Woman Pictured in Iconic 9/11 Photo Hires Same Photographer for Wedding 17 Years Later

Woman Pictured in Iconic 9/11 Photo Hires Same Photographer for Wedding 17 Years Later

17 years after she became the subject of one of the most iconic photos from the 9/11 terror tragedy, a woman has hired the photographer behind the image to be her wedding photographer.

Joanne "JoJo" Capestro was one of the lucky people who managed to make it out of the World Trade Center’s North Tower alive. As seen in photographer Phil Penman’s photo, she and a colleague were walking away from the site, clearly shaken up and covered in thick white dust and debris. Back then, she had no idea that it was renowned street photographer Penman that had captured her in the moment of crisis.

The pair later formally met back in 2015 at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, where Penman’s photo of Capestro was on display. And in coming full circle, on August 11th of this year, he fulfilled the duty of capturing Capestro’s wedding day, 17 years later.

The pair pictured at Capestro's wedding. Image courtesy Phil Penman.

Speaking of her memories of September 11, 2001, Capestro recalls:

That was a regular day for me. When I woke up in the morning, I didn’t feel well, but I still went to work […] And I was standing at my desk with one of my co-workers, because we were going to go downstairs. But the phone rang and he answered, then the plane hit five or six floors above us. The impact was so strong and the building was shaking, until all of a sudden, it stopped.

She fled down 87 flights of stairs and was only just outside the building when it began to collapse.

Capestro put it best when she said: “Phil was with me on the best day of my life and the worst day of my life.”

Images used with permission of Phil Penman.

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5 Comments

Arun Hegden's picture

That brought a smile on my face. :)

Arun Hegden's picture

Indeed. Something worth remembering for a lifetime 😊

Ryan Burleson's picture

Gorgeous lady and great story.