Hi! I’m Jill Emmer and Here Is My Story:

About 10 years ago - when I was 9 months pregnant - I was laid off from my pharmaceutical sales job in Minneapolis. Thanks to a good severance package and a lot of coupon clipping I became a stay-at-home mom.

About 3-4 years later my girlfriend introduced me to Instagram. I had a private account that I treated like Facebook.. photos of my kids, bumper stickers, trips, etc. One day I shared a photo of a deer standing in some snow covered trees. Not a single one of my friends liked it. I knew it was a good photo but it was too “artsy” for my friends.

So I secretly started a public account. I didn’t tell any of my friends.

Within 6 months I had almost 5,000 followers and was asked by the local NBC affiliate to “cover” the Minnesota State Fair for them.

Within a year I had 100,000 followers and a lot more job offers. I was a minivan mom with an iPhone & a new job that I had somehow created!

It has been a crazy past 5 years. Our family has gone on some amazing adventures - like an “ultimate road trip” with the state of South Dakota Tourism. I’ve traveled “on assignment” to Uganda, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Miami and more.

I’ve had my photos published in magazines, galleries, a couple of museums, etc. I’ve created some fun projects like an umbrella that travels the world (I’m sending two to Paris tomorrow!) Last year I raised almost $14,000 in three months for solar powered lights for refugees in Uganda.

And now I teach iPhone Photography too. I teach it online, I write articles, I have taught local kids at a summer camp, I have gone over basics with a bunch of businessmen in a boardroom, and I have even lectured at the University of Minnesota. 

I have also won awards. I have had my iPhone photos displayed in mobile photography exhibits at museums, as a 30 foot high billboard in a busy city, in magazines, the local big newspaper and lots of other places. 

When I shoot branding work I use my DSLR but I sure don't carry that big thing with me when I am just out and about with my boys!