Meet Sequoiah | Empowered Urban Portraits in Denver

This woman is extraordinary. For real.

Sequoiah was a classmate of my son’s at Denver School of the Arts since the 6th grade (currently she’s a freshman at Stanford University), so we got to watch her grow over the years, developing her voice over the years to become a fierce advocate for women and minorities.

Throughout my time knowing her, I’ve always come away from conversations feeling inspired and energized. In each of her junior and senior years, she wrote incredibly moving and enlightening plays, both brought to life as full length productions as part of DSA’s Black History Show program. Not only did she research and write the scripts, she also directed each with brilliance, nuance and indomitable strength.

When I say she’s impressive, I’m only scratching the surface of the bazillions of ways in which she inspires me.

I’ve wanted to photograph her for years, so this was a special honor -- a true senior portrait experience. A sun and laughter filled photo session before she headed off to Stanford.

Absolutely radiant in the warm summer sunshine…

At Sequoiah’s consultation, she talked about her ancestry and familial roots, and out of that conversation, the ideas for styling her session were born. She decided that each look would celebrate a different side of her biracial roots.

We were so lucky to have her dear friend Yasmine to help style each of her looks on location, from accessories to wardrobe to hair and makeup. And of course I love that we were able to capture photos of their gorgeous friendship as well.

Ultimately this session (as I strive to make all of my sessions!) was about empowerment. Celebrating her spirit of extraordinary integrity, hard work and joy. Radiance. Sisterhood. It was a celebration for all of us, and I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have finally had the chance to work with both of these incredible women.

Sequoiah, we are thrilled for the next chapter you’re out there writing! You are an inspiration, a change-maker and we love you!!!

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.

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).

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

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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!