9/11 Stair Climb | Denver Event Photographer

We all remember where we were on September 11th, 2001. I was still young and I remember my 4th grade teacher telling us to sit on the carpet as one by one, my classmates got picked up by their parents. When my mom picked me up, she told me what happened. I could see the Sears Tower from my house and I was convinced that it would be the next target. I was also convinced that it would fall, from 2 miles away, onto our house. I made an emergency plan to hide under the coffee table in the basement. For years, I was scared every time a plane flew by the building. At that age, I wasn’t quite able to process the loss of life or the sacrifices the first responders and others made that day.

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In college, my partner was a volunteer firefighter. Every Friday night, he would be on duty crew, waiting at the station for calls to come in. Even though most of his district was a college campus where the biggest calls were for dumpster fires or alarms because students forgot to put water in their Easy Mac, there was always the slight fear that something worse might happen. That he might not come home that night. That is the reality for so many family members of first responders, especially those in New York City in 2001.

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Each year, around the county, firefighters come together on September 11th and converge on the tallest building in their city. In teams, they climb stairs equal to the number of floors in the World Trade Centers. In Denver, they climb 1801 California St, twice, in order to equal the height of the twin towers. Stations from all over the state were represented. Each one wears the name tag of a firefighter who lost their lives at Ground Zero. Some of them represent the same firefighter each year and maintain a relationship with their families.

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I photographed the ceremony before the climb and then waited on the stairs for teams to come up. Once some of the teams had finished, I went out to the roof, which has some incredible views of the city. My favorite part of the day was when the news crews on the roof interviewed the first woman to finish the climb. I was so moved by how many women were participating. The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is such an important event and I’m so honored I could be a part of it.

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If you have an Denver event coming up, let me know. I would love to be a part of it and document all the most important moments. Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Austin | Denver Senior Photography

I met Austin at the Denver Nature and Science Museum as part of a senior portrait event for New Legacy High School. New Legacy High School is a Denver charter school for young parents. It’s half high school and half early learning center so the students and their children can learn at the same time. When I saw the opportunity to volunteer to photograph senior portraits for these students, I went for it. It was a great opportunity to dip my toes in the Denver senior photography world, while giving back at the same time.

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Austin and his girlfriend both attended New Legacy High School. His girlfriend graduated a year before him. Their daughter is five-years-old; such a fun age! The school leader, at the event could not stop bragging about how smart Austin is and what a good student he’s been. She kept saying he was their most motivated student. And after talking to him, it was clear to me that he loves school. He’s really passionate about science and could not wait to come back to the museum with his daughter.

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We had a great session together! Austin loved the nature that City Park had to offer and really wanted water in some of the photos. I love that we were able to capture so many sides to his personality. My favorite shot of him is the one where he’s sitting by the water, having a quiet moment to himself. At the end of the session, we made sure to get some photos of him and his girlfriend together.

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I’m so glad I participated in this event. I approached senior portraits similarly to my headshot sessions. For me, it’s all about creating a fun and relaxed experience and bringing out my client’s personality. I love senior photography and I cannot wait to do more!

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Looking for a fun, relaxed senior portrait experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Slice 1.0 | Boulder Performing Art Photography

Naropa School of the Arts’s Slice 1.0 is many things. Installation. Performance. Demonstration. The show’s poster reads “Caution: Could be political, spiritual, beautiful, ordinary, thoughtful, challenging, heartfelt.” The piece is in response to Trump’s election and the apparent rise in prejudice and discrimination.

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When you walk into the theater, all you see are chairs strewn about, seemingly at random. They all face different directions, there are no two chairs next to each other. There is a stage but not all the chairs face it. There’s a screen with projections on it but only some of the seats face that too. So you pick a seat, alone, and wait for the show to start. The actors perform throughout the space, sometimes on stage, sometimes on the floor with the audience. Sometimes, they interact with audience members. Each person has a different view of the show, a different perspective. No two people will see it the same way.

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This is a pretty bare bones play. The actors are dressed in all black. There is no set, very few props. The lighting is simple. But the ideas and emotions are what is powerful about this show. There are no distractions to get in the way.

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Slice 1.0 is made up of vignettes. Prayers, philosopher’s quotes, images, Hamilton songs, and political monologues are all incorporated into this play. The screen shows images from social media, like the “Fearless Girl” sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, facing the Charging Bull, by Arturo Di Modica, on Wall St. in New York City. The show ended with a rage induced dance party on the stage.

Be sure to check out Naropa’s last performance, A Horseman’s Magic, as well.

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Directed by Wendel Beavers

Cast/Creators

Rebecca Buckley
Landin Melendez
Gabriela Petrov
Ashley Rice
Madelyn Rose Robinson
Chie Saito
Kristin Marie Stelter
Annabel Turrado
Katie Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Wild Heart Dance | Boulder Dance Photography

A while back I started following Wild Heart Dance on Instagram. I loved their feed and thought to myself, “wow, it would be so great to photograph these guys!” In April, they reached out to me and asked me if I could photograph their dress rehearsal for “The Beloved.” How perfect! I love being a Boulder dance photographer and having the opportunity to work with local performers.

