PD Dance Festival First Look | Denver Dance Photography

The Presenting Denver Dance Festival, presented with the Robert and Judi Newman Center was a huge success! I’ve been part of an amazing team of volunteers helping to make this festival a reality for the past two years or so. Even with all the work we had done leading up to the festival, I did not expect to sell out every show in our inaugural year! But that’s just what we did. Each show was packed with people and we got wonderful feedback. 

The two day festival consisted of two different shows, the “New and Now” showcase and the “No Walls” concert, with 15 local dance companies and eight brand new world premieres. All the performers were absolutely incredible! There was such a great mix of styles and emotions and the flow of the shows was perfect. Any performance that can make you laugh and cry and stare in awe, all in the same show is pretty amazing in my book! I was so impressed by how it all came together.

I’ll be sharing most of the images from the festival in the months leading up to the 2020 Presenting Denver Dance Festival (mark your calendars!), so you’ll have to be patient if you want to see them. I am just too excited to share these photos though, so you get a special sneak peek in the meantime. Keep scrolling for a few photos from the New & Now showcase as the first look at our first festival ever! 

denver dance photography, colorado performing arts photographer








Credits (in photo order):
Schiff Dance Company
Edgar L. Page
Kristen Demaree
Chadesh Contemporary Dance Movement
Hannah Kahn Dance Company
Helanius J. Wilkins
Gregory Gonzales
Moripovida Contemporary Dance

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.

Families Belong Together Rally at Denver's Civic Center Park

Families Belong Together | Denver Photography

The first protest I ever went was an immigration march in Chicago. The march went past my grade school so we had the day off and my brother’s high school agreed to allow excused absences for students who attended. Our my mom gave us $10 and my brother and I went to our first rally. It made national news and I felt like I was a part of something important.

Speakers at Denver's Families Belong Together Rally

When I heard about the Families Belong Together Rally in Denver, I knew I had to be there. When there are dozens of horrifying and upsetting news stories a day, a few stand out more than the others. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and stop paying attention to what the government is doing to this country and the world. But, when children and parents are being separated and detained just for trying to reach safer grounds, it’s hard not to be affected. It’s important to keep paying attention and keep being upset because this news should be upsetting!

Families Belong Together Rally at Denver's Civic Center Park

There was a moment during the rally that brought tears to my eyes. The speaker asked all immigrants to raise their hands. Then they asked anyone who was a descendant of immigrants to raise their hands. My grandparents were we’re asylum seekers who came here to escape Nazi Germany. At a time when many others in their situation were being turned away and sent to their eventual deaths, my family managed to make it to safety. This country provided the asylum they needed that saved their lives. And later, my grandfather served in the US Army and fought against his native land in World War II. His fluency in German proved to be an important asset in the war effort.

Signs at Denver's Families Belong Together Rally

When it comes to protests, it’s important to show up because numbers make a difference. That first march I went to with my brother drew tens of thousands and it made national news. It woke people up and demanded that they pay attention. That’s why showing up matters. It’s not easy, especially for people with unconventional schedules like me. I’m often working during protests and marches or it’s the only free time I have that week to edit, answer emails, or go grocery shopping. It’s hard to even keep track of when the next one will be. I try to go when I can because I know how important showing up is and I know how important documenting these events can be.

Protesters at Denver's Families Belong Together Rally

Signs at Denver's Families Belong Together Rally in Civic Center Park

Children hold signs at Denver's Families Belong Together Rally

Children hold signs at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Protesters at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Child donates money at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Speakers at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Protseters at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally in Civic Center Park

Protseters at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Statue of Liberty sign at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Speaker at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Photograpers at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

What collection of protest photos would be complete without an adorable dog, keeping cool in the shade?

Cute dog protester at Denver's Keep Families Together Rally

Interested in working with me?  Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com


The Trashydy of Medea | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

This was probably my favorite piece from last year’s MFA Thesis show at Naropa University. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements. Chie Saito’s one woman show, The Trashdy of Medea, was only about 15 minutes long and was the “pre-show” to Those Who Attend Your Funeral and The Sister’s DeCantate.


Despite it’s short run time, it was very impactful. The show starts with three men carrying a heavy trash can onto the stage. Once they leave, the can starts to move. Eventually, Chie emerges and pops up, using the can almost as a dress. For the rest of the show, she interacts with the trash can, using it as a megaphone, kicking it away, kissing it, crawling inside to hide from the world.


When I posted a photo from the show on Facebook, someone asked if the show was about the wastefulness of fast fashion trends. It is so interesting to hear what people think a piece of art means. Art is always up for interpretation and I feel that most of the time, that interpretation can change from viewer to viewer. Everyone brings their own ideas and perspectives to the table when viewing art and that is what makes art so meaningful and magical. So I want to hear what you think. From seeing the archival photos of the piece, what do you think is the meaning behind The Trashedy of Medea?





Starring: Chie Saito and Malachi Tharp, Jake Cacciatore, & Lorenzo Gonzalez as ‘hazmat suits.’

Composed by: Lorenzo Gonzalez & Chie Saito from texts by Euripides & Christa Wolf


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.


