The Atlas of Beauty
We notice beautiful women every day as we walk, shop, or travel. The definition of beauty continues to change as time goes by. Women continuously use and experiment various methods to beautify herself. A famous Khalil Gibran quote defines, “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” This quote matches what Mihaela Noroc, author and photographer of “The Atlas of Beauty,” wishes to convey. She says, “I want to photograph women from each country of the world, to show that beauty is everywhere.” Below is what she has to say about her journey and her project.
Share with us a little bit about yourself. I’m a 29 years old female photographer from Romania that quit her boring job and started a new life. Two years ago I took my backpack, my camera and begun to travel around the globe, with savings made in years of working. In this journey I photographed hundreds of natural women surrounded by their culture. My project is called “The Atlas Of Beauty” and is about our planet’s diversity shown through portraits of women. How many countries have you traveled to? Traveling on a very low budget around 37 countries made me integrated in all kinds of environments. I took pictures with women in many different places from all continents, except Atarctica. I captured beauty in brazilian favelas, rough neighbourhoods 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.
What was your experience during your travels? I can say that beauty is everywhere, and it’s not a matter of cosmetics, money, race or social status, but more about being yourself. Global trends make us look and behave the same, but we are all beautiful because we are different. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is always somebody else.
How do you interact with these women to capture their beauty? When I photograph a woman I talk a lot, I try to to make her feel special, proud and unique. I can get along in 5 languages and this helps me a lot, but in some countries, talking becomes body language. What is it that you capture in these women? I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of make-up, and to capture that moment of sincerity and serenity that is so specific for women. Sometimes I have only 30 seconds to make a portrait, because I meet an interesting woman, by chance, on the street. Other times, I maybe spend one hour, photographing, after I found her on a social network, a day before. Why do you only take photos with young women and don’t try to cover other ages too? Through The Atlas of Beauty, I wish to compare the faces of the world and to show that all the women from my photos have something beautiful. But the comparison has to be made using similar conditions and so I choose only one age group, the one that I’m part of. I would love to cover other age groups too, but I want to do it properly. Until now I didn’t have the money and the time to do it. I think beauty is not about age. It’s more about being natural and sincere. What is your goal with this project? 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. I think everybody has to cultivate their own beauty, rather than copying something that doesn’t suits. In the end, the original is better than a copy. I hope my project will remain a witness of my era’s cultures and traditions. For now, this is just a dream, but if people around the world will help me, I can continue and complete the Atlas. What are your future plans? In June 2015 I want to start a new journey, to new places of our reach planet, but it all depends on finding funds. After this new trip I will have enough images to publish the first edition of The Atlas, creating a universe of diverse beauty, between two covers.
You can find her on facebook or instagram or twitter. She beautifully captures the light in a woman’s face portraying the depth of beauty itself. Simple, sincere and natural are the elements that define a woman’s true beauty. Her photographs and this project is an inspiration to all women around the world. Through these pictures we can identify ourselves and realize that beauty is indeed everywhere.
Article contributed by Simran Nanwani @simirani – a passionate photographer and writer. She photographs moments through her camera and iPhone and mainly writes about captivating moments found in daily living. Find her online at simirani.wordpress.com.