The piece was presented in collaboration with Kendall Perry Music. The band performed on stage with the dancers and Kendall even joined the dance during a percussion piece. The show was performed at Naropa Performing Arts Center, where I capture the shows for the Naropa Theater Program. My contact person at Narpoa, was actually in the band for this performance. That’s how you know Boulder is a small town!

These artists just exude strength and power. When I look back at these photos, I see a group of kick-ass, passionate women ready to take on whatever life throws at them. The show was innovative, moving, and powerful.

The skirts played a big role in the piece. The dancers covered themselves and other dancers with them, twirled them around, and threw them about. They made some really beautiful shapes and patterns. The lighting also played an important part in the dance. It shifted between a purple cast and a warm, bright wash over the stage. The lights were used to isolate dancers during solo parts and to create runways for the whole group.

I love when live music is incorporated into a performance. The band and the dancers shared the stage, while keeping their separation. I certainly had fun getting creative shots with both of them! The Beloved was an excellent show and a joy to photograph!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

Wine and Opera | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Last year, Opera Colorado came up with a genius idea. They wanted to create an engaging, fun, and social experience that involved opera. So they teamed up with a sommelier and paired arias with wine at a Denver vineyard. Colorado performing arts photography is always so much fun but this was really something special.

To see two totally different disciplines come together and compliment each other was quite amazing. And the creativity that went into the pairings was incredible. Each aria and wine pairing fed off each other and enhanced the experience. They were paired with purpose.

The whole night was so much fun. The Balistreri Vineyards, a family owned, multi -generation vineyard in Denver, was a beautiful venue and guests even got a tour to see how the wine was aged. The Opera Colorado Young Artists paired three sets of songs with three wines. The songs were curated by Cherity, the Education Director and the wine was chosen and paired by the grandson on the the Vineyard’s founder. I love that the Young Artists end each performance with a full group aria. It is always amazing to see them all sing together.

Events like these are such a great way to draw in new audience members as well as partner with other local businesses. Having great images of these events really helps to draw people in and get them excited about your organization.

Inside OC will be doing more of these events in their upcoming season! The next two events will be at Nocturne and The Preservery with the new cast of Young Artists. You won’t want to miss them!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Author Mary W | Boulder Headshot Photography

Mary came to Boulder all the way from Brisbane, Australia for a writing workshop with the wonderful Megan Walrod, who’s headshots I did last year. Mary is a professional coach and counsellor, speaker trainer, and a Mom to two boys. She is also writing a book about communication differences between generations.

While she was in town, making some writing breakthroughs on her book, she decided to get some Boulder headshot photography so she would have a great author photo. She was very nervous to be in front of the camera but after talking her through posing and helping her to feel grounded and present, she ended up loving the photos and the experience! Here’s what she had to say about getting her headshots done:

My dear, you are exceptional!!! I firmly believe that the reason those photos are soooo good, is because you are so lovely to work with – I’ve never felt so much at ease with a photographer!
Thank you enormously – you have made me feel more beautiful than anyone has ever managed to in my entire life.

We did her session at a beautiful private property in North Boulder. Mary wanted both indoor and outdoor photos so we did a mix of both. This property even had a library, that made for a great background for some of the photos. I love the one of her curled up with a mug too!

My goal with Denver and Boulder headshot photography is always to help people feel comfortable, relaxed, and like themselves in front of the camera. And it always translates to better portraits! When you feel at ease during a photo session, you will like the photos better. And your clients will like them better as well, since they’ll be able to really see you for who you are.

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Looking for a relaxed, fun headshot experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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STX by Close Act Theater | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

What I love most about the Colorado Performing Arts scene is that there is so much variety. You can find anything you’re looking for, from family-friendly to risque, traditional to very unusual, local to international. And the best art can be found all over the state, not just in Denver or Boulder. Breckenridge has an incredible art scene year round, so if you think it’s just a ski town, think again.

Close Act Theater is a performing arts company in the Netherlands. They came to Breckenridge for the Breckenridge International Art Festival and performed two shows, STX and Saurus. They did two shows a day, for a week! I can’t imagine how tired they must have been at the end. This show was so much fun, I saw it three times! Each show was different from the one before it. They interacted with the audience and the space so well. This was definitely a family friendly event, and the kids in the audience had a blast. All the adults did too. Everyone was following them around, taking pictures, in awe of everything,

It can actually be really helpful to see a show before photographing it. That way I can plan out where I need to be when, what moments are the most important, and how to photograph each piece. I tend to run around a lot when I photograph dress rehearsals, in order to always get the most dynamic angle. This show was no different, since it was so immersive. The performers and audience members were moving around the whole time, all throughout Breckenridge’s main square.

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Want fun, engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Contact me here or send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help you tell your story through photography.