Dance Warriors – Climate Change | Chicago Dance Photography

The Dance Warriors project is an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. This project started as my response to our changing political climate and my desire to make an impact for the better. This session took place just a few weeks after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

I usually try to schedule a photography session when I visit home over Thanksgiving break. This time, I knew I wanted to do a Dance Warriors session in a particular part of Chicago. There were a couple of old coal plants that were set to be demolished and I thought they would be the perfect backdrop for a session about climate change. This is a topic that Kelleigh McIntosh is very passionate about, and we were able to connect thanks to the power of the internet. At our session, we talked a lot about climate change deniers and the negative impact they can have on the planet, especially when they are in positions of power. The fact that the coal plants were coming down was a sign of change for the better but the recent election left us less than hopeful for the future.

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

Kelleigh Harman McIntosh graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance and Biology. She has performed works choreographed by Taylor Craver, Kiefer Otto, and J Lindsay Brown Dance. Kelleigh’s passion for choreography began to grow after premiering her work “Phantasmagoria” at the American College Dance Association. Since then, she has had the opportunity to present work at Eisenhower Dance’s New Dance Festival, choreograph for “Goliath” a dance film produced by Ben Richmond and work with Esoteric Dance Company through their choreographic mentorship program. Her goals as a choreographer include using movement as a vessel to explore an individual’s physical and emotional limitations through a collaborative process.

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Why are you passionate about climate change?

Our environment is important. Its health and stability majorly influence access to basic human needs such as fresh water and sustainable food sources. Although scientists and climatologists are able to convey research of environmental concerns, those messages are not always heard or understood.

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What do you think is the intersection between art and politics?

Dancers have the unique ability to communicate through a different type of physical and artistic voice. It is my hope that artists are able to spread information about climate change to a larger audience and promote the movement to heal our planet.

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

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Dancer and Activist Pi DuVal | Denver Headshot Photography

One of the ways in which I volunteer my time is by donating my Denver headshot photography to Presenting Denver. Presenting Denver is a non-profit organization founded in 2013. Their mission is to support the art of dance through increased public exposure and the appreciation of movement as an innovative art form.

In the past, I’ve taken dance photos of members of the dance community that Presenting Denver features as part of their In the Spotlight series. This season, I took headshots for the spotlights, as well as the ambassadors for the organization. We did these portraits on the rooftop of the Beauvallon building, where the Presenting Denver offices are located. This location gave us some wonderful spots, with nature, architecture, and beautiful views of the city.

Dancer and Activist, Pi DuVal

Allegra “Pi” DuVal grew up dancing, performing, teaching, and choreographing in her mother’s dance studio in Crested Butte. Her passion for dance never faded and she now strives to use dance as a medium to spread kindness and solidarity.

One of the things that struck me most while I was reading Pi’s interview was her passion for giving back and activism in her community. If you’ve seen my new project, Dance Warriors, you know how important the intersection between politics, social justice, and the arts is to me. As Sutton Anker writes in her In the Spotlight interview, “Pi is involved with the Colfax Community Network teaching hip-hop to children of transient families and also teaches at Feel the Beat, a Denver area studio for the deaf and hard of hearing.” She also founded Dance is Love, in response to the rise in hate crimes during and after the 2016 election. They have performed for the Denver RAW Artist Showcase and are now the official dance company of Denver Pride Fest.

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

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Ancient Creatures | Boulder Performing Arts Photography

In the Boulder performing arts photography world, you run into a lot of tricky lighting situations. This show, part of Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival, had all of them in one. At points during the show, the only light source was a candle or flashlights or a strobe light. There was even a scene lit only by Christmas lights hung inside an umbrella. I loved all of the creative uses of light. The creators of the show did an excellent job using light to convey strong emotions. Plus, I’m always up for a fun lighting challenge!

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This show was centered around the ideas behind the zodiac. The main question posed by the performance is “Where are we going, and what will we be when we get there?” It explored the ways in which people can change through life experiences and the role that greater forces may factor into their lives. It was a stunning, moving, and surprisingly fun play!

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Director’s Note: “When I started working with the source material of the zodiac, I was more than a skeptic. The frame was perfect, but the source material lacked a certain scientific approach with which I felt comfortable. After my work with texts of Greek mythology, star charts, dice, anatomy, and my fellow creators, I am proud to say that we have built something out of this uncertainty, belief, and curiosity. This piece is the product of work, hope, and chance. The text and movement were created using chance systems, much like the creation of the universe.”

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Cast and Crew

Directed by: Michael Sater

Devised, written, and performed by: Michael Sater Rebecca Buckley Ashley Rice

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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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Birth Photographer Jennifer | Denver Headshot Photography

I know it’s not Thursday but this is a bit of a throwback post. This headshot session was in early 2015, so about three years ago! I hadn’t been living in Denver for very long and I was doing a lot of networking with other photographers, as I tried to figure out what I wanted to specialize in. I had met Jennifer at a holiday party just a few weeks before, so when she put out some feelers for a headshot trade, I was excited to join her!

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Jennifer Mason is an absolutely amazing birth photographer. We are part of a great photography networking group and she and I have worked together a few times over the years. I always love seeing her work. It’s really incredible! I later took pregnancy announcement photos for her and her family, while I was considering getting into family photojournalism. Jennifer recently moved to Michigan to start the next adventure for her and her family.

