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!

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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.

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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!!

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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!

Meet Annika | Playground Garden Senior Portraits in Denver

Annika... one of my boy's first friends in 6th grade...

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Allow me to start by saying that I adore this young woman. I have adored her since knowing her as a precocious, hilarious and strong young middle schooler. She has always possessed a keen sense of comedic timing, immeasurable talent, and the kind of grounded, fiercely independent strength that you know will drive her to all kinds of interesting places in life. An actor, friend and beautiful young woman, she’s got it going on.

I had always pictured her wanting an edgy urban session so it was unexpected when we met for her consultation and she revealed that she wanted to do her senior session in the gardens at her old elementary school. She wanted to revisit who she was through the lens of who she is now. Being a senior is full of different kinds of nostalgia for different people, and what a wonderful opportunity senior photos are to explore where you’ve been as a diving board for jumping into the unknown.

And out of this very personal desire, a warm and fun photographic story was born as we discovered different sides of Annika’s personality amidst the sunflowers and summer light.

And then there's silly Annika... still so beautiful.

A few months ago when I was chatting with Annika about plans for what's next, she answered that she was “ready to be scared again.” I love that.

Here’s to that attitude of bravery and bold choices as the perfect approach to graduation. And life, really. Cheers to honoring where you’ve been and boldly writing new chapters into the unknown. What an exciting time to be a high school senior.

Annika… Gabe and I are thrilled to know you (and your family!)


NOW BOOKING Senior Portrait Sessions for CLASS of 2019! Session times are booking quickly so don't wait (sessions are first come first serve, currently booking summer and fall photoshoots).

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!

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

Class of 2018 in Denver: Senior Portrait Season!

Senior portrait season is in full swing! Since early June I’ve been photographing and editing as fast as my shutter, eyeballs -- and computer processor -- will allow. I'm working with such a fun, fascinating and diverse breadth of high school senior clients every day that it has become quite the challenge finding the time to blog. But I’m still here, and I'm dying to introduce you to the first (better late than never!) senior pictures that I photographed for the amazing Class of 2018...

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Adding to my warm feelings on this set of photos, this senior portrait session was a personal one. My son and I have known this gorgeous green eyed girl since they were in 6th grade together at the Denver School of the Arts, and you just can’t help but adore her! Ellie is a bright beaming light: talented, kind, and possessing an adorably infectious laugh and fun sense of humor. She is the embodiement of the expression, "Beautiful inside and out."

Having grown up near Wash Park, this outdoor location, a wild geese-filled, luscious public green space nestled in the heart of Denver was a natural fit to capture Ellie’s senior pictures. And it was a fantastic complement to her relaxed, fun personality and her natural, welcoming look.

I’ve photographed at Wash Park several times over the years, although not for a while, and never in some of these parts of the park. As with so many great locations, on this day, with these clouds and this green eyed young woman, everything looked different.

Everything was… perfect.

Given my approach to portrait work, as I tell my clients often, choosing a portrait location is mostly about where you’ll FEEL comfortable. My goal is always to create magical photos anywhere there’s good light. Compositions can change dramatically with the tiniest shift of perspective, even when you’re surrounded by trees and water, as you can see in the different kinds of photos we got during Ellie’s session. Often it’s the simplest move -- a small tweak of my footing or bend of knee, combined with the tiniest shift of her shoulder, and suddenly: BAM. Breathtaking. We had a lot of that on this session. What a blast!

Ellie's stack of finished products upon delivery! Custom Image Box, luxe USB with her accompanying digital files and a Fine Art, Deep Matte Print!

Ellie's stack of finished products upon delivery! Custom Image Box, luxe USB with her accompanying digital files and a Fine Art, Deep Matte Print!

Delivering Ellie’s photos and experiencing HER joy as she adorably hugged her finished Image Box and prints reminded me to my core why I do this. Photographs freeze an incredible slice in time in a young person's life. And it's a moment that will then get to be cherished as a marriage of art and memory for generations. They represent a piece of a story of a beautiful soul on the brink of her great next adventure!

Ellie, thank you for the honor of taking your senior pictures!! Your grounded spirit and authentic joy are positively contagious, and I smiled A LOT editing your photos.

I'm so excited for your senior year and the next chapters that await you and your awesome DSA Class of 2018!


VERY LIMITED SENIOR PORTRAIT SESSIONS for CLASS OF 2018 are available, starting in mid October. Inquire immediately via email (button to right will open your email browser) if you're interested in booking a session for this season. Please leave your name, school, yearbook deadline and phone number -- thank you!

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 Cooper | Fall Senior Session in the Mountains

What a blast it was playing in the mountains while photographing this handsome, fun, bright senior!

senior guy pictures in Denver mountains, photographer Jennifer Koskinen
laughing senior guy photo in fall

Cooper lives a bit farther from Denver than a lot of my clients, and schedules being what they are we arranged his senior portrait consultation over the phone. As a result, I didn't have a chance to actually meet him face to face until the day of his photo session.

I prefer meeting clients before their session for a consultation if possible so they are fully comfortable with me and what to expect from this experience. Yet despite not having met first, by the end of our time at Lair o’ the Bear park I felt like we'd been friends forever!

We had such a great time getting to know each other, laughing and searching for the best spots on the trail. And what a great location this park is, just up the road from Red Rocks Amphitheater, west of Denver.

Cooper is an avid autumn-lover, and was fortunate to attend a school with a later yearbook deadline which allowed us to plan his outing accordingly. We chose a session date closer to peak autumn color (so many high school senior yearbook deadlines are too early for peak fall color in Colorado, which really doesn’t happen until the middle to second half of October).

As Cooper is an actor (heading to one of the most prestigious BFA programs for acting in the country), part of the goal was also to get him some actor headshots as well. I love the mix of capturing intimate, character-in-the-eyes photos with the more casual, quirky photos you get to explore on a senior session. For example, someone who wants to do yoga and meditation in the woods? I'm in!

One of my favorite things about visiting the mountains is how the trails can change dramatically in just a few steps. This area has so many varied vistas, allowing for deeply shaded photos, cottonwood, water flowing in the creek, and open fields with tall grasses. And in autumn, everything glows with golden warmth.

Like the personality of this awesome young man! So excited to see what he does with the next exciting phase of his life!! Thank you for letting me capture this experience with you, Cooper!


CLASS OF 2018: SENIOR PICTURES ARE BOOKING FAST!! Drop me a line if you'd like to learn more!

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!