Love and Laughter | FUN Family Photos in the Heart of the City

Throwback Thursday coming at ya… and I gotta just start by saying WHAT FUN this darling, loving family was to photograph!!!

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By way of an intro… Sara is an absolutely over-the-top talented Hair & Makeup Artist with whom I’m lucky enough to have formed a wonderful collaborative relationship. She works magic on my clients who get studio makeovers, both her artistry and demeanor are extraordinary, and she has the most adorable, intoxicating laugh (especially when her husband cracks her up). And speaking of her husband, I’ve gotten to know the always encouraging, generous and wonderful “Spud” as the ever capable manager at my photo Studio, although this is just one of his many gifts as a wonderful human and dad.

It probably goes without saying, but the opportunity to photograph these wonderful parents and their adorable daughter was delicious food for my soul. As I hope you can tell from these photos, we had a great time together in the vibrant city blocks that surround the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Like, a REALLY great time! I adore watching family dynamics -- and just love how these three are together. Beautiful, supportive, fun-loving, grounded... and up for anything!

For this series, I asked the daughter to come up with poses -- her poses were a BLAST, and her parents were SO AWESOME to play along! And when you have that fun a family, you gotta grab some jump shots, right?

Urban family sessions are full of life and whimsy to begin with, and winter light invites new ways of seeing in the city. Long shadows and beautiful light… a portrait photographer’s dream! Clients are often amazed by the places I photograph them, but having worked in so many different situations now, I’m confident that you really don’t need much to be able to create great photos in any location. Great light, texture, depth and color are everywhere in the city, and knowing how to use these elements intentionally in the background (or foreground) is something that comes with lots of experimentation and experience. I’m getting there!

The real work on any portrait session -- whether with one person or a family -- is creating a safe and supportive space, emotionally, in which people are able to relax and forget everything moving around them.

Often -- and these guys were no exception -- this process of setting clients at ease sure feels more like play than work. In this case, a LOT more like play… LOVE you guys!!

I’m a Denver based family portrait photographer specializing in creating relaxed, natural and timeless heirloom photographs to last for generations. Your family pictures will be styled around YOU, and the actual experience promises to be a fun and memorable one for kids as well as parents. Drop me a line to find out more!

Autumn Family Pictures in Denver

I adore days like this: perfect weather... just enough fall foliage left to compose gorgeous autumn photos. And the chance to work with a family comprised of amazing people and treasured friends.

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We’ve known this family for years (funny how being a parent has made me start to believe that all the cliches are true... time really does fly). Our kids have shared the thespian experience and art school, as well as having shared the rather unique experience of being in professional theatre together (that’s a unique kind of bond, to be sure). This wonderful mom has become a treasured friend of mine and is part of my “tribe” of art-inspired book lovers and mothers. In addition, she is an incredibly talented artist… check out her website to see her beautiful, evocative and life-filled paintings!

For this collection of family portraits, we wandered around the always-makes-me-happy Wash Park, just southeast of downtown Denver. It's a great spot to capture relaxed, loving and warm portraits on a quintessential autumn day.

What a treat is is to get to play and witness another side of my friends when I photograph them. One of my favorite things about family sessions is watching them enjoy the excuse to focus only on the act of connection, laughter and experiencing together-time… all outside on a lovely day. This family is as good as it gets -- kind, intelligent, talented, respectful and ready to laugh together.

When I started working with families I remember thinking that teenagers might not be always on board for all of the “family connection” stuff, but honestly, we always end up having fun! That leaf photo is a great example of the kind of silliness that I just adore. And by the way, I believe those are Cypress leaves and they are my new absolute favorite in fall. Seriously -- next time you see one of these huge beauties on the ground, pick it up and breathe it in -- such a lovely aromatic autumn scent. But I digress...

Truth be told I often wonder whether it’s the memories that we create during a photo session, or the portraits themselves that are most valuable in the end.

Either way is ok with me!

Thank you guys for letting me photograph you!! I adore you!

I’m a Denver based family portrait photographer specializing in creating relaxed, natural and timeless heirloom photographs to last for generations. Your family pictures will be styled around YOU, and the actual experience promises to be a fun and memorable one for kids as well as parents. Drop me a line to find out more!

