Seth Meyers. From "We'll Do it Late." January 13, 2014 issue.Marco Grob for TIME
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Portrait of France’s President François Hollande  at the presidential Élysée Palace in Paris, France. January 2014
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Portrait of Wes Anderson photographed at the Aldon Hotel Kempinski, Berlin, Germany, February 8, 2014. (Markus Jans  for TIME)
Tokyo, Japan : April 5, 2014Portrait of Prime Minister Shinzó Abe CREDIT BELOW:Takashi Osato for TIME
US Soccer Team
US Soccer Team
Au Patheon
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Portrait of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Matthew McConaughey photographed in the California Science Center, Los Angeles, California, October 22, 2014.Photograph by Robert Maxwell for TIMEIssue Date: 11/10/14Please contact photographer for usage
Portrait of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Matthew McConaughey photographed in the California Science Center, Los Angeles, California, October 22, 2014.Photograph by Robert Maxwell for TIMEIssue Date: 11/10/14Please contact photographer for usage
Portrait of Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Matthew McConaughey photographed in the California Science Center, Los Angeles, California, October 22, 2014.Photograph by Robert Maxwell for TIMEIssue Date: 11/10/14Please contact photographer for usage
Kaci Hicox
Seth Meyers. From "We'll Do it Late." January 13, 2014 issue.
Marco Grob for TIME
1 of 55

TIME's Best Portraits of 2014

Dec 16, 2014

We know them as head of states, movie stars or athletes. They are forward-thinking, rebellious or controversial. They lead us or challenge us. Yet, behind their extraordinary auras and personalities, they are human beings like the rest of us.

This year, as TIME reinforced its legacy of strong visual storytelling, these newsmakers reveled in the flashes of the magazine's photographers. From Marco Grob's playful portrait of Seth Meyer to Yuri Kozyrev's powerful – and exclusive – shoot with Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the Pussy Riots, TIME's commissioned photographers crisscrossed the world to meet with the world's most influential personalities; culminating in an unprecedented four-country, 12-city photo shoot by Jackie Nickerson and Bryan Schutmaat with TIME's Person of the Year – the Ebola Fighters.

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