad Campaigns
Age-Defying Ad Campaigns
This Refreshing Ad Campaign Fights Ageism in the Beauty Industry
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47
Troubled Family Photos
Troubled Family Photos
The 'Burn Down Something Pretty' Series Captures Intimate Family Scenes
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46
Agender Youth Photography
Agender Youth Photography
Chloe Aftel Shot Portraits of Youth Who Don't Identify as Male or Female
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45
Mini Miss Portraits
Mini Miss Portraits
This Photography Series Investigates the Hyper-Sexualization of Young Girls
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44
Lonely Girlhood Portraits
Lonely Girlhood Portraits
'Portrait of a Quiet Girl' Examines Themes of Loneliness and Isolation
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43
Positive Homeless People Portraits
Positive Homeless People Portraits
This Artist Shows Homeless People in Colorful & Natural Light
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42
Intimate Handicapped Portraits
Intimate Handicapped Portraits
Olivier Fermariello's Je T’aime Moi Aussi is Poignantly Reflective
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41
Debt Suffering Portraits
Debt Suffering Portraits
Brittany M. Powell Photographs People in Debt for Her Latest Series
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40
Conscripted Soldier Portraits
Conscripted Soldier Portraits
These Images Reveal Men's Raw Reactions to Joining the Army
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39
Photorealistic Female Portraits
Photorealistic Female Portraits
This Artist Paints Close-Up Portraits of Realistic Looking Women
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38
Sentimental Heartbroken Portraits
Sentimental Heartbroken Portraits
This Ex-Lovers Photo Series is Moving and Candid
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37
Invisible Illness Photography
Invisible Illness Photography
This Powerful Photo Series Highlights Hidden Illnesses
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36
Unconventional Feminine Portraits
Unconventional Feminine Portraits
This Butch Women Photo Series is Empowering and Brave
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35
Aging Romance Portraits
Aging Romance Portraits
The Lovers by Lauren Fleishman was Inspired by Old Love Letters
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34
Crazy Family Portraits
Crazy Family Portraits
Best Case Scenario by Danielle Guenther Captures Parental Obstacles
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33
Intimate Gay Portraits
Intimate Gay Portraits
Matthew Morrocco Inserts Himself into His Portraits of Gay Men
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32
Personified Cityscape Portraits
Personified Cityscape Portraits
Andrea Costantini's Photo Manipulation Art Boasts Urban Imagery
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31
Striking Family Portraits
Striking Family Portraits
This Unique Family Portrait was Coordinated Around a Lightning Strike
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30
Indian Identity Photos
Indian Identity Photos
The ‘An Indian from India’ Series Exposes Ethnic Differences & Stereotypes
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29
Anxiety Awareness Editorials
Anxiety Awareness Editorials
Katie Crawford Depicts Anxiety Disorders Through These Self-Portraits
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28
Diverse Redhead Portraits
Diverse Redhead Portraits
This Hair Photography Series Shows That Not All Redheads are White
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27
Penetrating Homeless Portraits
Penetrating Homeless Portraits
Lee Jeffries' Homeless Photography makes a Powerful Statement
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26
Bruise-Baring Awareness Ads
Bruise-Baring Awareness Ads
'Brother' Designed a Series of Poignant Domestic Abuse Ads
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25
Clever Cross-Dressing Portraits
Clever Cross-Dressing Portraits
Art Drag Album by Nigel Grimmer is Full of Odd Costume Ideas
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24
Alzheimer Patient Photography
Alzheimer Patient Photography
Alex Ten Napel's Series Explores a Heartbreaking Disease
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23
Contorted Body Portraits
Contorted Body Portraits
This Image Series Features a Man Posing in Pretzel-Like Shapes
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22
Daily Transformation Portraiture
Daily Transformation Portraiture
Mel Keiser Explores Self-Image in Her Latest Series
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21
Young Love Portraits
Young Love Portraits
Leah Fasten's Photographs of Young Couples Will Make You Melt
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20
Gripping Gang Portraits
Gripping Gang Portraits
Jono Rotman Photographed Haunting Portraits of Mob Members
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19
Coming Of Age Photography
Coming Of Age Photography
This Series Beautifully Captures Teenage Girls From Around the World
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18
Addiction Community Portraits
Addiction Community Portraits
Sebastian Explores Addiction in Sao Paulo with 'Ghosts'
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17
Lip-Locking Photography
Lip-Locking Photography
Maggie West Captures Intimate Portraits of Diverse Couples Smooching
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16
Bipolar Personality Portraits
Bipolar Personality Portraits
This Photography Project Reveals Dual Personalities
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15
Plus-Size Padding Portraits
Plus-Size Padding Portraits
Refinery29 Uncovers a Plus-Size Practice That's Bad for Body Image
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14
Death-Fated Portraits
Death-Fated Portraits
'Right Before I Die' Depicts People Facing Death with Acceptance
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13
Respectful Transgender Photos
Respectful Transgender Photos
The 'Reassign' Photo Series Captures Transgendered Cubans
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12
Female Pleasure Portraits
Female Pleasure Portraits
Lauren Crow Photographs the Female Subject in States of Ecstasy
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11
Poignant Poverty Portraits
Poignant Poverty Portraits
Brenda Ann Kenneally Documents People Living Below the Poverty Line
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10
Anonymous Post-Mordem Portraits
Anonymous Post-Mordem Portraits
About Dying by Cathrine Ertmann Captures the Universality of Death
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9
Gender Swapped Prom Dates
Gender Swapped Prom Dates
Switch by JJ Levine Takes Awkward School Dance Photos to Next Level
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8
Mixed Family Portraits
Mixed Family Portraits
CYJO Captures Stunning Images of Multi-Ethnic Families in Mixed Blood
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7
Haunting Post-Mortem Photography
Haunting Post-Mortem Photography
These Eerie and Somber Death Portraits are Mesmerizing and Sad
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6
Peculiar Self-Portraiture
Peculiar Self-Portraiture
Iiu Susiraja Challenges Typical Femininity in her Self-Portraits
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5
Stereotype-Challenging Portraits
Stereotype-Challenging Portraits
'Judging America' Reveals Ingrained Prejudices
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4
Poignant Nude Portraits
Poignant Nude Portraits
This Amanda Charchian Photography Series Explores Conceptual Themes
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3
Ethereal Breastfeeding Portraits
Ethereal Breastfeeding Portraits
Ivette Ivens Turns a Taboo Motherhood Issue on Its Head
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2
Intimate Body Image Photography
Intimate Body Image Photography
Jen Davis Explores Intimacy and Obesity in 11 Years
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1
Documentary Trans Photography
Documentary Trans Photography
Female to 'Male' Explores Gender Identity
<