Joyful Family Fall Pictures | Denver

Talk about FUN! My assistant (who happens to be my teenage son) and I talked about this session for days -- filled with happiness, love and togetherness -- we felt that connection long after this quintessential autumn family session.

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In part, that feeling was owed to the luminous quality of autumn itself which was on full display. Anyone who has ever tried to take a walk with me in fall (or followed my instagram feed in fall!!) knows I'm more than a little bit obsessed with the magic of fall: warm tones, perfect breeze, incredible backlit foliage everywhere as trees prepare for their slumber, sunlight glowing with a warmth so beautiful it always makes me ache a little for how fleeting my favorite season really is...

But the thing that pushed us over the top with joy was this amazing family. As cliche as it may sound, it was like their love, their genuine enjoyment of each other, and their mutual respect spilled over into the world around them. These amazing children are at that perfect age to still be playful -- and to want to explore and play with each other. In fact, I got the feeling these siblings will be friends forever.

When they held hands it was not directed; when they played and ran and spun cartwheels, it was because they wanted to. I mean… even the SQUIRRELS in the park wanted to be with these children! (THAT was a fun moment... see the last photo in the series above... that's a squirrel on it's way up to join the kids!!)

Sometimes -- I’d dare say often (at least when I’m with my clients!) -- my job really does feel like play. I was enormously grateful to get to go outside and play with this beautiful family! And the emotion I felt from this bright and gorgeous mom when we had our photo reveal session further strengthened the feelings I had at the session.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this kind of relaxed, fun family session… both as a shared experience for your family, AND to capture this moment in your family’s story. One to be written and saved in the collective core memories and hearts of your loved ones... and their future kids as well!

ABOUT JENNIFER: I’m a Denver based family portrait photographer specializing in creating relaxed, natural photo session experiences and timeless heirloom photographs to last for generations. Your family pictures will be styled around YOU, and the actual experience promises to be a fun and memorable one for kids as well as parents. Drop me a line to find out more!

Family! | Sisters Headshot Session in Aspen Colorado

Ok, yes, so this one is special…

This is, after all: Family.

My son and I were lucky to have a wonderful visit with my sister's family for a few days in Aspen Colorado this past summer. While we were there, since her daughters are a rather multi-talented bunch and needed refreshed headshots for talent and commercial use, we had an impromptu session before dinner one night. And of course, we made sure to grab a few casual family photos as well!

Actor, model and talent headshots, especially when your subjects are this stinking cute, are about so much more than just pictures -- ideally, I'm striving to capture personality in a still frame. That's no small task, and so my biggest work is to get people to forget they are in front of a camera at all. As a result, the sessions become quite entertaining, even for me behind my camera. I work hard with clients to get them to relax -- sometimes knowing them helps, sometimes it presents a different kind of challenge.

But in this case, this session didn’t ever feel like “work,” in that respect. First of all, this was quite casual -- really it had all the formality of “let’s take some photos before dinner.” We were in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado after all, and my awesome assistant (who happens to be my son) was with me, so, why not? And yes, the agenda was officially to get headshots to update with actor/talent agencies, but we were all on vacation, so it was also about having FUN and hopefully getting a few images for the walls!

And we sure did get some beautiful images of these beautiful young humans...

Since I do know these amazing girls personally, I’m always excited for the opportunity to even attempt to capture each of their OVERFLOWING personalities. Seriously. Always. You should see my cell phone camera roll after a few days with them. And it's extra fun to pull out the "real camera" for a session.

These young ladies are incredible -- each so unique from her sisters, but at the same time so clearly family. They are each blessed with extraordinary talent (already evident even so young!), copious amounts of charm, intelligence… and each of these amazing girls possesses her very own brand of stellar wit and inner joy. They are some pretty cool kids. We feel awfully lucky to call them family!

OK so let’s be honest: my job here was not hard; they are freaking adorable. Those last two frames above... those were her response to my asking her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Her answer, "FAMOUS!"

And then she heartily cracked herself up.

And here they are with their gorgeous mama... that's a whole lot of beautiful in one photo!

