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Meet Yasmin Alesia and Michelle Zapanta of Michelle and Yasmin Photography in Northwest Side of Chicago

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yasmin Alesia and Michelle Zapanta.

Yasmin and Michelle, please share your story with us.
Our paths have been very different from the beginning. Although we both started studying in the medical field, only one of us, Michelle, actually went through with it, despite the unwavering passion for photography. Yasmin deviated midway through and pursued a career in graphic design. In August 2014, not knowing each other yet, they both tied the knot with their husbands. They weren’t 100% satisfied with either the way the photos came out or just the experience dealing with the photography companies altogether. That’s when we simultaneously decided to penetrate the photography industry, with the goal to ensure that future couples won’t have to endure what we went through. After many paid and unpaid gigs, we became established in their own way. We were finally introduced to each other in 2017 at a wedding where Michelle was a bridesmaid and Yasmin was the photographer. After months of comparing notes on how to run a business, asking each others’ artistic opinions on our work, Michelle’s husband jokingly suggested to have us work together instead. That’s when the partnership was decided! We realized how much we complemented each other. Together, we formed a photography brand that exudes luxury. Our images provide all sorts of “feels”, as our couples describe them. Our combined fine art and photojournalistic style are currently endorsed by various publications in a short amount of time!

Has it been a smooth road?
Putting two personalities together wasn’t a walk in the park. We had to figure out the best business model, learn the legalities of a photography business partnership, get to know each other and come up with a compromise. When you have two people wanting the best experience for their clients, differences will arise. We specifically didn’t initially agree on certain marketing strategies. One is more conservative and relies more on word of mouth. One is more aggressive and experimented more with social media ads and print advertising. Speaking of social media, there were difficulties with merging two pages and name changes! On top of all of that, time became such a luxury.

Despite all these struggles, the ultimate goal is to give the clients a wonderful and luxurious experience. The best compliments come from multiple bookings from repeat clients and referrals. Although making a profit is a must in a business, Michelle and Yasmin Photography really focuses on providing quality work, drawing positive emotions and building solid relationships with our clients.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Michelle and Yasmin Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a photography business that specializes in weddings. We do take limited portrait bookings which range from families, seniors, maternity and sometimes, newborns. We are very proud of our many 5-star reviews from our clients. Some of our work has been selected for publications in various blogs such as Hey Wedding Lady, Wedding Sparrow, How He Asked, Maharani Weddings, The Celebration Society and more to come that we can’t announce just yet. We’ve only been in this partnership for less than 6 months but really revved up our marketing strategies, which really paid off given our current accomplishments.

Although we can’t really call ourselves 100% unique, we do realize that there are certain aspects of our business that sets us apart from others. We offer same-day-edit slideshows in all our packages. What a perfect way to draw more emotions out by showing our couples and their guests a preview of what has transpired earlier on their wedding day, including the preparations, ceremony, and portraits. If the bride sheds tears of joy, we’re golden! Our style tends to be more light and airy, combining fine art and photojournalism. We also welcome, and highly recommend, the idea of styled pre-weddings. It’s pretty much like an engagement session on steroids! We work with other vendors to style and glam up our couple wearing fancy outfits. Oh, and one more thing, if we can absolutely help it, we’ll take photos using our drone!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We love Chicago’s architecture! We’ve been to so many cities in the US and we think our skyscrapers, museums and many other buildings downtown are just plain astounding. We love the rich culture and diversity. You’ll get to meet so many different people that would allow you to learn and try something new every day! With that, the food is amazing. That’s probably the biggest perk of living in a melting pot city like Chicago.

If there are certain aspects we can live without, it’s rush hour traffic and the single-digit winter. Like we said earlier, time is a luxury. So, getting from one place to another which normally takes 15 minutes shouldn’t take you an hour. Double or triple that during winter time! Don’t get us wrong, we love snow! We just don’t like driving on it. Lastly, we would love it if we have some close-by mountains, hills or canyons. It would give a nice variety of backdrops for our clients.

Pricing:

  • Wedding Collections start at $2500
  • Portrait Collections start at $200
  • Styled Preweddings start at $1000

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Michelle and Yasmin Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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