Class of 2018 in Denver: Senior Portrait Season!

Senior portrait season is in full swing! Since early June I’ve been photographing and editing as fast as my shutter, eyeballs -- and computer processor -- will allow. I'm working with such a fun, fascinating and diverse breadth of high school senior clients every day that it has become quite the challenge finding the time to blog. But I’m still here, and I'm dying to introduce you to the first (better late than never!) senior pictures that I photographed for the amazing Class of 2018...

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Adding to my warm feelings on this set of photos, this senior portrait session was a personal one. My son and I have known this gorgeous green eyed girl since they were in 6th grade together at the Denver School of the Arts, and you just can’t help but adore her! Ellie is a bright beaming light: talented, kind, and possessing an adorably infectious laugh and fun sense of humor. She is the embodiement of the expression, "Beautiful inside and out."

Having grown up near Wash Park, this outdoor location, a wild geese-filled, luscious public green space nestled in the heart of Denver was a natural fit to capture Ellie’s senior pictures. And it was a fantastic complement to her relaxed, fun personality and her natural, welcoming look.

I’ve photographed at Wash Park several times over the years, although not for a while, and never in some of these parts of the park. As with so many great locations, on this day, with these clouds and this green eyed young woman, everything looked different.

Everything was… perfect.

Given my approach to portrait work, as I tell my clients often, choosing a portrait location is mostly about where you’ll FEEL comfortable. My goal is always to create magical photos anywhere there’s good light. Compositions can change dramatically with the tiniest shift of perspective, even when you’re surrounded by trees and water, as you can see in the different kinds of photos we got during Ellie’s session. Often it’s the simplest move -- a small tweak of my footing or bend of knee, combined with the tiniest shift of her shoulder, and suddenly: BAM. Breathtaking. We had a lot of that on this session. What a blast!

Ellie's stack of finished products upon delivery! Custom Image Box, luxe USB with her accompanying digital files and a Fine Art, Deep Matte Print!

Ellie's stack of finished products upon delivery! Custom Image Box, luxe USB with her accompanying digital files and a Fine Art, Deep Matte Print!

Delivering Ellie’s photos and experiencing HER joy as she adorably hugged her finished Image Box and prints reminded me to my core why I do this. Photographs freeze an incredible slice in time in a young person's life. And it's a moment that will then get to be cherished as a marriage of art and memory for generations. They represent a piece of a story of a beautiful soul on the brink of her great next adventure!

Ellie, thank you for the honor of taking your senior pictures!! Your grounded spirit and authentic joy are positively contagious, and I smiled A LOT editing your photos.

I'm so excited for your senior year and the next chapters that await you and your awesome DSA Class of 2018!


VERY LIMITED SENIOR PORTRAIT SESSIONS for CLASS OF 2018 are available, starting in mid October. Inquire immediately via email (button to right will open your email browser) if you're interested in booking a session for this season. Please leave your name, school, yearbook deadline and phone number -- thank you!

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m a fun-loving Denver high school senior portrait photographer specializing in bringing out connection and personality in the eyes of my clients. I strive to do more than just take senior pictures for yearbook. Instead my focus is on creating an unforgettable experience. Together we are telling a part of your story with pictures. I collaborate with each of my clients to design an immersive and empowering portrait experience, custom tailored around his or her personality, style and interests. I’d love to tell a high school senior story about YOU. Let’s grab a coffee and chat about designing an amazing high school senior photo shoot for you!  

Meet Cooper | Fall Senior Session in the Mountains

What a blast it was playing in the mountains while photographing this handsome, fun, bright senior!

senior guy pictures in Denver mountains, photographer Jennifer Koskinen
laughing senior guy photo in fall

Cooper lives a bit farther from Denver than a lot of my clients, and schedules being what they are we arranged his senior portrait consultation over the phone. As a result, I didn't have a chance to actually meet him face to face until the day of his photo session.

I prefer meeting clients before their session for a consultation if possible so they are fully comfortable with me and what to expect from this experience. Yet despite not having met first, by the end of our time at Lair o’ the Bear park I felt like we'd been friends forever!

We had such a great time getting to know each other, laughing and searching for the best spots on the trail. And what a great location this park is, just up the road from Red Rocks Amphitheater, west of Denver.

