One of the best parts of gathering ideas for our Faces of Pamela Park series is discovering all of the fantastic people who call the neighborhood home. This month, we’re thrilled to showcase the work of talented local photographer, Jill Emmer! Jill’s journey as a creative professional is unique and inspiring; she uncovered her passion for photography while documenting her family’s life on Instagram.
As a mother to two young sons, Jill felt sentimental about savoring and remembering her boys’ childhood. However, she also found herself drawn to photography as a creative outlet as well. After starting her Instagram account, Jill quickly saw her followers increase (as in from 6,000 to 100,000 in just a year!) and from there, different partnerships began trickling in. She purchased her first DSLR camera, taught herself how to use it, and launched her career as a professional photographer!
Jill’s beautiful photographs are incredibly playful, heartfelt, joyful, and even a little magical at times. She’s inspired by bright colors, humor, and the tender moments in life that we all want to hold onto a bit longer. Her work has led to collaborations with major brands like Chaco Footwear, Leinenkugels, Explore Minnesota, and the State of South Dakota tourism. Additionally, Jill does family and senior portrait sessions, documents local events like the annual Art Shanty Project, and is the Progam Director for Art of Edina. She founded Art of Edina to bring more community art into public spaces – keep an eye peeled for their projects the next time you’re visiting Southdale, the Galleria, or Braemar Arena!
Jill’s favorite funny story about the lengths she’ll go to for a fantastic photo was right before her family’s week-long South Dakota road trip. To capture the fun drone image below, she laid out all manner of travel paraphernalia in her front yard and drove her minivan right up on the grass to get it in the shot. Everyone was ready and in position except for her older son, who then arrived home on the school bus and looked slightly mortified at the strange scene. She’ll never forget his expression when he stepped off that bus and saw her van, the stuff, and his family all in the yard with a drone buzzing around overhead!
When she isn’t traveling or taking killer photos, Jill and her family make the most of life in Pamela Park. They moved to the area almost five years ago when her oldest son was about to start kindergarten, Jill Googled “Best School in Minnesota, ” and Edina was where they went! Besides the top-notch schools, Jill and her husband enjoy the mix of urban and suburban life in Pamela Park. They love having a big yard for their sons and the proximity to shopping and parks, while only being a ten-minute drive from an event or dinner downtown.
On Saturday mornings Jill can often be found cheering on her boys at their different games, and grabbing a quick celebratory donut at Jerry’s afterward! As a family, they’re all about long walks around the lake at Rosland Park, golfing at Centennial Lakes, and bowling at Pinstripes.
We want to thank Jill for chatting with us about her work and the neighborhood; it was so fascinating to learn more about what goes into her amazing photos! If you want to be swept away by more of Jill’s whimsical art, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram.