Personal Branding & Women's Portraiture

What IS a Personal Branding portrait session anyway?

And how could a cohesive, MAGNETIC set of editorial style and headshot portraits enliven your professional image, give you more fresh content for your social media profiles and increase your marketability?

Check out the latest issue of my portrait magazine to learn if this might just be one of the best investments you could make in not only your business, but also your confidence and professional image.

NOTE: magazine is divided into two sections:

  1. Personal Branding and packages (geared towards people who need only digital files) in the first half

  2. Modern Women’s Portrait Glamour sessions (designed for that special, once in a lifetime story session to be celebrated with archival prints and files) in the back half.

If you’re curious to learn even MORE or book a consultation, let’s grab a coffee and discuss how a custom session could benefit you and your business.

Contact me now to set up a consultation to learn more!

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Jennifer Koskinen specializes in creating custom, natural light, editorial-style personal branding sessions to highlight what you want to share about YOUR story.

She has a background as an architect and architectural photographer, and is an internationally published Live Theatre and Stage Production Photographer. Jennifer is based in Denver Colorado. For more info and client testimonials, please visit our ABOUT page.

For information and pricing of personal branding packages, please take a look HERE!

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!

Oh the Things We Do for Art... and Pizza.

The remnants of our latest winter storm in Denver had barely faded this year when the trees started to don those precious and fleeting spring hues that inspire me walk around my neighborhood in an artist’s stupor. It’s almost too much for my eyes to take in, and sometimes makes me feel as though I’ve tripped into an illustrated children’s novel:

Pink tree, purple tree, yellow tree, blue… Green tree, lime tree, red tree too...

Boy-Cherry-Blossom-Portrait-Merritt-Photo-Denver

Lately I’ve been obsessively photographing environmental and beauty portraiture, so it was on my mind to photograph a glamour portrait session out in the vibrant hues and rich colors this spring. But almost immediately on the heels of the first blossoms came predictions of yet another fairly significant winter storm. One of those, “totals could be measured in feet,” kind of storms. The kind that would almost assuredly wipe the color off the trees, and we’d be praying for it not to take the branches off the trees as well.

In Colorado, heavy spring storms inevitably result in my son and I spending the next morning wandering through our neighborhood, alternating between appreciating the purity of a fresh spring snow blanketing the city, and moments spent covered, ourselves, in snow as we shake and free the branches, watching them spring back to life... thinking about the importance of remaining flexible in life if you want to survive the heaviest of storms...

As the storm predictions marched closer, nothing opened up in my schedule, and I nearly surrendered to waiting for next year to execute my vision for an epic flower glam session.

Friday morning, the day the storm was due, time was up and thick clouds were rolling in. Around noon, as I was folding backdrops after my last professional headshot session of the day, I picked up one of the pink wraps I sometimes use in studio and all the sudden it hit me. The actual snow wasn’t due to start for just a few more hours and I was suddenly once again determined to Make. This. Happen.

Sometimes you simply have to run home, grab a green shirt (to bring out your model’s eyes) and a pink piece of fabric (for obvious reasons), kidnap your teenage son -- at the bus stop with his backpack still strapped from his school day -- bribe him with the promise of pizza (the BEST pizza), and beg him to pose for glamour-style portraits in flowering cherry blossoms...

All for the love of ART. And humor.

And what turned out to be a lot of fun packed into the 20 minutes before freezing drizzle started.

And thus this session was conceived, born and completed in just a few hours.

Turns out this boy of mine has really been listening as he has been assisting me on photo sessions over the years. Kid knows where the light is, and how to rock a glamour pose with his chin, shoulders and hands... AND throw in his own brand of teenage boy personality while he's at it. I know of no "Koala Pose" in the world of fashion photography... but perhaps it should be a thing...

Hilarious... and also kind of awesome.

The inclusion of Gabe's "Blue Steel through the Blossoms" was all him. I can take no credit for this last pose.

Judging from the overwhelmingly positive reaction a small selection of these photos received in just a few hours in photo groups on social media the next day, my takeaways are this:

Necessity really IS the mother of invention.

