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Thanksgiving 2016 | Denver Portrait Photographer

I was just talking to a friend about the stress of traveling for the holidays and I started to realize that despite all the stress, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite family holiday. We have solid traditions that I love. Our family grows and shrinks and changes every year, but it is always a group I feel so comfortable with and loved by.

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There is a Passover tradition where families are supposed to invite strangers in to share their meal with. We never did that at our Passover Seders but I feel like we make up for it with Thanksgiving. In addition to my family, there are always a few friends and neighbors who join our table, along with some regular honorary family members who join us each year.

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One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the themed meals. Thanksgiving in our family is at my aunt and uncle’s house. My uncle is an amazing chef and my aunt is an outstanding baker and they love to get creative. Each year, Thanksgiving dinner has a new theme. Sometimes, it’s a country. One year, the theme was ravioli! We made all different kinds of ravioli and sauces to mix and match.

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Last year, Thanksgiving was a few weeks after my grandma passed away. So our theme was Nana’s takes on Thanksgiving classics. Nana was known in our family for having some weird recipes. She loved collecting them from friends and writing them down for her recipe box. She brought us my favorite cheesecake in the world but also the purple chicken, which did not get such great reviews. Whether the dish was amazing or awful, it always sparked conversation, so we wanted to honor all of it. Well, we were sort of a mess this year so the theme fell apart and became deconstructed Thanksgiving classics, with little bits of Nana’s memory here and there.

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Let’s get to know each other! Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Opera Director Cherity | Denver Headshot Photography

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cherity for over three years now. Cherity is the Director of Education and the Director of the Young Artists at Opera Colorado. She had always been so great to work with through the opera, so I was so excited when she said she wanted to book me for her own headshots too! At the session, she kept telling me that she never looks good in photos, but I like proving people wrong. I think she looks stunning in these portraits!

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If you’ve been thinking about getting your portraits done for a website, audition, social media, or whatever, now is the time. Don’t let another year go by without updating your headshots. Winter can be a great time for a portrait session. This session took place in January and we had a ton of fun. Click here if you’re ready to book!

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Cherity decided to book her session with Brett, the Assistant Director of the Young Artist. It is such a great idea to book with a friend or coworker. You can encourage each other and help each other feel more comfortable. I switch off between the two of you, which gives you a few nice breaks from smiling so much. And we can do some fun photos of the two of you together! Plus, you can take advantage of a discount for booking back to back.

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We did this session at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I love this location for it’s clean, urban look. It is a cultural center of the city, making it a great backdrop for any kind of artist or arts admin. We also got to go in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and use the theater for a few photos. These made for some really classy headshots at the end of our session.

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

Local Lab 2017 | Boulder Theater Photography

Local Theater Company, in Boulder, puts on an incredible new-works festival each year called Local Lab. On Saturday of this year’s festival, they had a mainstage reading of Shostakovich, or Silence by Jason Grote and directed by Pesha Rudnick at the Dairy Arts Center. After the reading, the writer and director had a talk back with the audience, followed by an after party with food and an awesome DJ. The talk back was really constructive and Jason and Pesha revealed how the show all came together at the last minute.

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The party was a lot of fun, with great food and amazing music by DJ Savior Breath. Everyone was in chatting and laughing and discussing the reading. The party spilled out into the lobby and gallery of the Dairy Arts Center. Right as I was leaving, the lights went low and everyone started dancing!

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I loved that Local Lab had me come in for the talk back and after party. Since there was no rehearsal for the reading, I would have had to photograph it live, with the audience, which could have been disruptive. This way, I still got photos of the production team speaking on stage and of the ambiance in the room. Plus since the lights were on in the audience, I was able to get photos of the patron engaged and happy.

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It’s always good to have a photographer at events like after parties too. These photos are great for drawing crowds to future events, sharing with attendees, and posting on social media sites like facebook. They can also be used in future marketing materials to show happy patrons, crowds, and ambiance.

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http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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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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Opera Singer Omar | Denver Headshot Photography

When Omar came to me interested in new audition photos, he said he hadn’t gotten headshots in six years and that he looked like he was 12 in them. That’s a really good reason to get new headshots! We already knew each other since he was a tenor in the Young Artist program at Opera Colorado. I get to work with the Young Artists a lot throughout the season but I don’t always have the chance to get to know them. That’s why I love Denver headshot photography so much. I get to spend time with awesome people, like Omar!

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Our session was set for February and with Colorado weather, we had no idea if it would be sunny or a snowstorm.  We got the perfect middle ground though! It was a beautiful, sunny day and it started snowing part way through the session. It was pretty much perfect. A lot of people think I only shoot portrait sessions in the summer, since my sessions are mostly outdoors. I love photographing all year long though! I can take whatever the weather will throw at me. Plus, everyone looks good in sweaters and scarves, right? Omar definitely rocked them in this session.

