That’s part of the description given to a project started in Berlin during 2008 by Hannes Caspar, Kerem Ergün and Martin Wunderwald that went international in January of 2010.

The founding members had a simple idea, to make a photographic record of peoples faces in their most natural state, all under the same lighting conditions, with similar camera equipment and cropped to the same proportions.

“One rule is, that smiling in front of the camera is strictly forbidden”.  From some of the images online I’d question when a smile begins as there are some faces definitely looking happier than others.

Fancy joining the project as a subject or photographer?Check out


  • Canon 40 D (or similar) Check!
  • 50mm (1,2 or 1,4 or 1,8) Check!


  • Bright room with clean walls


  • Frontal position to the camera
  • No smile
  • Pure faces. No clothing, hair, glasses or jewelry visible *
  • Partial head shot
  • Only daylight. No artificial light sources
  • Aperture 2,8


  • Square format
  • Optionally retouch
  • Desaturate
  • Contrasts
  • Individual coloring (there is no rule, just keep it natural)

* wear a top that keeps the neck and shoulders bare.

I’ve applied to be a photographer for the project, hopefully they’re still taking applications. Watch this space!