The answer often IS right in front of you.

Do something UNEXPECTED, do it from the HEART, and do it WELL.

 

Oh… and my son is THE BEST !!

jennifer-koskinen-photographer-denver

PS -- did I mention that my son (THAT AMAZING BOY ABOVE) is an incredible photographer, too? He has been working with me on photo shoots -- often as a second shooter -- since he was 14.

Here’s wishing an incredible next trip around the sun… to the most incredible, inspiring, supportive, crazy-talented, funnier-than-he-knows, wicked-smarter-than-he-believes, strong, sweet, loving, flexible, soulful, wonderful, GOOD HUMAN I’ve ever been lucky enough to know.

I love you, kiddo. Thank you for the photos of me!

 

Jennifer Koskinen is a Denver based portrait photographer specializing in empowering high school seniors, women, and headshot clients, as well as having a special passion for connecting with and drawing out personality in her subjects’ EYES. Sessions are custom styled around YOU: You should exist in photos... for yourself AND for your family!

Photos of Jennifer by the one and only, Gabe Koskinen-Sansone

 

Meet Katie | Gorgeous Personal Branding Portraits in Denver

I have known Katie for the better part of a decade (how is that even possible?!) We met when we both lived in Telluride and have been through a LOT together. I photographed this session before I had this lovely blog, but I was just looking through her photos the other day (big computer switch-over / data migration in the works!) and realized I loved them too much not to share. I'm thinking of this as a beloved post in the spirit of a “throwback” Thursday!

personal-branding-portraits-denver-merritt-portrait-studio

Let me just preface this by saying: Katie is a veritable rock star.

For real: I’ve seen her sing and dance her heart out. I’ve seen her laugh until she cried (and laughed through my own tears right along with her). I’ve seen her be granite strong in the face of adversity. She is a fiercely intelligent and creative entrepreneur, a mother, a caretaker, friend, and also somehow has energy left to be the fun and sexy life of the party.

She is amazing, strong, smart, powerful, fun, and a dear friend. Oh, and hello? She’s freaking gorgeous… inside and out.

I’ve photographed her family several times before, yet still I’ve gotta admit... I was a touch intimidated when she asked me to photograph her personal branding portraits for her new coaching business. Photographing close friends (especially ones I’ve known since before I was officially a photographer) is a surreal experience to begin with. But I happen to know just HOW much personality this beautiful woman has... I really wanted the photos to kick as much butt as she does!

Part of my nervousness always comes from the fact that a photo session is intimate in a way that almost lends itself more easily to working with people you DON’T know that well, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. I share a side of myself with my clients that is almost embarrassingly honest, unabashedly supportive, and I willingly reveal how floored I am by the beauty I see in my clients. And I often act like a complete fool -- torquing my body for the best angle, sometimes literally jumping with delight when I am inspired -- it’s pretty ridiculous.

In turn, I invite my clients to open to the experience of being vulnerable in front of the camera; I invite them to share authentic emotion, and ultimately I ask them to do all that while directing them to hold their chin forward and just a bit down, and a bit to the left… eyes to me… bring that shoulder forward… now down a bit more (if you’ve worked with me, you know what I’m talking about!)  

Anyway, we ended up having a total blast, AND we were both pretty thrilled with the results!

We also got to play a bit while we were there... I mean, if you've got two grown children and can rock a sexy red dress with bling like this.... you need to celebrate that, right?!

But most importantly, she has been able to use her new personal branding photos to create a whole new, beautifully professional look for her business, allowing her to approach new clients with branding materials that match her own confidence and unique style.

All of the photos above we captured in my natural light photo studio just north of downtown. And at the end of our session we headed over for a few last location photos at one of my favorite places in Denver: Union Station. Love the light and vibe in this space to no end.

Love you always, Katie!! Let's do this again soon!

If you'd like to learn more about Katie's biz coaching (I mean, can't you just SEE how much fun it would be to work with her?), check out: Katie Drew Coaching!