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We did Omar’s headshots at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This is a great location for performing artists. It has an aspirational element to it, it provides a wide range of backgrounds, and if the weather isn’t great, we can stay under the glass dome!

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A few months ago, I saw that they had torn down the bridge that the photos below were taken on. The Denver Performing Arts Center will be undergoing some major changes in the next couple years, and I guess this bridge was the first thing that had to go. It made me so sad to see this because the bridge was a really great spot for portraits. It got great light, it felt nice and private, and I loved the Convention Center facade in the background. Enjoy these photos, because you won’t see any more sessions here!

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

Total Solar Eclipse | Denver Photography

August 21st, 2017 had been saved in my calendar for two years. My partner loves space and watches astronomical events closely so when we realized that a total solar eclipse would be within a couple hours of us, we knew we had to be there. We tried looking for hotels and airbnb’s near Casper, but they were either sold out or out of our price range. Then we found a campsite, in the path of totality and even closer than Casper. It was perfect, but I was a bit worried. We had never been camping together and I hadn’t been since I was a kid. We’ve been through far more stressful experiences together, so I knew we could handle it, even if I’m not the most outdoorsy person in the world.

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Camping turned out to be lots of fun. There were so many other people there who were excited to see the eclipse! Our camp was in an old rodeo arena and within walking distance of the Oregon Trail ruts. The ruts are where over time, the wagons carved a path in the rock as they traveled across Wyoming. It was incredible to see stone so clearly altered by humans, hundreds of years ago. And yes, there were lots of jokes about dying of dysentery!

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Even though our campsite was in the path of totality, we wanted to get even closer. We drove to a spot where we would be on the line of perfect totality. That means we would get an extra few seconds with the black hole in the sky. We were also near a bunch of cows, which I was really excited about. I wanted to see how animals reacted to the eclipse. The farm was very large and they were probably scared off by all the people, so I couldn’t really see them but I did hear them mooing!

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I was intent on experiencing the eclipse unencumbered but my partner wanted to photograph the event so I set up a camera and left him to it. I had another camera on a tripod taking video of the cows and the 360 degree sunset. You can watch the whole video below, just excuse the shakiness from when I picked it up to get a glimpse of the eclipse itself.

There is no way to describing the sight of a total solar eclipse, that would do it justice. I had seen so many photos and videos and heard from people who had seen them before and I was completely unprepared. And being near the path of totality, but not in it, is not even close.

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The “diamond ring” shot

As it got closer to 100%, it started getting darker around us, but not quite like the sun was setting. The sky looked hazy, and the sun was still visible, high in the sky. Then the sunset in all directions started to appear and we could hear the cows mooing and crickets chirping. But when it got to 100% totality, I immediately started crying. It was the most incredible sight. We had about two and half minutes of totality, but I don’t think any amount of time would have been enough. As the sun came out from behind the moon, I was able to see the “diamond ring” effect and my partner was able to capture it! I then raced over to the nearest white car to see the “shadow bands,” the snake like shadows from the edge of the sun shining through the moon’s mountains and valleys. And just like that, it was over and we had to head home.

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A composite showing the sun’s corona

The trip home was not quite as easy as the way there. It took us 8 hours to get home. It would have taken 2-3 hours normally. Eventually, we made it back to Colorado and stopped in Fort Collins for some much needed tacos. We already have plans for the next one to go through the U.S., seven years from now!

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Wanna meet me and chat? Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Hair Headshots | Denver Portrait Photography

A few months back, a client came to me with a new line of products they needed to market. They wanted a sleek, trendy website filled with eye-catching, creative images for Sasha Pure’s website. We set to work creating a shot list and finding models, make up artists, and coordinators for the session. We booked a studio for the day in Chicago (where the brand is based and where I’m from!) and spent the day creating images. They needed a multi-page website full of images and plenty more for advertisements, social media, and other distributors. This was a big project and we had a really fun day making some magic.

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The product line is a hair care line for hairs of all types and textures. Some of the products even double as skin care products as well. All of the models had been using the products for a few weeks, so their hair and skin really reflected what the product’s results. We made a variety of media, including testimonial videos of the models reviewing their favorite products in the line. We also made timelapse videos of a hair stylist using different products on the models, and we made some images of products themselves.

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My favorite part of the shoot was the glam shots. This was the part where I got to be the most creative and get out of my comfort zone. It was really fun to push myself and take portraits that were focused on the hair, rather than the face. Hair can be a big part of someone’s personality and I loved getting to focus on that. These hair portraits were so much fun and working with these wonderful women was a blast!

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

A Horseman’s Magic 2 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program grow. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast B of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast B – Performed on 2/15/17 and 2/17/17

Zhuoma: Chie Saito
Jinma: Madelyn Rose Robinson
Horseman: Joshua Lorris
Landlord: China Young
King: Drew Piatek
Guards: Rebecca Buckley and Gabriela Petrov
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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