2017. What a year. Not only was it the year that brought us the obsession of fidget spinners, the creation of the legendary Romphim and the comeback of the black leather chokers, but it was one hell of a year for YPP. When I think about this past year, one word comes to mind; unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, there have been ups and downs. There have been weeks that I have felt like nothing could get me down. There has been days that felt like nothing was going right, and then there were those moments when I felt like I was the luckiest person in the world. I am proud to say it has been one awesome, creative and busy year. I could not thank my friends, family and clients enough for all of their support. Yael Pachino Photography has grown and flourished this year because of all of you.
I wanted to take this time to show you a little bit of what I do and what Yael Pachino Photography is all about. Here are my top 10 favorite 2017 moments captured by YPP (please note, these are not in any particular order, I absolutely love all of these photos). These are the photos that had me running past Robert to my computer to upload them immediately after I got home. These are the photos that I love, that I cherish and that keep me inspired to do more, do better and grow as a photographer, a professional and as a person. These are the couples, the people that make me smile and work harder day in and day out. So without further ado here are the Top 10 YPP Photos of 2017!
When Sylvia and Shmuel arrived at the City Hall of Philadelphia during one the hottest days of the summer, I could tell that it was going to be one fantastic afternoon. With the sprinklers going off at Dilworth Park, the sun shining bright, Sylvia and Shmuel were down for anything and never once complained about the heat. This moment is one of my favorite of the year for so many reasons. First off, look at the two of them. Sylvia’s stance is strong, feminine and sassy. Shmuels pose is manly, casual and comfortable. You can feel the love flowing between them through their eyes and their smiles. And then there is the light! I love the way the light falls onto the walls of Philadelphia’s City Hall.
Jaleel contacted me from overseas. A navy man who could not wait to propose to his girlfriend, Katylnn. As he walked into the restaurant, his smile was filled with nerves and excitement. We went out back and set up the shot, Jaleel could not stop smiling. Finally, we got the text that Katylnn was on her way. As I was hiding in the bushes, waiting for her to arrive, I laughed to myself. This girl had no idea what was coming! She didn’t even know what country he was in and all the sudden there he was, in front of her, on one knee. A week later we had their engagement session and I had the pleasure of capturing this photo. To me this photo expresses everything they feel for each other. Love, admiration, security, happiness and a future that looks bright and joyous. I love this moment it is totally and completely Katlynn and Jaleel and I feel honored to have witnessed their love.
When I met Tracy and Norman I felt right at home. As I walked toward the beautiful Memorytown ceremony location, right on the edge of a small pond, I saw a man putting up adorable photos near each aisle, casually drinking a Miller, and I laughed to myself because Norman was the calmest groom I’ve ever seen. Tracy was just as relaxed as she sat in front of the mirror getting her hair and make-up done. She pointed to her cowboy boots and her sunflowers and I knew this wedding was going to be special and completely and totally unique. This photo was captured within seconds, as Lee Shelly of Lee Shelly Photography was setting up his shot, I saw the light, I saw the pose and asked Norm to do one small thing, kiss the heck out of his wife. Everything about this photo makes me happy.
I absolutely love this photo. Coreene and Eddie had their ceremony at this gorgeous church right near the National Harbor. The day was slightly gloomy and rainy but that didn’t stop Coreene and Eddie from having an incredible wedding day. With New Orlean’s traditions laced through the entire day, I couldn’t have asked for a more fun, welcoming group of people. Coreene was stunning and Eddie was handsome as anything. This photo was right outside of the church. Every time I look at this, I smile. I am absolutely obsessed with the blue reflecting against the window, the architecture of the church and their casual, yet intimate pose. Coreene and Eddie make being in love look so good!
What can I say about Shifra and Yaakov, as we walked around Gantry Plaza State Park, you can see the respect and admiration they had for one another, it felt as if they had been together for decades. But at the same time, these two love birds were laughing and joking the entire time, as if they were two teenagers madly in love. For their 1 year anniversary, they decided they wanted to have a couple portrait session and a maternity session all in one. I’ve never met a couple like Shifra and Yaakov, so full of life, goofiness and excitement. They got married, settled down, had graduate school and a baby on is way all in one year. Just look at how happy they are to be side by side, partners in crime, in this crazy journey called life. Between the skyline in the background, the expressions on their faces and the way Yaakov is holding onto his unborn child (who, by the way, is now born, alive and named Sari), this photo makes my heart happy every time I see it.
