As Karsh became aware of photography as an art, he sought to portray his desired world personalities. Karsh's goal was to develop a great deal of skill and understanding towards his subjects in order to record their greatness in their portraits. Karsh tried to bring his subjects into a specific state; a state that he thought should expose the subject's inner self. Anything spoken of Karsh's subjects could never be as meaningful as his portraits of them. Karsh's introduction to photography, his approaches and talents, his identity, and his legacy, play key roles in understanding his historic existence and his contributions to the art of photography.
Karsh was born in Mardin, in Armenia, Turkey, and faced many hardships while living there. His family faced great oppression, and reports of further massacres kept coming. Finally his parents sent him to live with his Uncle Nakash in Sherbrooke, Canada. His formal education in Canada came to a quick end because he struggled through school, he found it hard to learn. After six months Karsh left school permanently, and went to work for his uncle in his photography studio in July, 1925. This was an important turning point in his unexpected career. Before he knew it, everything connected with the art of portrait photography captured his interest and energy from that point on.
Working as an apprentice with his uncle, he soon became acquainted with the technical processes involved in developing, printing, and enlarging. Karsh continued to apply himself with his new expensive camera from his uncle. He began roaming the countryside in Sherbrooke, and developing the pictures he took himself. It was at this time that Karsh made his first photographic success. He had taken a landscape in Sherbrooke and gave an enlarged print to a young man,