Outdoor family photos in Aspen, Colorado with Denver photographer Jennifer Koskinen

Love you guys!!

I’m a Denver based child actor headshot photographer specializing in bringing out connection, personality in my clients’ photos by giving them a highly personalized photo session experience. I would love to chat with you about your headshot and family portrait needs!

Tips | Preparing for an AWESOME Family Photo Session in Denver

Truth is, ANY time is the right time for family photos. But nothing makes people THINK about scheduling family photos quite like autumn. Changing leaves, approaching holidays, anticipation of winter, family time and cozy hugs of warmth. And so it is that once again I’m scheduling family photos at a faster clip than usual… so thought it might be helpful to share my tips for how best to dress, prepare and plan for your family session.

SESSION GOALS:

Even if you only want a photo for a holiday card, chances are that if you’re going to make the investment in professional photography, in even just a few years you’d like to have more than a set of outdated files… so your session goals are really worth thinking about! How would you like to see your family’s photographs in 10 years or more? Do you picture heirloom prints on the wall? Would you prefer a coffee table style album that can be passed along to grandchildren? If you have ideas about this, it’s helpful for your photographer to know if you’re looking to tell a story in an album or looking for a few artful family portraits for a wall gallery, as it could inform how your session is photographed.

LOCATION:

Are you a mountain family? Do you love the vibe of the city? Would you ideally like a mix of both feelings in a single session (yes! This is possible!) Is your home cozy with great light and styled to reflect your family’s character, or perhaps you have a great outdoor space? Are there things you enjoy as a family such as the arts or sports or theatre or movies? The only real requirements I have are the ability to find good light and flexibility on location for variety. Other than that, I can make all kinds of things work, and these are just a few ideas to get you thinking. If you don’t already have a spot in mind, I’d love to help you figure out the perfect spot during our pre-session consultation.

COLORS:

Before diving into clothing colors, if you are considering fine art prints for a wall in your home, it’s helpful to think about the mood and colors of your home. There's no need to “match” the decor of a room, but a wardrobe that complements a mood or color theme in your home can make for a show-stopper work of art, one that happens to celebrate the people you love most in the world!

Regarding the colors of your family wardrobe, think “coordinating” not “matching.”

In general, it's best to avoid all black, or jeans and pressed white shirts… (unless your family is hipster enough to pull it off ironically)! Keeping simple things in mind, like avoid clashing patterns, styles or colors, will go a long way towards harmony in your photos. I like to recommend that one person chooses a general wardrobe palette of colors or neutrals and a complementary accent color, and then ask everyone to find things from their wardrobe in that palette.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

WARDROBE | STYLE + ACCESSORIES:

Layers are great (jackets, sweaters, flannel shirts, scarves, hats, etc.). And things you are comfortable moving around in -- having the option to sit on the ground is a plus, so dress pants and/or short skirts can be challenging (which is not to say that they are impossible, if you’re set on a miniskirt, but could present challenges and/or limitations for getting cozy, fun group interaction -- this really depends on your family and style).

If you're into this sort of thing, I've got an inspiration board on Pinterest with lots of imagery and ideas -- feel free to peruse HERE.

ELEMENTS OF PERSONALITY | WHIMSY:

This last tip is completely up to you and the specific style and character of your family, but sometimes, for a few shots, props can be quite fun. Perhaps you want to bring along a big cozy blanket we can wrap around the kids… or everyone! Or some costume mustaches... Or silly hats... Or big furry scarves... Or cups of cocoa and a bag full of marshmallows (the fat ones, of course)... It’s weirdly powerful to have something to create a moment of shared laughter and a memory which your family will cherish forever. This is NOT a requirement by any means, but if you're game, can be a fun way to break ice, loosen everyone up...and make for some unique and fun photos!

LAST TIPS:

Make sure you are familiar with how to get to our location, plan for traffic and parking and arrive on time. Our session time is limited, and I’d hate for you to miss out on the full experience! You’d be amazed how people relax through the duration of a session and often it’s after we’ve been shooting for a while that the magic happens most naturally.

I’d be so excited to work with your family! Drop me a line to set up your consultation now and let's make some cherished artwork together!