Amber on the High Line | New York Dance Photographer

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town and Amber was the last dance session I did before heading home. It was a little chilly, so we met in the Chelsea Market to look over outfits and plan everything out. Then, we went up to the High Line to start shooting!

The High Line is such an awesome urban trail. It’s an industrial/nature walk built on the old elevated train tracks and runs through Chelsea in Manhattan. The last time, I was there, they had only finished the first couple sections of it. The last part goes up to the water and overlooks a rail yard. It was really cool to see the whole thing completed.

Amber did an amazing job at this session. Of course, I knew she would because this isn’t the first time I’ve photographed her. She was my student spotlight during the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow. Check out that session here! These sessions were two and a half years apart so it was amazing to see her again and see how she’s grown as an artist.

In that time, she has graduated from Julliard and founded a dance non-profit, Art Belongs to People. She also just finished her role in the Cirque du Soleil show “Paramour” on Broadway. I got all sorts of gossip about life as a Broadway dancer. And she was learning some aerials skills from the other dancers while she was there. What an awesome woman!

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Want engaging dance portraits for you or your company? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.

 

Why to Hire a Professional | Denver Boulder Headshot Photography

First off, if your friend or a local students wants to photograph you and you’re up for it, then definitely go for it. Model for them, have some fun, be their muse. But if you need photos for auditions, promotions, your website or whatever, it’s always best to hire a professional. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. You’re in charge, not them

When you seek out a photographer and hire them, you are the client, and you are in charge. This doesn’t mean that you get to make all the rules. A professional photographer knows what they’re doing and you should listen to their advice. But, as the client, you get to customize the experience. If you need a photo of a certain person at an event, want a colorful wall as the background of a headshot, or have another specific idea for your session, your photographer can make it happen. Within reason, they’re job is to serve you and make sure you’re happy.

A great example of this is model sessions. Most photographers do model sessions when they wanna play with the camera or have a really cool idea. While client sessions are about bringing the client’s vision to life, model sessions are about the photographer’s vision. This is what you’ll get when you hire a friend. It’ll be fun, but it might not be what you really want.

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2. Money talks

No one wants to admit it, but money does talk. My paid sessions always come before my non-profit work, model sessions, and my personal work. This means they get priority booking, faster delivery, and more attention to detail. I run a business and I can’t pay for my cameras or groceries with exposure or experience. Money really can be that extra little push that makes someone put in more effort. It shows us that we are literally valued and worth it to our clients.

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3. Insurance

A very practical reason to hire a professional is insurance. Professional photographers, like myself, have all kinds of insurance. Liability insurance keeps the photographer and the client safe. If you get hurt at a session, liability insurance can cover the cost of medical care and damages.

Professional photographers have all sorts of fail safes put in place to protect the client. Birth photographers have back up photographers. Wedding photographers have second shooters. Portrait photographers have back up cameras and assistants. All professionals have contracts and insurance.

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4. Experience matters

Professional photographers have of experience and education under their belts. This makes a big difference. Photography isn’t just a gift that some people are born with. No one pops out of the womb a Pulitzer Prize winner. Talent is part of it sure but experience is most of it. Also, actually taking pictures is barely a quarter of our time as professionals. WE have to know how to edit, how to communicate with clients. We have to set up policies and systems for client management, bookkeeping, paying taxes, everything it takes to run a business. And most importantly for you, we have to know how make our clients feel comfortable and beautiful. This also takes time, education, and experience.

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5. No hard feelings

If the shoot doesn’t go wonderfully or you end up not loving the photos, a friend might take your feedback personally. With a professional, you never have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or ruining a relationship. Professionals know how to handle criticism and use it to improve their business. You might just gain a new friend instead of lose an old one.

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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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Family Day Part 1 | Colorado Opera Photographer

Opera Colorado puts on a ton of awesome events to get kids excited about the opera. One of the biggest events they host is Family Day. On Family Day, kids and their parents come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to watch a show and do crafts relating to the story. The shows are all abridged, kid-friendly, English language versions of classic operas and there is a Q&A session after each show.

Family Day is a big event so I split it into two blogs. The first show was Barber of Seville. It a comedy about love triangles and rectangles and trapezoids and it’s full of mischief, deception, and humor. The kids made glasses and mustaches so they could have their own disguises like the main character in the opera.

