About the Project

For business and for faith

For 18 years, while I was a marketing director at one of the world’s largest corporations, Procter & Gamble, I traveled the world for business and for faith. Motivated by my own search to fill the God-sized hole in my life, I did not know how the journey would unfold. I felt that if I did not develop some type of spiritual faith, I would die. Born and raised a Jew, my challenges with relationships, work, and life forced me (at age 36) to drop to my knees and pray to a God I did not know, a Higher Power not specific to either my own Judaism or any religion and ask for help.

I created a spiritual exercise by interviewing people I met around the world during personal days added on to my business travels. I asked each person about the role of faith in and the spiritual experiences of their lives. As a photographer, I captured a moment with each person, a black-and-white portrait meant to evoke their true spirit, especially as seen through their eyes. What transpired from this practice is that my sense of hopelessness and lack of faith faded. I was lifted and transformed by others’ stories of faith in a Higher Power and a Great Intelligence and an Unconditional Love of the Universe, and I became more whole.

Portraits in Faith documents the role of spiritual experience inside and outside of formal religion. The interviews provided me with expected and unexpected commentary, told in each person’s own words, and brought to life through video and photography. The message of Portraits in Faith is that despite all the negative press on faith in the world today, it is a powerful healer, transformer, and changer of lives. Whatever name one calls God (Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Higher Power, The Divine, Creative Intelligence…), there is a greater force that connects all people. It is good for each person to walk a path of faith that works for them. Agnostics and atheists have ideas that are not-faith, but their journeys are of great importance and have transformed my faith. In fact, my favorite interview in the whole project is with an atheist.

500 people from 29 countries

What also emerged from my interviews and portraits is the world’s most extensive set of testimonies on the subject of faith conducted by one person. I have been blessed to interview and make portraits of 500 people from 29 countries.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Rockport, Maine; New York, New York; Fairfield, Connecticut; Alachua, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco, Los Angeles, California   CANADA Campbell River, Penticton, Surrey, Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Ottawa, Toronto, Ontario   BRAZIL Sao Paulo, Trancoso   VENEZUELA Caracas   CHINA Shanghai; Guangzhou   ENGLAND London   JAPAN Tokyo   TURKEY Istanbul   POLAND Warsaw   REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE Singapore   KOREA Seoul   UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Dubai, Abu Dhabi   OMAN Muscat   MEXICO Mexico City   ISRAEL Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tzfat, Haifa   FRANCE Savoy   EGYPT Cairo   INDIA Mumbai   AUSTRALIA Melbourne, Victoria; Hermannsburg, Mutitjulu, Northern Territory   GERMANY Berlin   PHILIPPINES Manila   NICARAGUA Managua   MALAYSIA Johor Bahru, Pekan, Seremban, Kuala Lumpur   PANAMA Panama City, Embera Puru   ICELAND Hella, Hvalfjörður   SWEDEN Malmö   DENMARK Copenhagen   ITALY Rome   SPAIN Barcelona, Madrid, Montserrat

Sacred listening

Originally, I thought Portraits in Faith was about giving each person a chance to tell their story of faith. Then a dear friend shared with me a book written by the creator of StoryCorps, Dave Isay, Listening Is an Act of Love. I then realized that Portraits in Faith was not about telling; it was about listening and receiving the spiritual story of another person—especially someone I perceived to be the “Other.” It’s what I now call ‘sacred listening.’

Through the portraits and interviews in the Portraits in Faith coffee table book, I offer a slice of the transformation I experienced through sacred listening. I believe lives transform when individuals realize there is no “Other.” As Thomas Merton so wisely said, “We are already one and we imagine we are not.”

Portraits in Faith is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation committed to creating sacred listening experiences such as workshops and artistic installations, along with ongoing publishing of portraits and interviews to drive this idea that there is no “Other.”

Please share with me your own experiences of sacred listening; of receiving the story of someone you perceive to be “the Other.” I would love to hear about your own spiritual journey, how you’ve developed a faith that is bigger than any single religion, and your realization about “Otherness.”

The interview questions

  • Tell me about your earliest memory of faith.
  • What was the first time in your life you felt like you had to, or chose to, rely upon God (as you understand God)?
  • Tell me about a time you doubted your faith, and what happened.
  • What are you most grateful for?
  • What is your greatest wish?
  • Do you have a message?
  • What would you like me to tell people about you when they see your portrait?

