After 3 years working in the fashion photography industry I started to feel torn inside. I realised I was contributing to creating very unrealistic standards of Beauty that caused pain and problems to many girls and women around the world…killing their self esteem, making them feel they aren’t good enough.
We are constantly bombarded with images of flawless “perfect looking” women gifted with unreachable physical traits and yet we think that’s how we should look. I felt I needed to take a stand and do something active to try and shift this distorted perception of Beauty we all have ingrained in our minds. So I decided to go on a quest, A Quest for Beauty!
I am traveling to 20 countries. So far I’ve shot portraits in Morocco, Vietnam, Hong Kong, NYC and the Italian Alps, I’m leaving for Mexico in a few days and Cuba is the stop after that shooting portraits of women in their own world, in their everyday life. I capture “normal” women, women at work, at home, mothers, daughters, young, old, tall, short; rich, poor, single, married… I see and find Beauty in every single one of them! Real Beauty! To me Beauty comes in a million shades, but its secret lies in being kind, good to others, being ourselves, unique, strong, weak and beautifully imperfectly human.
Traveling as a photographer is a bit different: I’m trying to get a little piece of somebody’s soul on a digital file so I spend a lot of time with the locals. It’s incredible how genuinely and deeply you can connect with people even if you don’t speak the same language. I travel alone so I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I get more time to think, write, process and philosophise on what I’m experiencing.
I don’t plan much, by now I mastered the art of winging it! I follow my instinct and curiosity and trust them to bring me where I need to be. I move around a lot, I don’t sleep much, I’m often exhausted, it can be challenging and once in a blue moon a bit dangerous, but I don’t care about that, I care to learn. I care to live experiences and moments I will never forget.
When I decided to start this Quest in October, people tried to scared the hell out of me, they kept telling me how dangerous it is for a girl to travel to these countries alone, that I could get robbed or raped or even kidnapped. Let me tell you something: People are terrified of the unknown! Sure, traveling to unknown countries could be uncomfortable, but, comfort is always a bad place! Much worst than an unknown far away land! We don’t evolve from being comfortable, but by pushing ourselves So don’t ever listen to people! If your heart tells you you should go, pack your bags and go!
By putting ourself in unfamiliar places and situations we push our limits further, we ask ourselves questions, and we become better human beings. By connecting to the people I meet I learn how to be a better person. By witnessing the Beauty the world has to give us, I learn how tiny we are in the Universe and how much more there is to learn, see, discover and how limited our time to do that is.
I travel to grow; to learn, to be more human, more humble. To feel more lost than ever in the streets of an unfamiliar city and then find myself all over again. To feel alive, free, scared, excited, stunned, amazed, moved, touched. To FEEL anything at all. To find Magic. To find Beauty!
And I find it every single time!