This photographer has been travelling across the globe taking pictures of naturally beautiful women in each country.
31-year-old Mihaela Noroc, a photographer from Romania, set up a unique project called Atlas of Beauty, which sees her travel the world taking pictures of beautiful women in each of the nations she visits.
The subjects of her photos aren’t necessarily ‘beautiful’ in a conventional way – rather the women are more of a cultural representation of the hidden beauty of each country.
Since 2013 Mihaela’s been globe trekking and capturing moments of natural women ‘surrounded by their environment’ as well as – if there’s no language barrier – taking time to listen to their stories.
As the daughter of a painter she’s been surrounded by art all her life. She describes The Atlas Of Beauty as a project ‘about our planet’s diversity’.
Even though she studied photography at university she felt that her lecturers gave her very ‘little encouragement’ to pursue her interests.
She goes on to say:
I felt insecure about my work and that’s why I quit photography for a while. I ended up working in other fields, just for money, and photography remained just a dream.
However it was during her vacations, backpacking across the world and wanting to experience other cultures, she started to regain confidence. Mihaela pin-points the exact moment, back in 2013, when she travelled to Ethiopia.
It was there she discovered ‘an amazing mosaic of cultures and traditions’ and knew she wanted to fuse her two passions: ‘taking portraits of women and travelling’.
However, what began as a small project soon turned into something much bigger, something which she could have ‘never imagined’.
Describing the overwhelming response Mihaela says:
Suddenly I realised that millions of people see my photos. My inbox was full of messages from all around the planet.
I felt a lot of pressure but I also understood that I have to work harder, I have to capture more diversity, find more inspiring stories and I can really send a message that will be heard.
People from all around the world started to donate for the project and that’s how I was able to continue my work and keep it independent.
In her pictures Mihaela wants to ‘capture that feeling of warmth and serenity which is so specific to women’. She wants people to be ‘proud of their culture’, but in the same breath ‘respect other cultures too’.
She said she hopes:
The portraits from The Atlas of Beauty can challenge many misconceptions that exist around the world…
… And it’s not just about women that I photograph, but also about other ordinary women in the world that see the photos and understand how special they are.
She is currently writing a book about about her experiences, which is also titled The Atlas of Beauty, scheduled for a September 2017 release.
The book will feature 500 portraits of women from more than 50 countries and their many interesting stories.