Above, first image: Columbia (left), Peru (right) | Second image: Iran
From the depths of South America to the mosques of Iran to the paved streets of England, photographer Mihaela Noroc had quite a year, traveling and capturing the world through her lens. The 29-year-old quit her job and embarked on this journey, covering 37 countries in one year. In order to document beauty intertwined with diversity, Mihaela explored all corners of the world – quite literally – to complete her photography project. The Atlas of Beauty was a product of this. Each photograph typically features a woman, youthful and often makeup free, just as Mihaela intended for it to be. "I prefer to photograph natural faces, without a lot of makeup, and to capture that moment of sincerity and serenity that is so specific for woman," the photographer explained in an exclusive written statement. She continued to speak of the definition of beauty, and how her journey progressed (more on that below). Her work has recently been featured in a multitude of starry media reviews, including Business Insider and CNN. Now, after communicating with Mihaela in a series of interviews, she gives Moments with Meera readers a peek into the beauty of our world, as she has seen more of it than most of us have.
The journey was certainly challenging. Mihaela worked on a low budget, and traveled to places which are quite out of the usual tourist-spot range. She explains, "I had dangerous moments, hard days of working and exhausting routes, but I would do it again, with all my passion."Sometimes, a photograph would take 30 seconds, other times an interview would be planned and last for hours. Mihaela's determination to keep authenticity is evident in her photographs. It is something I appreciated the most, as I went through each photo. In each of those sessions, Mihaela captured the essence of beauty – in its most pure, raw form. The most striking part of all the photographs? They are untouched, free of commercial sentiment. In keeping with this idea, Mihaela says, "I think beauty is not about age. It is not a matter of cosmetics, money, race or social status, but more about being yourself. It's more about being natural and sincere." Girls in Australia, San Francisco, Ethiopa, Cuba – no place was left out, and each was shown with equal sincerity. Her subjects reflected this sincerity.
Above, first image: San Francisco | Second image: Ethiopa (left), Cuba (right)
With the start of 2015, Mihaela hopes to continue her projects – and continue documenting this diversity and beauty. "In June I want to start a new journey, but it all depends on finding funds." She hopes that this project will work as a preservation of our era's cultures and traditions. Everyone should be in support of this wonderful cause, and we can all that we can to help. To donate funds in support of Mihaela, access her website here. By doing so, we can work with her – to continue this quest to discover hidden beauty in our world.