The defining moment I believe for Karsh was his move to Ottawa, where after being noticed by Prime Minister MacKenzie King, he began photography dignitaries and celebrities. The most renown, and actually most reproduced portrait in history, of Winston Churchill put him in the history books. He managed to capture Winston Churchill, without his cigar, in a mere two minutes he was allotted by the surely man after his speech. This image portrayed Churchill and his leadership in WW11, to be infallible and strong, encompassing the man's character and soul in a single shot. In addition to the famous portrait, Karsh achieved much acclaim, including being made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967, an Companion in 1990, and ranking 51st of the top 100 " most notable people of the century" in 2000 by the International Who's Who.
Yousuf Karsh excelled at lighting and was an integral part of his productions. He would often light the subjects face and hands separately to add emphasis. He shot in black and white, using for the majority of his career a "8x10 bellows Calumet(1997.0319). Seeking to capture the essences of his subjects, he focused on the brief glimpses of the unveiled, exposed true self of his subject. He was known for his immortalizing abilities and was much sought after by famous people. Among the many he photographed were Muhammed Ali, Fidel Castro, Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol and Pope John Paul II, to name a few. His complete collection is kept at the Library Archives Canada, but his work is appreciated around the world from the National Portrait Gallery in Australia to New York's Museum of Modern Art. His equipment was donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
A photographer by the name of Paul Couvrette was a friend to Yousuf Karsh and his brother, and it was Karsh who saw the potential in him. Which is why he gave many of his clients in Ottawa to him. Couvrette like Karsh understood the importance of connecting with their subjects on a personal level. He carried this through every aspect of his photography, even the staff at his studio were extensively interviewed to ensure they would maintain the atmosphere and professionalism that brought patrons back over 20 years. That loyalty came from his care for his subjects, and his attention to their level of comfort, so that he would have opportunity to capture a glimpse behind the mask we all hide behind. Like the image below of a man being photographed for a business headshot. Couvrette was able to capture his "essence" like Karsh, no matter what the intended purpose of the image. Even at first glance, the viewer can easily identify with the subject. By his expression, his intelligence, decisive demeanour and hint of sense of humour are obvious. I believe by being mentored by Karsh, he gained the insight and skills to accentuate the subjects best qualities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Avedon). Like Karsh, Avedon tried to incite reactions from his subjects, in the case of "The Roaring Lion" Karsh's unintentional effect of removing Winston Churchill's cigar, Avedon would purposely ask unsettling questions to evoke emotion.