photographing beauty

The Atlas of Beauty, I



global image (2) capture (2)
leap beat (2) leap of faith
faith curiosity live of her savings
region trip (2) then and there
instinct dedicate chemistry (2)
solo major (2) draw/drew/drawn (2)
key (2) challenges work out (2)
afraid approach try/tried/tried
part of give up exchange (2)
part of form (2) believe (2)
require war-torn flee/fled/fled
cancer remote finance (2)
hero notice (2) day-to-day
atlas publish celebrate (2)
collect mean (3) in a box (2)
set off explore






Mihaela Noroc has been in Georgia, China and India. She’s visited more than fifty countries in the last four years to capture images of female beauty.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “When I started this project, I didn’t have this idea about a global project. I was just aiming for something; a curiosity for myself.”

Still, doing it required a leap of faith. Noroc quit her job at a TV production company in Bucharest. At first she lived off her savings. Then she started financing her trips through crowdfunding.

Whether in Myanmar, Germany or Italy, the streets and markets are her workplace. Noroc approaches women and photographs them, then and there.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “It’s a very instinctual process — maybe some chemistry is going on, maybe some energies is going to be exchanged between me and that person.

Sometimes it’s just one look and I’m very drawn to that person.

In Berlin, the Romanian photographer is preparing for her first major solo show. She wants everything to be perfect as these photos have become part of her life.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “You have to dedicate yourself completely towards something that you believe in. And sometimes it just works out; sometimes it doesn’t — but you have to try.

It’s like all the women that I’ve approached: many of them said ‘No, I will not be part of your project; I’m afraid.’

And I didn’t give up. That’s the key in everything: never give up. Never give up.”

Recently Noroc also began to collect the women’s stories, to ask them about the challenges in their lives.

• This woman in Germany beat caner. Twice.

• She fled with her daughters from war-torn Syria.

• And she works in one of the most remote regions in the world.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “These women are all heroes: they are heroes of day-to-day life. They are usually not noticed; they go unnoticed, unfortunately.

But they are heroes for their families. They are heroes for their friends. And I just celebrate them.

Now their stories and their photos have been published in a book called, The Atlas of Beauty.

It’s meant to send a message.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “Beauty is everywhere, in different forms, of course. I think it doesn’t have a definition. I think this is our problem as humans because we try to put it in a box.

I think we have to try to take it out of the box, and understand that beauty has so many forms.

Soon Mihaela Noroc will set off again. There are still many countries, and more forms of beauty to explore.

Her project is far from over.

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1. Mihaela Noroc only visits famous and popular places like New York, Paris and London. True or false?

2. Has she always dreamt about being an international photographer and explorer? Did she begin her career as a fashion photographer?

3. Mihaela works for National Geographic. National Geographic pays her salary. Is this right or wrong?

4. Does she photograph tourist attractions like monuments, palaces and cathedrals? Does she usually photograph women in shopping malls and beaches?

5. Is it easy to just photograph women? Are they always cooperative with Mihaela? Does she form bonds and friendships with some of her subjects?

6. “I think this is our problem as humans because we try to put it in a box. I think we have to try to take it out of the box.” What does she mean? Does Mihaela only photograph tall, young, slim women? Is there a beauty “standard” for her?

7. Does she only take photos? What have been the results of her efforts?

8. Will Mihaela now retire from photographing beautiful women?


A. My friends and I would like to do what Mihaela is doing. Yes or no?

B. In your opinion, where are there lots of beautiful women?

C. Do you have similar project ideas? If you had a large crowdfunding support, what might you do?

D. I know lots of people with fascinating life stories.

E. What will happen in the future? The rich and large corporations should generously sponsor startups and people with any type of ideas. What do you think?

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