Ottawa is preparing to celebrate one of the world's most renowned portrait photographers who based himself in the capital for more than 60 years.

The Museum of Science and Technology and the Portrait Gallery of Canada launched its Yousuf Karsh campaign on Thursday, which urges Ottawa residents to share their Karsh photos.

Karsh, who immigrated to Canada from Armenia, opened his first Ottawa studio in 1933. He's widely recognized for portraits of international figures, including one of a defiant Winston Churchill.

Although Karsh made a mark on the world stage, many say the photographer did not let fame change his personality. During his time in Ottawa, he also took photos of many local residents, and worked as a wedding, passport and advertising photographer.

"He always had a sense that he was part of the ordinary person too -- and for the Portrait Gallery of Canada our mandate is to be inclusive. We are about more than the great and famous. We are about all Canadians," said Lilly Koltun of the Portrait Gallery of Canada.

Those who wish to share their Karsh photos and memories can post photographs to a My Karsh Flickr group or send them to the Portrait Gallery of Canada at

The material will be part of an Ottawa festival this summer to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Karsh's birth. Karsh passed away at the age of 93.

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