JDP senior Emme

JDP senior Emme seems like she’s destined to work with the stars of Hollywood.  Her ultimate dream would mean stepping into the role of Lady Gaga’s make up artist.  Sounds like a pipe dream; however, following in the entrepreneurial spirit of her family, she’s already begun her own make up services business.  Be Make up by Emerson‘s mission is to provide affordable make up for special events for teens, by a teen.

Emme not only provides make up for special events, she also works with the non profit charity Chai Lifeline where she donates her make up services.  Chai Lifeline is a leading international children’s health support network, providing social, emotional and financial support to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families.  A close family friend owns and runs Chai Lifeline which started just two years ago and he invited Emme to be a part.  Emme uses money she earns to purchase supplies to serve the children of Chai Lifeline.  She loves being a part of something where she gets to serve in her giftedness and bring joy to kids who desperately need it.

Emme’s number one obsession in life is Lady Gaga.  I asked her how many times she’d watched A Star is Born and she said she can’t begin to imagine how many.  Emme shares Gaga’s love of transformation and statement making life.  You can guess what music we listened to all through her portrait day!  And just in case you wondered, all Gaga music, not just the top 40.  Her favorite Gaga song currently is Grigio Girls.  After her session, I looked it up and saw this image…

What!?!  No wonder when I showed Emme this on the back of my camera she squealed in delight pronouncing this was the first time she had ever seen Gaga in herself!  I marveled at the number of times I saw Gaga in her and other stars throughout her session.  Profile view with the puppies, I saw a young Jessica Simpson!  It just continued throughout our time together, Emme would morph into a new celebrity look flawlessly!

Emme’s session was a little (or a lot) different than most JDP senior sessions.  Because of her love of make up and fashion, we worked it out so that she would do her make up changes throughout the day while my stylist Jill did her hair.  Jill stayed on set for the entirety of Emme’s shoot.  The two worked in tandem to create the treasure of stylings you see featured in this blog.

I will never underestimate the importance of my pre-consult planning meetings.  This is the birthplace of the ideas that uniquely capture each JDP senior.  The braver the senior, the more interesting portrait creation becomes.  And it seems I continue to create for more seniors who want to be captured uniquely!  As you can see Emme takes after Gaga in her boldness! 

Emme plays squash at her school she loves, Garrison Forest.  However, her first love is dance which has been on hold for the last 2 months.  Emme is in recovery from major spinal surgery to treat her scoliosis.  She was diagnosed at 9 and wore a brace for 5 years to try and help correct the curvature.  However, despite her best efforts, the curvature continued to worsen.  The scar you see on her back below looks remarkable, especially considering this surgery to fuse T4 – L1 with two metal rods in her spine happened just 8 weeks ago!  This girl is tough and eyes on the prize for her future!

Remarkably, Emme gained 2 inches in height in her torso post surgery.  The first two post surgery weeks she has no memory of the grueling recovery.  Her memory picks up from week 2-4 where the pain was bearable.  Her mom Jodi looked after her and is grateful she doesn’t remember the first two weeks.

Emme hopes to be back to hip hop dance classes soon and she is healing remarkably quickly.  It remains to be seen what her mobility will be re her spine with dance.  I could not believe her stamina to keep up all day with her session just two months surgery!  I warned her to let me know if she was in pain or ready to call it at any point.  She grinned and said, ‘Oh I’ll be fine, don’t worry, I won’t wear out!’

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True to her word, she was a rock star all day long!  Emme especially lit up when her little Miki puppies arrived!  Motley is her newest seen below, then Ozzie and Zeplin have been with Emme’s family a little longer.

These babies were little snuggle bugs who are sure to melt any heart in an instant!  Emme had hoped to include her beloved duck Phobea as well, but sadly she met with an unfortunate end at the hands of a cunning fox.  Phoebea had imprinted on Emme so she followed her everywhere and even went for walks on a leash!  Emme had trained her to do gymnastics in the pool!  RIP Phobea! 

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Emme’s transformations into a variety of looks astounded me each time.  Every JDP senior gets a variety of looks, but watching her transform so dramatically between soft ethereal fine art to bold editorial was a delight because there were so many degrees in between she rocked!  Emme also understands movement really well and understand how to move between each shutter click.  She credits her obsession with America’s Next Top Model!

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Understanding movement is a key to carrying off editorial looks.  It’s one thing to get into a pose, it’s quite another to own the movement and match the expressions.  It’s rare to work with a client who can do both and Emme knocked it out of the park!

Prior to the pandemic shutdown of the performing arts, Emme had tickets to attend 2 Lady Gaga concerts.  Most notably, she was to attend one in Las Vegas!  She had plans to wear this outfit you see below!

We stepped right out of full on editorial into fine art creation for Emme.  Be still my heart…

Emme saw my underwater portrait creations and said she wished she had come in the summer…well we are all about making wishes and dreams come true for our JDP seniors…sooooo we created an underwater space for her in studio.  Yes, she was cold, no, she didn’t complain, remember she’s America’s Next Top Model’s biggest fan, so she knows the coolest pieces require going big on the part of the creator and the model.  

One of my sons walked in while I was working on the post production on this fine art portrait and said, ‘Wow, she looks like Ariana Grande!’  I’ve since learned, this is Emme’s 2nd favorite singer!

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Emme, you were an absolute delight to create for!  You are cemented in my mind as Emme aka Lady Gaga look alike!  Your raw excitement and joy throughout the whole day was contagious and made for an epic session!  Send me a selfie when you do finally get to do Gaga’s make up! 😉


  1. Lynn says:

    This beautiful creature is my granddaughter. You have done an amazing ‘job’ of showing her off in all of her specatcular beauty. Bravo to you and my Emme.

    • Jennifer DiDio says:

      Something tells me the women of this family know how to have a good time together! I’m sure she keeps you guessing which is exactly what makes life so interesting!;)

  2. Meredith says:

    These pictures are stunning, unique and Emme is glowing in each and every one of them. You have captured her inner beauty just as much as her outer beauty. I’m so proud of you Emme. Love, Auntie “M”

  3. Emma Sembly-Brodie says:

    This is my first exposure to your work, and it is awesome, which is a tribute to both you and the exquisite young student/star/model. I’ve never met Emme, but attended high school with her mom, and having also seen pictures of her grandmother, can attest to the generational beauty you have captured in these portraits. What a remarkable young lady! She absolutely radiates! She clearly is a positive force of nature, and I wish her the absolute best in all her future endeavors.

  4. Richard Berger says:

    My gorgeous granddaughter is on her way to stardom if she wants it.. I love her so much!! Such picturesque beauty.. You guys did a great job photographing her..

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