It’s almost the end of the season for Opera Colorado. This week, is their last week of mainstage shows until November. There are a couple other events before the season closes for good though. The Spring Tea, on May 20th is a fundraiser with tea and balloons at Grant Humphrey’s Mansion. I have donated a special session so be sure to bid on it! Get your tickets here.

The Young Artist Celebration is one of my favorite events of the year and is on May 21st at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. It is the final performance before the Young Artists say goodbye. I love it because I get to see how much they’ve learned and improved since their first concert. This is a great event if you want to see what opera is all about but are on a budget. Tickets are cheap and the event is kid friendly (but there will also be wine)! Get tickets here.

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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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Bird Fur Tees on Santa Fe | Denver Brand Photography

This week is small business week, so I wanted to celebrate with a shout out to one of my favorite small businesses! I’ve been doing a bunch of brand photography for Bird Fur Tees in order to keep up with all their new designs and the sessions are always so much fun!

Bird Fur Tees is the t-shirt company created by my brother, Josh. Josh has always had a quirky sense of humor and an entrepreneurial spirit so this has been the perfect endeavor for him. His shirts are funny, weird, timely, and sometimes even philanthropic. He’s always posting behind the scenes photos, new designs, and funny memes on his Instagram feed.

All our shoots have been in urban parts of Denver with bright, colorful murals as our backdrop. These kinds of locations are my absolute favorites since I’m pretty much addicted to bright colors and patterns. For this shoot, we went to the Santa Fe Arts District. There are so many great galleries, studios, and murals here. I love coming for First Friday for the art walks!

We had a lot of fun at this shoot. There were new friends and old modeling for us. These shoots are always playful, a little bit weird, and full of laughter. At one point, I made all the guys tickle each other. I have video evidence! We even got some behind the scenes photos taken by one of our models, Jackson! I really love some of these new shirts. Someone get me the Beyoncé one please!

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We always try to take a few photos of blank t-shirts so Josh can photoshop on new designs before we have a chance to do another photoshoot. This way we can consolidate the shoots and get a bunch of shirts photographed at once, but Josh can still share out his new designs in real time. Plus, he’s gotten really good at photoshop!

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Need to spice up your website and up your social media game? I would love to chat about creating engaging, eye-catching photos for you and your company. Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Layla | Denver Senior Photography

Layla and I met at the Denver Nature and Science Museum as part of a senior portrait event with New Legacy High School. New Legacy High School is a Denver charter school for young parents. It’s half high school/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.

Layla was the first of 3 students I photographed. She’s hoping to go to college at Colorado State University and study in the field of medicine. She has a daughter, who she describes as spoiled rotten. It’s hard not to spoil a cute little kid, right?

We had a lot of fun at our session! We went all over City Park and the Nature and Science Museum. There are some great, modern areas at the back of the museum that are nice and quiet. And with City Park right there, we had the perfect mix of nature and urban.

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.

Caleb in Brooklyn | New York Dance Photography

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town.

Caleb was one of them. The year I was at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, he performed with Dorrance Dance (I photographed them here). Last summer, he went back to perform with his own tap company Caleb Teicher and Company. Caleb has been touring the world teaching and performing with his new company. Plus, he told me about a secret hidden brunch place that was amazing!

Tap has always been one of the most challenging dance forms for me to photograph since it’s so fast paced and unpredictable. But the challenge is what makes it so fun and intriguing to me! For this session, I wanted to find some creative ways to photograph tap dance. I tried to focus on the feet, and I got some fun shots that way, but Caleb is so great at incorporating his whole body and moving fluidly, so I did a bunch of wide shots as well. Overall, I think we made some great portraits that show Caleb’s talent and the beautiful neighborhood of Willamsburg.

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We found this really cool mural outside a shoe store and Caleb was already wearing some green leather Chucks. Perfection!

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I loved being able to incorporate the skyline and shore into the photos. This is one of the things I love about New York City. The skyline is one the greatest features of my hometown of Chicago so I love any city that can show theirs off as well.

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Want engaging dance portraits for you or your company? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.

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Saurus | Colorado Theater Photography

I love interactive art and interactive theater is even better! The first performance I every photographed was a piece of interactive theater, Fuerza Bruta. This show was so much fun to be a part of. Saurus, by Close Act Theater, was part of the Breckenridge International  Art Festival. There were dinosaurs and stilts and crazy mohawks!

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These cyanotype butterflies were part of an instillation by Tasha Lewis for the same festival.

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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.