Dance Advocate Joan | Denver Headshot Photography

Joan wanted to reinvigorate her presence on social media so that she could be more connected to her community and industry. She knew that one the most important pieces of this would be imagery, so she hired me for Denver headshot photography. We did a mini headshot session at her home in Denver. She has a beautiful backyard with gardens and a lovely deck. Since it was such a lovely day, we did all of the photos outside. Joan also wanted to get a few photos with her dog to use for holiday cards. I loved that idea, so we made sure to get a few of them together.


My mini headshot package was the perfect fit for Joan. She needed a new profile photo so she could keep her professional appearance online. The mini session is only half an hour, so it’s just the right amount of time for clients to warm up to me and get those great, personality-filled photos we’re looking for.


Joan and I met through the Presenting Denver Dance Festival committee, which we serve on together. We just put on our first festival last weekend! Joan has had an incredible career in the world of dance as well as through her interior design business. After earning a BS in Dance Education from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Colorado, she was a dance teacher with Denver Public Schools for 32 years. She has served on the boards of many local dance organizations and worked to bring big name dance companies to Denver. She also owned her own dance company, School of Modern Dance and taught there as well. Joan has been very active with the Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library, part of the University of Denver’s main library, Anderson Academic Commons. In 2010 she was honored as a “Living Legends of Dance” by the Carson-Brierly Dance Library.


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

Denver’s Dance Festival | Denver Dance Photography

I am so excited for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival that is happening this weekend! I have been working with an amazing group of volunteers to make this festival happen, for about two years. Now, it’s finally here! The dance festival will take place on June 23-24, 2018 at The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver. Together with the Newman Center, we will be presenting 15 local choreographers over 2 stages in one weekend of great Colorado dance.


On the free, outdoor stage, see works by Colorado artists David Taylor’s Zikr Dance Ensemble, Mary Lynn Lewark, Maureen Breeze Dance Theater, Nile H. Russell, Nu-World Contemporary Danse Theatre, Parasol Arts, and Thomas Dance Project in the No Walls concert. This concert is free and open to all ages. View details about the artists here. The No Wall concert is this Saturday, June 23, at 4:30pm at The Boettcher Center Lawn on the University of Denver campus.


On the main stage, see new works by Colorado artists Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement, Edgar L. Page, Gregory Gonzales, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Helanius J. Wilkins, Kristen Demaree, Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, and The Schiff Dance Collective in the New & Now concert. View details about the artists here. The New & Now concert is this Saturday, June 23, at 7pm and Sunday, June 24, at 2pm. These shows will take place in the Newman Center’s Byron Theatre. Get your tickets online or at the Newman Center Box Office.


These photos are from a session we did to prepare for the festival. They’ve been used in the marketing materials to promote the festival, encourage dancer applications and sell tickets to the main stage performance.








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


Lyda | Colorado Senior Photography

This is my amazing cousin, Lyda! Over the summer, we were both visiting Chicago at the same time, so we planned a senior portrait session. We started at my aunt’s house north of the city and then went to the Illinois State Park nearby. The setting was a huge change from my normal Colorado senior photography. Everything was lush and green. The sunset was gorgeous, reflecting off all the water. And I forgot to bring bug spray so we got eaten alive by mosquitos. I don’t usually have to worry too much about those in the Rockies!


I loved photographing in the fields and forests of northern Illinois, but I do think I would get tired of all the green if I did all my sessions there. I am so grateful to live in a state with so much variety. And, of course, I have a special place in my heart for urban senior and headshot sessions! All the colors and textures of downtown Denver make for some amazing backdrops for portraits.


Lyda is my uncle by marriage’s niece from Ohio. We didn’t grow up together but I have many fond memories of her and her younger siblings spending the Fourth of July with us at my aunt and uncle’s place. There weren’t enough bedrooms for everyone so all the kids would sleep in tents by the lake after we watched the fireworks show and lit some of our own. I remember making jewelry with Lyda and her trying to guess how old I was. Haha!

Now she’s a high school senior in Ohio and will be heading off to college soon. She got a soccer scholarship to Miami University, so we had to take some portraits of her in her soccer uniform! I don’t think anyone in our family has ever gotten a sports scholarship before. I’m so impressed by all her talent and hard work! Congrats Lyda and have a wonderful senior year!








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


Young Artist Welcome | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

As I wrap up editing on the Opera Colorado’s final concert for the season, the Spring Tea, I thought I should introduce you to these wonderful Young Artists by sharing their first concert of the season. Haha! I know, I know, I am very behind on my blogging. This is by design though since I plan the entire year of blogs each December. This means that my Colorado performing arts photography and all my other work gets shared six months to a year after I actually photograph it. I like this method because I can plan ahead and not have to stress about what to blog all year long. I also get to revisit sessions from last year! It’s always fun to look back and reminisce!


Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Each year, Opera Colorado starts off their season with a concert to welcome the new cast of Young Artists. The Young Artist Welcome was held at the Studio Loft this season. I love this event because I get to photograph the Young Artists throughout the season and get to know them a little bit. It’s amazing to watch them grow and change from their first concert to their last. This Welcome concert is a great glimpse into who each of them are and it’s a great way to start the season.


Every year, this little girl (in the photo above) comes to the Welcome concert and it’s so cute to see her enjoying the music and talking with the artists after the show. Her grandmother told me that she loves listening to opera in the car. I love that because of this concert, she gets to see opera performed live as well!










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.