Cooper is an avid autumn-lover, and was fortunate to attend a school with a later yearbook deadline which allowed us to plan his outing accordingly. We chose a session date closer to peak autumn color (so many high school senior yearbook deadlines are too early for peak fall color in Colorado, which really doesn’t happen until the middle to second half of October).

As Cooper is an actor (heading to one of the most prestigious BFA programs for acting in the country), part of the goal was also to get him some actor headshots as well. I love the mix of capturing intimate, character-in-the-eyes photos with the more casual, quirky photos you get to explore on a senior session. For example, someone who wants to do yoga and meditation in the woods? I'm in!

One of my favorite things about visiting the mountains is how the trails can change dramatically in just a few steps. This area has so many varied vistas, allowing for deeply shaded photos, cottonwood, water flowing in the creek, and open fields with tall grasses. And in autumn, everything glows with golden warmth.

Like the personality of this awesome young man! So excited to see what he does with the next exciting phase of his life!! Thank you for letting me capture this experience with you, Cooper!


CLASS OF 2018: SENIOR PICTURES ARE BOOKING FAST!! Drop me a line if you'd like to learn more!

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m a fun-loving Denver high school senior portrait photographer specializing in bringing out connection, personality in the eyes of my clients. I strive to do more than just take senior pictures for yearbook, instead my focus is on storytelling with pictures. Together we’ll collaborate to design an immersive and empowering portrait experience, custom tailored around the personality, style and interests of each awesome senior -- hopefully YOU. Let’s grab a coffee and chat about designing an amazing high school senior photo shoot for you!

Voice Talent | Personal Branding Portrait Session in Denver

Don’t be fooled by her petite stature: this adorable woman is a fierce powerhouse of talent, warmth and inspiring confidence. To say I was impressed by her (and loved every minute of spending the day with her!) would be an enormous understatement.

Rachael West Talent Personal Branding Photos in Denver with Merritt Portrait Studio

An Emmy Award Winning ISDN Voice Talent, Actor, Model and Host, she also happens to be downright delightful. My son (assisting on this session) and I thoroughly enjoyed touring her studio, learning about the work she does in her impressive custom studio, and basking in the purple and yellow glow of her home.

Her personal branding photo session was divided into two parts. Part One fell into my initial career skillset of architectural photography. The goal here was to showcase her incredible, purple (I do LOVE a client with his or her own color!) custom recording studio. Her top of the line professional recording booth was designed to fit her home so she can record at any hour, without the need to work around others’ studio hours, as well as to meet the demands of her internationally based clientele. And this woman WORKS. Every detail has been addressed from technical to functional… and the cream on top? It is all designed to match her personal style.

Part Two of her session was her personal branding, headshot and portrait session. Which, of course, was a blast! We spent a large portion of the session laughing as we wandered around downtown Denver seeking out the perfect backgrounds and colors to complement her wardrobe and coloring, finding a cohesive look to tie all of her photos together. All the while we enjoyed trading industry stories and getting to know each other..

I always love working with actors and talent who have had the opportunity to work with other photographers, as their perspective provides me with valuable feedback. I try to be as helpful as possible in communicating direction on a session, as well as showing my clients what I mean with examples on the back of camera to help them visualize what I'm getting. It was great to hear her articulate both during the session and afterwards, just how helpful that was on that side of the camera.

"Amazing! Incredible talent, wonderful ability to give direction in the moment with understandable adjustments that make the photo magical. The BEST headshot experience I've ever had in Denver!" - Rachael

Towards the end of the session, as the light slipped toward the warm and golden hour, we headed to one of my favorite spots in Denver and these photos are some of my favorites of this season. Warmth permeating not just in the quality of light, but captured in her adorable personality, expression, tone and character.

Every time I meet someone with this quality of warm competence and confidence, I can see immediately that their clients must love working with them as well. What a treasure!!

For more information on Rachael West and RW Talent LLC  and to hear and watch samples of her work, please visit her website:

Thank you, Rachael, for reminding me again how fortunate I am that this work introduces me to such outstandingly talented people. You have inspired me and I'm grateful to know you!

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I am a Denver based portrait photographer specializing in bringing out personality in my clients’ eyes while creating powerful, personal images. I want your photos to stand out and communicate more than your average headshot. Comprehensive personal branding packages are custom styled around each client’s specific needs, and sessions are designed to be enjoyable and empowering And don’t worry, if you think you’re not “photogenic” -- it’s not your job to be photogenic. It’s my job to take great photos of you! I would love to chat with you about designing a couture professional branding session for you.

