Celebrating the Beauty of Women as a Photographer

A Letter from Ali Brassel

Photo by Ali Brassel

Photo by Ali Brassel

(Click on the letters to enlarge)

Dear sweet sister,

I’ve always been a dreamer and the kind of girl who follows her heart more than her head. I’ve always loved photography but never did I think I would start my own photography business as a senior in high school. Six years later, my passion has turned into a full-time business. I question often how this came to be. But I think when you are doing what God created you to do, He will pave your path. 

It started by photographing my closest friends and before I knew it, strangers were stepping in front of my lens.  And as I began photographing women young and old I quickly realized that each one shared something in common: they all had their own specific insecurities. Sometimes they admit it aloud, sometimes it bears itself through a look, and other times they share their insecurity with me after their session. I desperately wanted every person I photographed to feel beautiful. But I also grew angry and frustrated, because many just couldn’t see how lovely they truly are. 

One evening, I was photographing a senior and as the session progressed I could tell how truly insecure she felt in front of the camera. She was constantly trying to make herself look “thinner” and complained about her hair and appearance almost the whole session. At one point, after capturing a photo I loved, I showed her the back of my camera in desperation to help her feel more comfortable and confident. When I looked up, tears were welling in her eyes. Quietly she said, “I’ve never seen myself this way before. I look beautiful.” As I drove home that night, I wondered how I would respond if I saw myself the way God saw me. I’d like to think it would be similar to how my senior responded to seeing herself through the lens of my camera.

It’s easy to receive and believe this false idea of what beauty is. But with a camera in hand, I’ve learned that God doesn’t make mistakes. And if we strip away all these ideas that beauty is a flat tummy, shiny hair, (Page 2) and perfect skin.. we can get to the heart of the woman. We find worth, goodness, and dignity there. We find Christ there. Enrico Pertillo (Chiara Corbella Petrillo’s husband) said it perfectly... "In you, in the totality of your beauty, there is always He.” By photographing women and rejoicing in how God created them, I’ve learned to love how He created me. 

"I’ve learned that God doesn’t make mistakes. And if we strip away all these ideas that beauty is a flat tummy, shiny hair and perfect skin... we can get to the heart of the woman."

Sister, you are priceless. You are beautiful. Your smile and inner radiance inspires people like me and most importantly it reveals all that God is. 

All my love and prayers,


Get to know Ali


Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Ali Popp. I’m 24 years old and newly-married! I just got married this past October. I own my own photography business (Ali Brassel Photography) which I started as a senior in high school. I like to think of myself as an introverted-extrovert... Considering the fact that I have a deep love for people and conversation while at the same time deeply treasure my alone time...Photography truly is my passion but I also have a deep love for anything that involves creativity. I find myself going through phases where I become obsessed with learning something such as embroidery and after a while move on to learning something else. Photography though is the one consistent love of mine when it comes to creative outlets.

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