Hair & Makeup: Ashleigh Franke | Locations: The Studio Denver + Union Station, Denver

Photography: Jennifer Koskinen | Merritt Portrait Studio

I’m a Denver based portrait photographer specializing in bringing out personality in my clients’ EYES, and creating images that are far more than just headshots. Your personal branding session will be custom styled around YOU, and will be an immersive, fun and empowering experience, to boot. I would love to chat with you about designing a couture professional branding session for you!

Meet Kris | Rockin' the Personal Branding Portrait Session in Denver

Those eyes... seriously, I mean... just look at THOSE EYES!!

( pardon my momentary brown-eyed-girl eye-color envy... but can you blame me? )

I'll get to the purpose of this session in a moment, but first, let me transition from eye-color envy to a quick shout-out to LAUGHTER. One of my favorite things in sessions lately is a moment when, partway through a session (almost predictably now) my client laughs in response to my -- how shall I say -- “overly excited” joy and direction with a remark along the lines of, “Wow! You really do enjoy this, don’t you!”

It's one of those moments that always makes me realize that I've once again lost myself in the sheer joy of what I'm seeing through my lens. And yes, I do realize this means my client is laughing AT me, but …  if we're all having fun, we get great photos... so... I have no plans to hold back my joy any time soon!

OK, laughter aside, this particular session was, in fact, an expanded professional headshot session -- part of my line of Personal Branding Portrait Sessions.

Professional and business headshots and portraits aren't the stuffy, traditional "sit in chair and smile against a backdrop" painful occasions they used to be. These sessions can be full of personality, style, and should reflect your level of approach-ability. This is a golden opportunity to define YOUR brand -- to create your own visual calling card. It's an enormously powerful tool in our short attention span world of social media. As we all know, often that first impression is all you get.

This session was EXTRA fun, because, well, that’s how this woman rolls. Kris commissioned me with the goal of refreshing her professional branding images with a new aesthetic for her real estate business, Dreams by Davis (check her out -- you KNOW you want to work with her!)

During her consultation, we designed and styled her session to bring out her absolutely gorgeous eye color and create a set of photographs she could work with easily to be complemented with text and in different contexts within her business' marketing materials (she also has a graphic design background).

And yeah, that’s a lot of business talk for what was really just a TON of FUN. Mostly we laughed. A lot. Which I believe translates into a sense of joy, approach-ability, and confidence in her photos. I mean, don’t you just want to work with this gorgeous and fun-loving woman?? Can’t you just SEE how much fun she would be as a collaborative partner on a sale?

We had plans to take this session “on the road,” but we ended up having such a great time on location at my portrait studio in Denver that we never felt the need to leave. Thankfully, the studio affords quite a bit of flexibility -- and that rooftop is just too much fun for portrait work, especially for a rockin’ client with a hip, graphic design sensibility.

What a blast it is to be offering these highly personal, couture portrait branding sessions as a more extensive and incredibly customized way for people to expand their digital presence beyond the traditional corporate headshot. To be able to refresh your image with a series of multiple photos that have a style and communicate your brand consistently is an incredibly powerful business tool. The feedback I’m receiving is that it’s WELL worth the investment. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Finally, I have a talented team of makeup artists to get you “camera ready” (being camera ready is nearly as much about how you FEEL as it is about how you look! ) Adding a makeover to your session will relax you, give me time to plan your wardrobe with our set/location options, and it sets the mood and tone for your photoshoot. It will help you FEEL pampered, prepared, and is a beautiful part of this whole experience. It’s not required, but I do recommend if you have any hesitation about having your photos taken that working with my stylists will be a huge added value to your experience and final resulting photographs!

Hair & Makeup | Sara Duffey

Location | The Studio Denver

Photography | Jennifer Koskinen | Merritt Portrait Studio

I’m a Denver based professional portrait photographer specializing in drawing out personality and highlighting my clients’ EYES; we will be creating images that are far more than just headshots. Your personal branding session will be styled around YOU, and will be an immersive, fun and empowering experience. I would love to chat with you about designing a couture professional branding session for you!