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!!!

"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!

1960s Mod Style High School Senior Session

My absolute favorite thing about being a photographer is watching how this experience makes people FEEL.


Knowing that I can create a safe space for someone to experience their own beauty (and I mean this in an inner-glow, radiant, confident, love-filled and empowered kind of beauty) and that they can then carry that feeling of their own radiance around with them forever after their photoshoot -- that truly is magical. Most of us see ourselves through so many layers of self criticism that we don’t see ourselves how the rest of the world sees us. It is crazy to me that on session after session I am able to show my clients how beautiful they are through my eyes and the impartial lens of a portrait. It is my reason for doing this work. It is my highest value. It is my WHY.

Anyway… on to THIS session!


Mia’s high school senior portrait session was one of those that made me feel like I was flying for days, and fits right in this category of empowering, confidence building and fun. And HELLO?! She is a-dor-able!! Her amazing personal style is inspired by a “retro” look, and honestly, we all just about fell over when we saw her in her first look -- her radiant smile and her styling choices -- on this couch. Totally “Mad Men” (which made my makeup artist happy, still feeling sadness at the end of the show!). I love love love this look, and it was beyond satisfying to watch Mia relax into her portrait session and rock her different looks with confidence and grace. Just beautiful.

My remaining summer sessions are filling up FAST and it will be fall (yearbook deadlines!) before you know it! Please drop me a line if you’d like to set up a consultation or BOOK a session!

Seriously… do it now!

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