Mihaela Noroc, a Romanian photographer who quit her job and traveled in 37 countries around the globe, documented hundreds of women in their cultural settings and gathered the photos in a powerful and authentic project titled The Atlas of Beauty. This series aims at showing the diversity of our world, as captures through female portraits, their cultures and societies.
The idea of the project started in 2013, when Mihaela embarked on a long trip with her backpack and a low budget she’d saved upon after years of working. She wanted to travel and capture feminine beauty among different cultures, in its natural and raw form. Initially titled Beauty around the world, the artist thought that Atlas of Beauty manages to capture more closely the idea of an encyclopedia of feminine faces. Looking more for natural faces, the photographer looks for natural faces and tries to bring her subjects in a comfortable place, so that she can capture the feeling of sincerity and serenity specific to women. For that, she can spend anything from 30 seconds to a whole hours taking a portrait.
After 15 months, 37 countries and a portfolio full of images, the photographer has concluded the journey. But Mihaela doesn’t want to stop here. Her aim is to assemble a printed Atlas, a unique album in the world where women from all cultures can be compared and their different kinds of beauty can be appreciated. She recounts on the moments from her journey:
I took pictures with women in many different places from all continents, except Antarctica. I captured beauty in Brazilian favelas, rough neighborhoods of Colombia, in an Iranian mosque, on the Tibetan Plateau, in the biggest Budhist temple of Myanmar, in the Amazon Rainforest, but also in fancy areas of Oxford, in downtown New York or in the suburbs of Sydney.
She’s currently trying to raise funds so she can start a new journey in June 2015 and manage to complete the Atlas.
My goal is to continue and take photos of women from each country of the globe, making “The Atlas Of Beauty” a mirror of our diverse societies and an inspiration for people that try to remain authentic. Maybe in 50 years all women from all around the world will dress and act the same. I hope my project will remain a witness of my era’s cultures and traditions.
Congrats to Mihaela for this inspiring project and best of luck to finding the necessary funds to finish it. Enjoy some shots of the Atlas of Beauty below.
Colca Valley, Peru
El Paico, Chile
Harlem, New York
Java Sea, Indonesia
Maori, New Zealand
Nasir al Mulk, Iran
Omo Valley, Etiopia
Photos are courtesy of Mihaela Noroc