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I hadn’t started offering headshot sessions when I took these photos. At the time, I had no idea it would become one of the main focuses of my business! This session turned out to be a great learning experience for both of us. I got some good practice being behind the camera, taking portraits. But Jennifer was also taking my portraits during the session, and the experience of being in front of the camera was invaluable. My focus with headshots is always to make sure my clients feel comfortable and happy. I would not be able to do that if I didn’t know what it felt like to be in their shoes. This session helped me love portrait photography and I love seeing how far I’ve come in the past three years!

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

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Season Preview Concert | Denver Performing Arts Events

Capturing Denver performing arts events is such a fun way to gain insight into what’s happening around Denver. I love these opportunities to participate and contribute to the local art scene. Most of all, I love sharing the photos from events like these. Some Denver arts events are only open to a small group of people and even with events that are available to all, no one can make it to everything awesome that’s happening around town. Having photos of these events give people who couldn’t make it a chance to see it anyway. And I love that!

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Opera Colorado’s season preview concert was really cool because it gave attendees a sneak peek at the events for the rest of the year. This event gave season ticket holders a glimpse at the upcoming season so they could decide what shows they wanted to see. I think it really helped everyone get excited about what was in store!

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At the event, Greg Carpenter, the Artistic Director, announced the new season and gave some background about each show. But just having someone speak would be boring, right? I mean all that information was online anyway. Not only did he talk about the shows, the singers, and show the sets, and the costume designs, but there was singing! What Denver performing arts event would be complete without some performing arts? The Opera Colorado Young Artists gave viewers a preview of each show by performing a few songs from the shows they would be in throughout the year. It was a great evening and got everyone revved up for the upcoming season.

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By the way, Opera Colorado announced their 2018-2019 season recently. Check it out!

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Greg Carpenter addresses the audience at opera event in Denver

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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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Dance Company Headshots | Denver Dance Photographer

When I photographed Park Hill Dance Collective at their first creative session, we did some quick headshots for their company programs. We didn’t have the full hour like we did with their Academy photos but we made sure to take some time during the session to get everyone’s portrait. I found a nice spot, with great, even lighting to do the headshots. Everyone stood in the same spot and in similar poses so that all the photos would be cohesive. And I made sure to give each dancer horizontal and vertical options. They can also be cropped however they need to be. Now, on their website and programs, the company photos are consistent and cohesive!

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It is so important for dance companies to have portrait sessions like this. Even if a full session is out of the question, taking some time during a promo photo shoot or rehearsal photography is a great start. Dancers come from schools and companies all over the place and they will each have very different headshots or even none at all. Consistency with dancer bio portraits, in programs and on websites, helps give the company a more professional look overall. It also creates a more unified look. You are a company, a family, working together. Not just a group of random people who happened to show up to the same theater at the same time.

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Additionally, since many dancers have multiple jobs and work with more than one dance company, it’s helpful for them to have a portrait that is unique to your company. With company headshots sessions, dancers won’t have to use the same photo for all the companies they dance in, which might dilute each company’s image. Many dancers do not have up to date or professional headshots of their own and using outdated headshots, snapshots, or selfies in programs and online does not project a professional image for a dance company. I am so glad we took the time to do these photos for Park Hill Dance Collective. This group looks great together!

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Looking for engaging portraits for you or your company? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Dance Warriors – Gentrification | New York Dance Photography

I am so excited to finally share these photos! This is the very first session of my new project Dance Warriors! Dance Warriors is an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. These photos were actually taken over a year ago, but now that the project has been announced, I can show you the first photo shoot!

Anna Rogovoy and I know each other from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. We both worked in the marketing department when I was an intern at the festival. Anna has been using dance to explore a lot of social and political issues. For this session, she wanted to focus on gentrification. We took photos in her neighborhood, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, as well as in her apartment.

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Anna Rogovoy and I’m a dancemaker and performer. My early training was in classical ballet, but I made a shift to contemporary/modern/postmodern technique/methodologies when I attended Bennington College for my undergraduate degree. I have lived in Brooklyn, New York for about five years and have presented my work throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as upstate New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. I am the child of entrepreneurial arts professionals and the older sister of a producer/DJ. And I am the great-granddaughter of an incredibly powerful woman who emigrated (alone) to New York City from a small village in Poland, narrowly escaping execution.

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Why are you passionate about gentrification?

Gentrification is something that I reckon with daily as a white person living in a predominantly non-white neighborhood — one that is rapidly undergoing transformation. It’s my home, it’s a mile away from where my mother was born, yet I am a newcomer, perhaps even an unwelcome one. Displacement and ghettoization are familiar concerns, having grown up with stories of the Holocaust, and I don’t want to be complicit in anything remotely like that.

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How has dance helped you express yourself?

My work deals very directly with the body as source material; I am interested in how movement patterns and habits emerge and shift, in how memory and sensation inhabit form. I hope that by turning the lens towards the body I can highlight our shared experiences as thinking beings housed in smart, curious flesh-bags. I have also found great freedom and power as a survivor of sexual assault in reclaiming agency over my own body through performance and physical training.

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What do you think is the intersection between art and politics?

I think that because artists so often work outside of a political and/or capitalist regime, we are able to put forth opinions and assessments that someone whose success relies on a more conventional power structure might hesitate to voice. In the same way that we are not supported by our government or our corporations, we are released from supporting them, or claiming to. We ask questions that others cannot.

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