Destination: Denver | Kamryn's Urban Senior Pictures

This fabulous high school senior traveled all the way from Dodge City, Kansas to have her senior pictures photographed with me in my beloved Denver, Colorado.

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And I just loved getting to host a “destination” senior session right here at home! I think Denver is a pretty great city: it has grown a ton in a short amount of time to become quite a hub of culture, fashion, music and theater.

Seeing my city through the eyes of someone who doesn't live here is always so refreshing, and we had a blast wandering downtown for her urban high school senior session.

We started in the neighborhood around the Tattered Cover LoDo. I love this part of town for its gritty alleyways and proximity also to some more "natural" photos later in the session as we approach the bridges over the creek.

Kamryn's fashion choices were so much fun to photograph. Starting with her cute black dress, amazing tall suede boots, fuzzy wrap and wide-brimmed hat, right from the start I loved working with her and capturing her sense of style.

Next up she had fabulous leather jackets in different moods from hip chic to more casual with jeans.

I loved the variety of well thought out and super fun wardrobe choices she brought in her rolling suitcase to the session. From adorable to street savvy in black leather, to happy 1970's vintage chic, accessorized perfectly with Queen t-shirt, bell-bottom jeans, fuzzy sweater, hat and sunglasses. Awesome.

And the autumn afternoon we got walking around the city was perfect. It's funny how often I think that, but seriously, I live by the "work hard and you'll get lucky" motto... to me the luck often manifests itself in the form of weather, which seems to be with me on this more often than it's not. It's almost uncanny how often I feel that we find the perfect light to match each outfit for every spot we discover together on senior portrait sessions.

The variety and texture in her wardrobe was so much fun to photograph. And to top it all off, the sun we got on my favorite old bridge with this amazing vintage outfit was enough to make me jump up and down while watching the whole look come together through my lens. Backlight magic for the win!

Loved working with Kamryn -- I'm so happy she trusted me with her destination senior portrait session!

NOW BOOKING SENIOR PORTRAIT SESSIONS FOR CLASS OF 2019! DON’T WAIT (had to turn away too many end of season clients last year and it broke my heart!) Use the button below to open your email browser and send an email to set up a consultation. Be sure to include your name and a parent or guardian's name, phone & emails, your school, and your yearbook deadline (if you know it)... and be sure to check your spam folder if you haven't heard from me in a day or so!

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 Trinity | Urban Vibe Senior Pictures in Denver

I’m not sure I could ever put into words how much I adore photographing this young woman. Hopefully these urban, high school senior pictures, which we photographed right in downtown Denver will do the talking for me! 

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She was one of my very first headshot clients some eight years ago, back when I was really comfortable photographing architecture and loved good light, but had little experience with portrait work. I remember being creatively inspired by her unique, ethnically ambiguous look, her adorable dimples and her grounded confidence.

In the years since, we’ve watched her beautifully evolve into herself, becoming an extraordinary, intelligent and talented human. This young woman is going places, and I can’t wait to watch the next chapters of her story unfold.

As will come as no surprise, the chance to photograph her senior portraits was an absolute honor... and even more joyful than I could have imagined. Having been inspired by luminous frames I've seen in movies recently, I mentioned that I was curious to try rooftop photography, and thought her look might be perfect for this cinematic-inspired shoot. She loved the idea, and so the details of her session location were born. We started out in the alleys and urban corridors surrounding our final destination for the evening, Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art at dusk.

She arrived with a fantastic wardrobe, and the day itself gifted us with a most perfect combination of skies -- cloudy when we wanted clouds, backlit sunshine when that would be most dramatic. And a twilight blue over the city set the perfect backdrop for the exact cinematic portrait session about which I’d been dreaming.

OK how about I just share some of the pictures now??

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As is hopefully obvious, I absolutely loved every minute of photographing this beautiful human!!

Trinity, we LOVE you and can't wait to see what you do next!

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!  

NOW BOOKING Senior Portrait Sessions for CLASS OF 2019!

DON’T WAIT -- I had to turn away too many clients last year because we ran out of session times and it broke my heart! Session times for the season book quickly and booking early means you have more date options and flexibility in the event of weather delays. Use the link below to email and set up a portrait consultation now!

Click below to send an email to Jennifer. Be sure to include your name, parent's name & email, your school, a PHONE number, and then please check your spam folder if you haven't heard back from me within a day or so!

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.

Gorgeous, Geological Location for Unique Senior Pictures

For 55 million years these selenite clay and sandstone spire formations have been evolving and eroding in a magical, little known and remote location east of Colorado Springs.