Renee and Colin’s wedding was a dream come true. It was probably one of the largest weddings I photographed this year, but you could tell that each and every person there had a very personal and special relationship with the couple. It was truly amazing to witness. Renee looked amazing and Colin was dashing as hell. These two met in college, they lived in the same dorm and you can tell, by looking at them, that they spent the years since growing together, pushing each other to do better and become the incredible people they are today. There was so much love, so much joy and so much passion at their wedding and I could not have been happier being a part of their wedding. Renee is absolutely stunning in this photo. Her eyes look vibrant and bright. The window lighting shapes her face perfectly and her soft and casual smile makes her entire face light up. Plus, her eyelashes are on point. I love wedding portraits that highlight the unique beauty of my brides and this is one of my favorite bridal portrait of the year.
With Brittany’s sister, Sydney, there to help with outfit changes and make-up checks, we had an incredible time capturing their engagement session. I knew these photos were going to be gorgeous the moment I met Brittany and Ciaran at the Cherry Hill Panera Bread for their Wedding Consultation. There is an energy that buzzes between Brittany and Ciaran that is electric, warm and ever-lasting. No matter where they are, what they are doing, you can feel they are connected. They are not only in love, but best friends who have each others backs no matter what. This photo is one of my favorites because it says so much about Brittany, Ciaran and their relationship. There is a warmth and a calmness that is only created between two people who know each other and love each other the way Brittany and Ciaran do. I hope that we all have this kind of love!
When I met Courtney, 7 years ago, we were just two University of Maryland students trying to make some extra money working at one of the local college bars while earning our degrees at the best school in the country (I might be a little biased). When I met Gary, very shortly after, I knew that this was it for them. I knew they found the one they were going to spend the rest of their life with. They were committed to each other but also gave each other the room to grow as individuals, which was an amazing love to witness. Courtney and Gary are best friends first, boyfriend and girlfriend second (now fiance) and partners in crime third. Their bond is strong and beautiful and this photo means so much to me on so many levels. I love that I had the chance to go back to one of my favorite places in the world to capture the love between two incredible people. Maryland will forever be a part of me and I just can’t get over how beautiful the light is in this photo. The hair light alone makes my heart skip a beat. With McKeldin Library in the background and Courtney and Gary curled up snuggling in the foreground, this photo is one of my favorites because it sums up what it feels like to spend the rest of your life with your college sweetheart.
Ehmud called me an hour before our desired start time. He was surprising his wife, she just graduated from grad-school and she was nine months pregnant and all she wanted was some maternity photos so he thought this was the perfect time to have graduation photos and maternity photos. He gave me his address and I was on my way, snow was falling, cars were not moving but I was on my way! When I finally arrived, Eliana was utterly confused. She had no idea who I was and what I was doing there. Within minutes, we were out back in their beautiful winter-wonderland capturing the giddiness and happiness of two people about to be parents. Turns out, within 24 hours, Eliana was rushed to the hospital to bring their beautiful and healthy baby girl into the world. Perfect timing. This photo is one of my favorites on so many levels. The happiness and love that shines through makes my heart full, the snow gives it that extra special touch and the expressions on their faces are priceless.
Julia and Nick are truly an incredible couple that support each other and care for each other in every way. They spend their free time building shelves together for Julia’s non-profit, Kids at Play, cooking together and hiking together. They took me to the one spot that means the most to them, the place he proposed. Well, let me explain, they both planned on him proposing there, but that is part of what makes Julia and Nick so special. This photo is very special to me. Not only do I love the way the light falls on the wall, but I love the passion of the moment; the love that is so evident between Nick and Julia. I just cannot believe a place like this exists right in Philadelphia.
When I met Lauren and Tony for the first time, I thought, well that is a couple who is going to be laughing their entire life together, and guess what they did during their engagement session, laugh. A lot. I couldn’t be happier. We laughed all over Old City, Philadelphia and it was the perfect way to spend an early November morning. As we walked around you could tell that Tony and Lauren just loved to be with each other. Tony looks at Lauren with such love and admiration and it is evident that they are meant to be. I love this photo, there is so much joy, happiness and silliness and isn’t that what it’s all really about? Finding someone to love, cherish and laugh with?
I know, I know, there were 11 photos here and I originally said 10. Don’t worry, I didn’t miscount, I just couldn’t choose! I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who let me be a part of their love story, their families, their big days, their celebrations, their traditions and everything else that comes in between. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing a couples eyes light up when they see their engagement photos, seeing a mother of the bride shed a tear as she flips through her baby’s wedding album for the first time or seeing what kind of incredible portraits we can create running around with a two year old. 2017 has been one incredible year, and I know that 2018 will be even better. Cheers to all of you and I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for you!
Happy New Years!