Little Black Dress | Urban Street Fashion Portraits in Denver

How could I not love photographing this fiercely fun and amazing human? This session, my 4th with Sarah, was creatively inspiring as an “after senior pictures, I’m heading to college!" session.

golden urban senior portrait denver, photographer jennifer koskinen
Senior Pictures and Fashion Session with Sarah

People who follow my work may recognize Sarah from prior sessions, dating back to her sophomore year, in one of my early sessions in my first studio.

Her senior pictures last summer were an absolute blast (and have become some of my most popular Pinterest pins).

(left, top row)

And of course, she modeled for our unforgettable styled corset session for Redthreaded just last December.

(left, bottom row)

So this time, we decided to celebrate her heading off to college in LA with one more session, this time a “little black dress” fashion shoot in historic downtown Denver. And we had a great time wandering our mini urban corridor!

Contrast in photos is one of my favorite elements with which to play. Light and dark, old and new, order and chaos. And in this session, the striking contrast of her femininity, fashion style and graceful strength set against the gritty urban backdrop of 17th street in downtown Denver.

I also thoroughly enjoy the contrast of her fierce, stunningly beautiful model face, and the cracking up that ensues when I get overly enthusiastic and accidentally make her laugh. And then how she can snap back into model mode in a fraction of a second. We always have a blast shooting for hours and this time was no exception!

17th street in Denver captured my attention when I first moved here and it turns out, Sarah has loved it since she was a kid as well. The scale of the structures on this street makes Denver feel bigger than other streets. And at the same time it feels “cozy,” being flanked by architecture framing at both ends. Something about my background as an architect makes me appreciate this kind of urban setting for portraiture and fashion style photography.

Constantly changing, vibrant and always in motion, the textures and light of the city keep me on my toes as a photographer, always looking for something I haven't yet seen. The environmental unknowns also elicit genuine reactions in my clients, allowing me to keep sessions fresh and fun, always. Not that the fun part is ever a challenge… Our little black dress session was, as is every opportunity to photograph (and spend time with) Sarah, creatively inspiring and an absolute blast!

Sarah… girl, I’ve watched you work your tail off, push the boundaries of your incredible potential, claim absolute ownership of your explosive talent, push yourself like crazy in the direction of your dreams and still maintain an awesome, quirky and FUN personality.

I’m so happy we got to fit this “little black dress” session in before you headed off to your next exciting chapter… and as always, I am already looking forward to our next creative endeavor!

Watch out Los Angeles (and world)! This girl is GOING PLACES!

SENIOR PICTURES and NEW GRADUATE portrait sessions are booking QUICKLY for summer and fall! Email now if you'd like to learn more... here's a link:

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m a fun-loving Denver high school senior portrait photographer specializing in bringing out connection, personality in the eyes of my clients. I strive to do more than just take senior pictures for yearbook, instead my focus is on storytelling with pictures. Together we’ll collaborate to design an immersive and empowering portrait experience, custom tailored around the personality, style and interests of each awesome senior -- hopefully YOU. Let’s grab a coffee and chat about designing an amazing high school senior photo shoot for you!

The Senior Portrait Experience | Magazine

Welcome, Class of 2018 (upcoming) SENIORS!!

(or, Welcome, Class of 2017 senior who is about to graduate and missed out on wonderful senior pictures and still wants to book an amazing, once in a lifetime portrait session before heading to college!!)

I'm excited to share this magazine which I designed to visually walk you through the process of the senior picture experience in a bit more depth. We'll discuss all of this in person at your consultation. I hope this provides some inspiration for things you want to try in your senior portrait session. In it, you'll find ideas for locations, styling, a bit more on how the process works, and lots of pictures to get you excited to tell YOUR story.

{ feel free to view the magazine in full screen mode -- note that clicking full screen will open a new browser window }

 

Hopefully if you're reading this we've already set up your consult, but if you've found this post on your own and would like to know more, please click this link to drop me an email:

Or call me at 970.708.2065, and let me know a good time to reach you! Let's grab a coffee and you can tell me how YOU imagine your senior pictures.

I'm so excited to start our creative collaboration to celebrate your senior year with artful portraits!!

Cheers,
Jennifer