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!  

GABE’S GREAT SAND DUNES ADVENTURE SENIOR PORTRAITS

Holy crap you guys: my son is a senior in high school...

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... And yes, it’s April so this is not exactly new information. It has been a thing for a while, but life moves so fast and we’ve been so busy the whole time that it still kind of catches me off guard, usually in the middle of the night when my mind drifts to a time just a few months in the future when he’s heading off to a new adventure. Chasing opportunities, facing fears and tapping into raw potential (the kind which is limited only by barriers we set ourselves) are the presiding themes of our conversations these days.

It’s scary. And very, very exciting. And sometimes you've just gotta laugh.

So, after years of him assisting me on other people’s senior portrait sessions, this year it was time to get his gorgeous mug on the other side of the camera. We knew, just from having struggled to find time for his headshots, that actually scheduling his photos was imperative. So we decided to go big, book it in the calendar and turn it into a mini family adventure. A “destination senior session!”*

Early on he had mentioned a desire to take his senior portraits at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in southeastern Colorado. We hadn’t been there since he was about ten and the idea stuck, so to the Sand Dunes we road tripped.

Where we found surreal light, wind-blown sand, mind-bending landscapes and mosquitoes. Lots and lots of mosquitoes (PSA: there's a "mosquito hatch" season over Medano Creek and we discovered it -- which is why that picture below is the only photo we have near the water!)

Indiana Jones inspired senior portrait with photographer Jennifer Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

Since he was old enough to get lost in stories, Gabe has been keenly interested in the details of the characters whose stories have captivated him.

From baseball players to Indiana Jones, from Leo diCaprio’s character on the Titanic to the superheroes that captivated his attention for years, he has studied and resourcefully created elaborate costumes to wear for Halloween and Comic-Con. So it was fun to watch him view his senior portrait session as a chance to express his own character in the stark and cinematic sands of a rare Colorado desert.

We had a blast, discovering our own balance on the rough sandy breeze, somewhere between cinematic portrait and comedic experience.

And of course all this happened while lugging wardrobe and camera gear across the desert sands, blinking frequent wind driven clouds of rocky dust from our eyes (it was the first time Gabe's camel-length eyelashes were more than just pretty -- they were functionally practical!)

Shooting at the sand dunes is not without its challenges.

Intermittent and unpredictable winds mean flying sand is always a threat to your equipment (meaning essentially you need to pick one lens and stick with it).

In addition, the distances are much greater than you imagine so you spend a lot of time trudging across thick sand to get to “that hill right over there” (which is never actually right over there), and the light is surprisingly fast moving and oddly difficult to predict with so many bright surfaces to bounce it around.

But when things click into place, it’s incredibly exhilarating.

I mean, check out the ephemeral light bouncing off the dunes in these black and white photos... flying sand everywhere (but you can see it especially well at the edges of the light near the surfaces of the dunes)... and dramatic shadow lines stretched out before us from the quickly setting sun.

There's a lot of magic in those dunes.

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All in all this was a fantastic and memorable experience. It inspired me to want to offer destination sessions to my clients.

With some advance planning and permitting, it's a great excuse to book some family time outside the everyday.

I love that the final photos are a fun mix of editorial, storytelling, fashionable and adventurous feeling.

We also caught a beautiful sunset, which, over the dunes with mountains behind and water underfoot, was completely surreal.

Quiet and majestic.

Gabe… my lil' buddy who is becoming a man... watching you grow up and step into your talent inspires me every single day. I love you with all my heart and can't wait to see what adventures await as you embark upon this next chapter of the story you are writing...

YOU ROCK!!

 

Even the camera roll on my iphone tells a fun story of its own (below).

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!)

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!

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!  

cinematic portrait of high school senior walking off into the desert, photographer Jennifer Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio