Meet Catherine | Flowers, Grace & Tulle in the Denver Botanic Gardens

Everything about working with this bright, graceful, kind, insanely talented and beautiful young woman for her senior pictures in Denver was a dream!


Catherine mentioned at her consultation that she wanted to photograph her session at the Denver Botanic Gardens. As you’ll quickly see, this was the perfect fit for her in every way.

As we discussed styling at her initial consultation, I mentioned that I’d had a vision for a while of a senior session in the gardens with a homemade tulle skirt. Not only did she love the idea, she and her mom jumped on it, hand making not one, but TWO gorgeous, feminine tulle skirts in different lengths and colors.

She looked like a goddess in the gardens.

I should mention here that the weather in Colorado in mid-summer, as anyone who has lived here can attest, is unpredictable, at best. For several weeks during this particular “monsoon season,” my photo sessions were on precarious footing nearly every day. My advice usually is to keep the session and let the weather be a part of the story (barring lightning and/or hail). The weather was iffy enough this particular afternoon that we nearly postponed while watching the intensity of passing storms on the radar. Thankfully (in part on account of Catherine’s new haircut looking fabulous that day), the spirit of adventure was alive in her and with her family (I love it when family members come to watch the senior picture experience -- and I happen to adore her whole family). 

A decision was made to go for it and make the best of whatever happened. From the moment we all arrived the weather convinced us we’d made the right call: the afternoon unfolded in the most PERFECT ways. Soft, filtered light, gentle breeze, moments of sunshine, lovely temperature -- and just a few fleeting raindrops which ended up being no challenge whatsoever.


We had a dreamy session together and I just adore the ultimate collection of senior pictures she chose for her beautiful storytelling album.

Catherine, you are a gift to those of us who are lucky enough to know you (and those who get to listen to you play the piano).

I’m so ridiculously excited for your next chapter (and happy your mom will keep me up to date!!)

Love you guys!!

Oh and before I go... bunnies! So many bunnies!!


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!)

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m a fun-loving, Award Winning 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!

"Sex and The City" Fashion Themed Senior Pictures in Denver

Gah!! This downtown senior session was crazy satisfying and so much FUN!! For starters, this amazing high school senior told me she wanted a stylish, urban, Carrie Bradshaw themed senior session -- what a dream this was for me! 

Urban Senior Pictures in Denver with Denver photographer J. Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

I watched every episode of Sex & The City as they aired in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, so this request was right up my alley in every way. AND she arrived with a rolling suitcase (perfect!) and completely prepared to carry out her entire vision.

PLUS… It's Josette. I mean, this girl ROCKS. Absolutely gorgeous, to be sure, but she's also bright, passionate, talented, incredibly present when talking with you. She positively owns her strengths and lights up when she talks excitedly about them (she also hilariously owns her dislikes… Ask her how she feels about math sometime… It's kind of adorable, and I’m honestly a little envious of her ownership of this, too).

We headed to a different part of downtown Denver for her senior photo session, seeking a more metropolitan-Manhattan vibe than I find in most of my more traditionally “go-to” parts of our little metropolis. Anyone who watched Sex & The City knows that NYC was the fifth character of the show -- Carrie even referred to it as her “boyfriend.” So to capture the feeling of the history of our city felt critical to really capturing the vibe she wanted for her pictures.

Everything she brought, from the red and pink tulle skirts (which she found just for her senior pictures) to the leather pants and jacket, to the dripping pearls -- it was all PERFECT in the urban setting (and watching her enjoy crossing the street in the giant red tulle skirt was a blast!). I just love the juxtaposition of old and gritty, with her feminine and stylish wardrobe. FABULOUS. This girl has STYLE and capturing her light was a blast. Girl, making this kind of art out of senior pictures is infinitely fun!

I'm thrilled to know you, Josette, and can't wait to see where you go next with your talent and passion!


SENIOR PICTURE SEASON IS NOW BOOKING : Class of 2018, you're next!!

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 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!

Making Wind WORK on a Natural Light Headshot Session in Denver

… and sometimes, when your client has long hair and the wind gusts are so crazy unpredictable that her hair is mostly blowing in her face… and you’re considering postponing the rest of the session... but you just keep shooting because there’s a tight turnaround for audition materials and something in you says you can make it work …
... sometimes... you end up with a shot like THIS that just takes your breath away:

Gorgeous wind in hair headshot of high school senior actor in Denver, by photographer Jennifer Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

It’s one of my favorite expressions, and it applies so perfectly to photography. Especially to a session like this that pushes a photographer to make the most of challenging weather (although let's be honest -- the stormy clouds made for light that was PERFECT!) If you've done the work -- the preparation, the learning, the scouting, and you've learned how to make the most of your equipment, location and situation... that's when you really can get lucky.

