An occlusion robust image representation method is presented and applied to face recognition. In our method, Gabor phase difference representation is used mainly to resist occlusion. Based on the good ability of Gabor filters to capture image structure and the robustness to image occlusion shown here, Gabor phase features are expected to be discriminative and robust for face representation in occlusion case. Furthermore, we find that different scales and orientations of Gabor phase features lead to quite varied performance and then we analyze it carefully and find the effective Gabor phase (EGP) features. Moreover, we adopt spectral regression–based discriminant analysis, along with the extracted EGP features, to find the most discriminant subspace for classification. Thereby, an occlusion robust face image discriminant subspace is derived. Five kinds of feature representation methods and two subspace learning methods are compared for our recognition problem. Extensive experiments with various occlusion cases show the efficacy of the proposed method.