Images of workers were ubiquitous in Soviet visual culture. Other than in capitalist countries, the Soviet visual regime was inextricably linked to the faces of working people; workers were elevated to the ‘status of icons’ in newspapers, journals and movies alike. According to Soviet ideology, every worker contributed to socialism, which is why everyone was worthy of portrayal. The article traces the discussion among professionals and readers in Soviet journals about how to portray working people both in their professions and their everyday lives. In the 1960s, Soviet photographers actively propagated a shift from portraying the profession to portraying the individual. A close reading of photographs published mostly in Sovetskoe foto details how Soviet photo-graphers aimed at capturing individuality in the first place, how photography helped establish typical and un-typical notions of individuality and work, and to which extent the a-typical became the new typical.