And so, by "getting lucky" in this case, I mean: this was a stormy afternoon in Denver, and normally we probably would have postponed. But there were gifts for us in this storm. What a great example of the rewards of staying focused, flexible and determined through climatological challenges on an outdoor, natural light session. The wind ended up moving Josette's hair beautifully -- if we waited for it! And the light was soft, and wrapped around her gorgeous skin and freckles just perfectly.

And yes, it helps to be working with such a strikingly beautiful, talented and wonderful young woman!

Josette was a dream to work with, expressing herself with confidence beautifully through those incredible and completely captivating blue eyes. And it was amazing how she didn’t even seem to notice the dramatic (sometimes scary looking) clouds and wind and rain and everything else we encountered that day. Actors are amazing -- the show must go on, right? We just genuinely had fun out there and made it work!

This amazing young woman is gorgeous, uber-talented and a joy to spend time with. I’m ridiculously excited to photograph her senior portrait session this summer!

I’m a Denver based headshot AND senior portrait photographer specializing in bringing out personality and highlighting connection in my clients’ EYES, and creating images that are far more than just headshots. Your headshot session will be styled around YOU, and will be an immersive, enjoyable and empowering experience, to boot. I would love to chat with you about a session!

Grace | Cheers to Celebrating to STRONG Girls with Portraits

Celebrating STRONG GIRLS... That’s what it’s all about.

urban-teen-girl-portrait-denver | merritt portrait studio

Strength: overcoming challenge, maintaining positive outlook, self advocacy. These are all examples of grace to me, and this girl exemplifies these qualities beautifully. What's extra cool is that I also always find myself thinking, laughing and feeling happy in her intelligent and fun-loving company.

Naturally, when asked, I jumped at the opportunity to create portraits of this amazing young woman for the American Physical Therapy Association. These portraits of Isa were commissioned for a campaign they launched recently, featuring inspiring stories of strength, healing, and second chances reached through physical therapy. As a passionate young dancer whose life was transformed by her injury and process of recovery, Isa’s story was particularly compelling. She has since shifted her focus to theatre arts, but you can just feel how her former dancer and experience with injury has given her poise, strength and perspective.

The session itself was a blast. We had planned an urban session, featuring her dancer poise and flexibility subtlely, but to really place the portrait emphasis on HER and her own strength as a person.

I MAY have mentioned this once or twice… but wandering the streets and alleys of downtown Denver with an adorable person to photograph is seriously one of my favorite things to do. Finding light, texture, color, interesting compositions (and even reflections to mimic a dancer studio!) AND having a beautiful young woman to pose… it’s really a dream for me!

The APTA purchased all rights to their favorite 2 images (which is always nice for a photographer, but means I can’t show them here)... but I’m happy to be able to share some of the “outtakes” from this incredibly fun and rewarding photo session, showcasing Isa’s strength, both physically and as an incredible human.

sorry... gotta add one final fun photo with my assistant!

sorry... gotta add one final fun photo with my assistant!

Here’s to your bright future, you absolutely beautiful, intelligent and strong young woman -- we are so happy to know you!

I’m a Denver based portrait photographer specializing in empowering sessions for my clients, as well as drawing out personality and natural expression. Portrait sessions are always custom designed and styled around YOU, and are immersive, fun and empowering experiences, to boot. Let’s talk about designing a photo session for you!

Meet Stephanie | Senior Pictures at Cherokee Castle in Denver

I'll admit: I had no idea this special location existed before this resourceful high school senior shared her vision with me. I'm so grateful for having had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful girl ... at a CASTLE... in Denver!

High School Senior Pictures in Denver, photographer J Koskinen

It’s super fun to design a photoshoot with a senior around his or her style… the choice of location alone can really set the tone for the mood of the senior session and the final pictures. The majority of my clients (understandably) assume they don’t know what they want from their senior pictures, but during our consultation we discover together that they have more of a clear idea than they thought they had.

Stephanie, by contrast, had one of the most clear visions for her senior portrait session of anyone I’ve worked with -- all I had to do was show up!

Her vision was abundantly clear from the first moments of her initial consult. She imagined being photographed in a castle setting in a green dress… and so the pieces fell into place easily.

I didn’t even know there WAS a castle on the front range in Colorado -- but here we are! Special arrangements were made to photograph her senior session at the historic and impressive Cherokee Castle, typically a unique Colorado wedding venue on the front range, south of Denver.

Timeless, lovely, classic, and full of opportunity to create portraits that are not your everyday high school senior pictures! Her look and personal style were absolutely perfect in this setting -- we had a wonderful time exploring the compositional potential at this unique site. Old stone, great textures, beautiful light in some of the interior spaces… and spectacular vistas everywhere.

Thankfully we were just in time with our session, before intense summer storms rolled in late that afternoon.

What a great experience this was for all of us!

I’m a Denver based 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 -- I create an immersive and empowering experience, custom tailored around the personality and interests of each individual client. I would love to chat with you about designing an high school senior photo shoot for you!