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!!!

Meet Chloe | Light Filled Senior Pictures in Denver

Magical... Luminous… Natural… these are the words I think of when I recall this session.

Denver High School Senior Pictures, photographer Jennifer Koskinen, Merritt Portrait Studio

The former architect in me, without a doubt, loves photographing urban sessions. But with how much I love photographing senior portrait sessions in the city, I almost forgot how much I also love the open, late afternoon, long light of summer session in a natural or wilderness setting for portraits!

Our location for this magical session was essentially Chloe’s backyard… she is lucky enough to live right next to a protected wetlands and wilderness area south of downtown Denver. Open fields, reflective water, long grasses, wildlife, cottonwood trees and cattails… it’s quite the dreamy spot for pictures!

And working with this lovely young woman was a dream in itself. Intelligent, grounded, sweet, soulful… she has exotic and gorgeous features, and just strikes me as a wonderful human being from the few hours we spent together.

During this warm light-filled session, smoke from the wildfires burning out west was just starting to blow into the area and filter our atmosphere. Often, the dreamy quality of color and tone you see in the photos from late in this session is achieved through photo filters applied in post production -- but in this case, this look is completely for real. Smoky skies out west are not new, and I always obsess a bit about the possibly dire circumstances at their source, but they sure do make for some incredible, almost surreal light conditions.

I'm so grateful to have worked with this beautiful human and in this absolutely stunning setting!  I wish her the very best in her next chapter!!

Summertime Senior Pictures with Denver Photographer Jennifer Koskinen | Merritt Portrait Studio

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