Westminster photographer tells stories through "out of the box" portraits

Jennifer DiDio calls her portrait studio “boutique.”

The Westminster business doesn’t load up on customers, so there is ample time to create portraits she says are often “out of the box.”

Consider the portrait earlier this year of the high school basketball player.

“We built a waterfall on our home pool deck that we put our athletes in. He stood with the water bouncing off,” DiDio said.

Then there are the underwater portraits.

“We took a musician — a guitarist — underwater. He jumped in with the guitar,” she said. “They had picked up a used guitar really cheap.”

She started Jennifer DiDio Photography seven years ago. She retains a studio manager, stylist, bookkeeper and accountant.

DiDio calls herself “a storyteller at heart,” and her website includes a blog with narratives of interesting subjects.

“Every client has a free consult meeting. I get to know them a little bit. They’re coming because they want something out of the box. They want the jaw-droppers.”

She plans to launch a collection soon called “world changers,” featuring portraits of influential people before their stories are lost.

She has a potential subject in mind already.

“I started searching how many World War II veterans are still around. We are on a short lead time,” DiDio said.

She said she was inspired by a recent newspaper article about Vernon Foster of Parkton, a World War II tank commander who was just shy of his 99th birthday. Foster is among about 558,000 World War II veterans still living out of 16 million who served, according to federal statistics.

“There’s so much bad news out there — here’s a look at people who are making a difference in the world,” DiDio said. “The short-term plan is I would like to do this on my blog. You start doing something and you never know where it’s going to go.”

Jennifer DiDio

Title: Custom portrait creator and studio owner

Age: 45

Residence: Westminster

Birthplace: Baltimore City

Education: Towson University bachelor’s degree, McDaniel College master of liberal arts.

Family: Married with three sons.

Hobbies/Interests: Creating art from the lives of everyday people and telling their stories through portraits.

jebarker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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