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains images, voices and names of deceased persons.

About the author and photographer

Daniel Kalman Epstein was born in Cleveland and has lived in Atlanta, Jerusalem, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and Cincinnati. He is a marketing and innovation consultant. Previously, Daniel was a Harley Procter Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble where he was employed for 21 years. It was during his tenure at P&G that he conducted most of the Portraits in Faith interviews.

As a volunteer, Daniel has been long involved in community service focused on reconciliation and dialogue across racial, religious, and ethnic communities. In 1994, Daniel co-founded and then co-led for two years the Cincinnati African American-Jewish community dialogue. In 2001, Daniel co-created Open the Space Cincinnati! a unique, large group race relations dialogue program following the death of a young, unarmed African American man at the hands of police in Cincinnati.

Daniel has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois and a BBA in Accounting from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Daniel lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Photo: Nancy Wong



To my parents, Howard Epstein, Ph.D. (z”l), and Sondra Swack Epstein. They taught my sisters and me by their good example the deep meaning of the Jewish teaching: “The righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come” (Talmud Bavli Tractate Sanhedrin 105a).

With extreme gratitude

I thank all of the people from around the world who have made this project possible

Current production team

  • Gina Alicea - Curator of Seeing The Other Exhibition (Chicago)
  • Laura Friedmann - Producer, Video/Transcript Editor, Project Manager (Toronto)
  • Petra Kovacs - Designer/Art Director, Photo Editing, Project Manager (Maui)
  • Penny Scudder - Business Manager, Fulfillment (Lawrenceburg)
  • Mary L. Holden - Content Editor (Phoenix)
  • Ezra Hopkins - UX Designer (Aotearoa)
  • Kevin Pratt - Web Developer (Calgary)
  • Tanya Jones - Sound Editor (Thessaloniki)
  • Gustavo Pachón - Sound Editor (Bogotá)
  • Eric Kianfar - Transcriber (Toronto)
  • Mariana Cabot - Video Editor (Barcelona)
  • Karen Patterson - Special Research Projects (Missouri)
  • Amanda Boleman - Digital/Social Media Manager (Los Angeles)
  • Rose Mulroney - Strategic Advisor (Houston)

Past production team

  • Olivier Agustin
  • Frank Fredericks
  • Lillian Benson
  • Ryan Carter Poston
  • Lee Groh
  • Maggie Ingell
  • Mary Kacaba
  • Camilla Kristiansen
  • Tebbe Farrell
  • Mary Wulsin
  • Grace Patterson
  • Gad Foltys
  • Cameron Britton

Local producers

  • Australia – Clare McGrath
  • Brazil – Tom Boechat
  • Canada – Sue Black & Heidi Philip
  • China – Emily & Minki Chang
  • Denmark & Sweden – Rabbi Rivka Lillian
  • Dubai – Maha Nasra Edde, Wael Jabi
  • Egypt – Marwa ElShehawy
  • England – Stephanie Twaddle
  • Germany
  • Iceland – Magnús Kristjánsson
  • India – Dipika Dayal
  • Israel – Arnie Draiman
  • Italy – Sheri Jennings
  • Japan – Nick Uemura
  • Korea – “JK” Lim Jong Kook & Lili Park
  • Mexico – Tere Balseca, Miriam Korzenny, Daniel Kerbel, Monica Hubard
  • Nicaragua – Starlet Yamilet Wiltshire Gordon
  • Oman –Diana Pinto, Rebyl Pinto, Charlin Nadar
  • Panama – Vanessa Calvino, Marcela Pang, Yamileth Calvo
  • Philippines – Mela Almonte & Bu Garcia
  • Poland – Eva Gaulis & Adam Bajeska
  • Singapore & Malaysia – Rokman “Roky” Yussof
  • Turkey – Gocke Imren & Ozgur Kamburoglu
  • USA – Kardama Muni Das (Carl Mink) (Alachua, Florida), Mukara Meredith (Boulder, Colorado), Kenny Bowekaty (Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico), Kim Delfina Gleason (Albequerque, New Mexico)
  • Venezuela – Arnoldo Olivo

Portraits in Faith Board of Directors

  • Julie Epstein Blankenship
  • Kathleen Burns
  • David Charpentier
  • Najoh Tita-Reid
  • Gina Mellinger Alicea