Stunning portraits show what beauty looks like around the world

Kichwa Woman in Amazon Jungle EcuadorMihaela NorocAn indigenous Kichwa woman in the Amazon in Ecuador.

Romanian-born photographer Mihaela Noroc has been photographing women around the world for the last four years.

She’s captured portraits in close to 60 countries from Afghanistan to Iceland.

Noroc is calling her project The Atlas of Beauty, and she’s planning on publishing a book of her photographs in September of this year.

Keep scrolling to see her breathtaking work and to learn more about the project.

Noroc got her first camera at the age of 16. Her first subjects were her sister and mother.

Noroc in Olinda, Brazil.

'That's how I started to love photographing women, in an honest and serene way.'

Elianis in Havana, Cuba.

A 2013 trip to Ethiopia inspired her to return to photography, which she had abandoned after her teachers at university discouraged her from pursuing it professionally.

An indigenous woman from the Omo Valley in Ethiopia.

The Atlas of Beauty started off as a small project funded only by Noroc's personal savings and known only in her home country, Romania.

Thorunn in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a singer, songwriter, and judge on 'Iceland's Got Talent.'

Noroc wanted her photos to be an antidote to the terrible conflicts we see represented in the media today around the world.

A woman in Preu's Colca Valley dressed in traditional clothing.

She wanted to show the beauty in diversity.

A woman dressed in traditional clothing in Kaesong, North Korea.

And that instead of being a catalyst for conflict, diversity should be something that's both embraced and respected.

Koleka photographed in Cape Town, South Africa.

The project didn't stay small for long. Word of Noroc's work spread quickly, and before she knew it, she had an inbox full of messages from people around the world.

Linda photographed in Chechnya, a republic of Russia.

'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.'

A woman on her way to the market in Jodhpur, India.

Thanks to donations from people across the globe, Noroc has been able to work on the project full time.

Imane, who has both African and European roots, in Paris.

She's taken photos in every continent besides Antarctica.

A girl working in the fields of the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.

She's captured beauty in places that range from the Amazon rainforest to the Tibetan Plateau.

A woman in traditional dress in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Noroc says she prefers photographing more natural faces without a lot of makeup.

Gita, a life coach who lives in Örebro, Sweden.

She believes that, 'if our outside is natural and authentic, our inside will be more visible.'

A woman photographed in Romania.

'Through my camera, I try to dive into their eyes, because their eyes will always say an interesting story.'

A woman photographed in Uzbekistan.

She also tries to capture her subject's environment, since that often makes up an important part of their story.

A woman in Shiraz, Iran.

She photographed this woman in Naples, Italy, working in the workshop owned by her parents.

Serena photographed in Naples, Italy.

Noroc can get by in five different languages, so if she can, she tries to talk to her subjects and listen to their story.

Sayaka in Tokyo, Japan.

In some places, though, she says talking simply becomes body language.

Anais was photographed in Berlin, where she lives, but she was born in France to a Malian mother and a French father.

Through her work, Noroc has come to realise that beauty should not be defined within the narrow confines dictated by trends.

Sarah photographed in San Francisco.

'... beauty has no bounds, and it's not a matter of cosmetics, money, race or social status, but more about being yourself.'

A Tibetan Woman in Xiahe, China.

Noroc says we also need to learn to let others be themselves.

Katharina photographed at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

'For me beauty is diversity and it can teach us to be more tolerant. We are very different but we should realise that we are all part of the same family.'

Sona during the Holi festival in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Noroc also feels that her photographs give women a chance to show the pride they have for their culture or country.

A woman photographed on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This in turn helps to inspire confidence in these women.

Eleni in Delphi, Greece, on Easter.

Noroc has come across much discrimination towards women throughout her travels.

A woman in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

She hopes that her photos will help to make a small change in the way that women are treated.

Elisabeth, a ceramic artist, photographed in Zurich, Switzerland.

'I hope that the project will make more people understand that women deserve much more respect.'

A Bedouin woman in Petra, Jordan.

Noroc is often asked why she doesn't photograph men. In response, she says she wanted to focus on a single theme for her project.

A woman photographed in Harlem in New York City.

Not surprisingly, Noroc also identifies more with women.

Ania, photographed in Poland, was born without a right leg.

'Of course men are beautiful too, but I chose to photograph women because I'm a woman too, I understand better their struggles and dreams so every photo that I take is also a way to know myself better.'

A girl photographed in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala.

Noroc says we're surrounded by beauty in our day-to-day lives. But sometimes we're just too busy to see it.

A woman photographed in Syndey, Australia.

'We can find beauty all around us: in a smile, in two kind eyes, in some wrinkles, in a story, in a gesture.'

A woman photographed in Moldova.

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