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Poland

Magdalena, Poland, 36

Denmark

Emilia, Denmark, 7

Israeli women

Lili, Israel, 42

Women of Spain

Marta, Spain, 46

“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”

– Rosalind Russell

Marina, Russia

Marina, Russia, 30

Italy

Elisa, Italy, 12

Miriam, Spain

Miriam, Spain, 39

Libya

Mayar, Libya, 15

The Project

Welcome to my ‘World of Women’, or the WOW project. This is my attempt to portray women from different countries with a WOW factor. These are ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances. They are far from home, or rather far from their roots, as Malaga is their new home.

Why am I doing this?

Because I like women, certainly the travelling kind. Granted, I am one myself, so I might not be quite neutral. What I am trying to show is that regardless of origin or nationality, we share the same emotions worldwide. Sadness, joy, fear are universal feelings. Yes, we are different, with different cultural backgrounds, values and principles and that’s okay. Diversity enriches life experience! Yes of course it is easier to communicate when people speak the same language. That’s why the smile was invented. A smile is universal. A smile is beautiful, regardless of wrinkles and grey hair.

Put a number of women together and something wonderful surfaces, be it at the gate of the village school, at work or at the kitchen table. Origin, nationality and age are not the differentiator. Women just want to talk about their joys, concerns and problems; not to find solutions but to share feelings.

The models

The photographed ladies are all resident in Malaga (Spain). I recruited among friends, their daughters, classmates of my children and people I just met. The pictures were taken in and around Malaga as a final assignment for a photography course. Within the given time frame, I tried to cover as many nationalities as possible, but still managed less than ten percent of the more than 140 represented in this region.

Although these pictures were taken for a project this to me is just the beginning of a journey in which I want to capture the lives of women from different countries with their different customs and cultures in a new series ´Women of the World´ on this blog.

A big thank you to the representatives of Denmark, Germany, England, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Libya, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Spain and Thailand for their patience and willingness to cooperate in this photo project.

Liz, England

Liz, England, 64

Shihoko & Hitomi, Japan

Shihoko & Hitomi

Shihoko & Hitomi, Japan

Japan, 36, 49

France

Pauline, France, 13

Women derive self-esteem out of relationships and conversations. That is the same all over the world, whether you are in Russia, Thailand or Morocco. Even self-consciousness seems to be universal. The response to my request to model was similar every time. Apparently it does not matter whether one is from Germany, Japan or Israel:

I’m not beautiful; my nose is crooked; you’d better ask someone else; I never look good in pictures; I have too many wrinkles; I must go to the hairdresser first, my hair is grey.”

Only the girls (those under 18) participated without too much fuss. Yet all the women I asked – despite their perceived shortcomings – participated in this photo project, apart from a Belgium lady, but I am still working on that!

This blog is for all the “Women of the World” touching my life.

Technology

All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 1200D, a DSLR entry level camera, using the following lenses:

  • 18 – 50 mm;
  • 70­ – 300 mm;
  • 50 mm.

Most of the portraits were taken outdoors, with the aid of a reflector. The pictures of Saskia, Marina and Miriam were shot indoors with artificial light. the photos are digitally processed in Lightroom. Most were shot in RAW.

Saskia, Germany, 39

Saskia, Germany, 39

Rattana, Thailand, 43

Rattana, Thailand, 43

Italy

Laura, Italy, 45

Lucia & Honomi, Japan, 9 & 5

Lucia en Honomi, Japan, 9 en 5

Morocco

Laila, Morocco, 38

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