Senior Pictures Colorado location with Denver photographer Merritt Portrait Studio

Nestled just out of site, below the windy prairie, this geological treasure of a location was mined by natives over 5,000 years ago for the chromatic characteristics found in the pink, yellow and purple hues. This spot is now known as the Painted Mines, and one glimpse lets you know immediately that you’re someplace special. Rich in geological and archeological history, this place is hauntingly beautiful and an incredible location for a hike… or for unique photos.

I’ve been wanting to visit this amazing place and do a photo session here since learning about it a few years ago.

So... when Hannah said she wanted something different, specifically something that not everyone else would have for the location of her high school senior pictures, this was one of the first locations that popped into my mind.

I was THRILLED when she said she loved the idea!

And Hannah…

Oh man... this incredible girl is a force of nature herself, a unique and extraordinary human. She’s a survivor: a fiercely intelligent, talented, strong, kind, generous and beautiful young woman with an infectious laugh and grounded spirit of individualism that inspires me deeply.

Hannah’s gorgeous, deep blue eyes and dark hair, beautifully moved by gentle gusts of “model hair wind,” were stunning in this setting. The contrast of her striking look against this surreal geology was almost overwhelming for me as a photographer (seriously, I kept laughing when I’d look into the camera because it was all so incredible)!!

This naturally unique location was an absolute joy to explore together for this senior session. Overwhelming geological history calls out from the rich layers of undulating surfaces, leaving its mark of chalky dust if you touch the soft canyon walls. And the natural light is amazing -- bouncing everywhere with a color that is completely surreal.

Photographing for hours, we wandered happily to the sound of our laughter echoing off the canyon walls, catching glimpses of wildlife scattering by, from huge jackrabbits underfoot to soaring hawks overhead. And we breathed the scent of ancient clay dust and distant rain on the wind. It was a decidedly magical afternoon playing out there together for her photo session, well worth the extra drive.

a few final behind the scenes photos from our incredible session day!

a few final behind the scenes photos from our incredible session day!

As you can hopefully tell, it was a dream for my son and I to be out there photographing Hannah. Her session also made for an absolutely gorgeous storytelling Fine Art Album, my favorite new way to tell a story like this that families can keep forever.

And as with all of my most-incredible-senior-clients-ever, I’m crazy excited to see where this amazing young woman goes next!!

Now accepting bookings for Class of 2018 High School Senior portrait sessions. Summer and fall sessions will book up quickly, so contact me now (link above) if you'd like to set up a consultation!

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

Maya | Senior Pictures with Pure Urban Joy

It’s the relationship building part of what I do that I think I love most of all. The opportunity to meet people with whom I might not ever otherwise cross paths. My camera takes me places and introduces me to bright, interesting people of all ages and walks of life. I’m constantly reminded by my clients of how many incredible people there are in the world (and that reminder of the GOOD of humanity goes a long way to fill my soul, especially these days!) The high school seniors I get to work with seriously blow my mind with talent, kindness and generosity, and they fill me a sense that our future is going to be in good hands.

Natural, urban Senior Pictures Denver, photographer J. Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

Maya was among the first of this past season’s amazing humans. From the first moments of our photo consultation, I absolutely adored this intelligent, radiant young woman. I try not to blow my “cool” (if I even have any!) especially in front of people I’ve just met, but I honestly I almost jumped with joy when she and her mom looked at each other and said, “let's do it!” at the end of our consult! This young woman’s warm personality is the epitome of endearing: joyful, wise, grounded, adorable and positive.

Not surprisingly, it was such a pleasure it was to spend time with her on her photo shoot, wandering around the area near the Denver Art Museum in downtown. I’m not exaggerating to say that if I was given the chance, I’d photograph her every day! She has a completely infectious giggle, and we all had more and more fun the longer we photographed her senior session. Watching people warm up to being in front of my camera is always deeply satisfying for me. Maya’s grounded, joyful glow started brightly, and was nearly blinding by the end, in such a beautiful way. I don’t think I stopped smiling for days after her session.

It was one of those perfect days working together. Beautiful, flattering light everywhere we went, inspiring location and wonderful people. Man, I am so lucky to have the honor to photograph so many wonderful humans!

Natural, happy senior pictures, photographer J. Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

Oh man I still can't look at this last photo without smiling! Thank you Maya for lighting up the world with your bright spirit and joyful smile!

SENIOR PICTURE SESSIONS are NOW BOOKING!

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m a fun-loving Denver high school senior portrait photographer specializing in bringing out connection, personality in the EYES by giving my clients more than just senior pictures for their yearbook. In collaboration with each client I design an immersive and empowering portrait experience, custom tailored around the personality, style and interests of each awesome senior. Let’s grab a coffee and chat about designing an amazing high school senior photo shoot for you!