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Dance Warriors – Holistic Health | Boulder 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 is my way to use Boulder dance photography to raise awareness about the issues that face us today.

I have done a few session where I chose the topic and found a dancer after deciding on the topic, location, and all the details. However, my vision for this project has always been the opposite. My goal with Dance Warriors was to let the project be a space where dancers can collaborate with me to express what they are most passionate about. That was how we approached this session.

Andrea Jayne Martin reached out to me, wanting to be a part of Dance Warriors and the topic she was most passionate about was Holistic Health. My gut reaction was hesitation. You see, I am really passionate about science. I have a Bachelor’s of Science, I’ve always loved biology and physics, and I am a big advocate for science in politics and life in general. I always thought that holistic health was at odds with science itself. After some soul searching, I came to the realization that this was not the case. That these two things I thought of as opposites can and do coexist.

The session itself was amazing. We spent almost two hours at the Starhouse in Boulder, wandering through the woods and around the property. There are lots of spiritual sites at the Starhouse, and plenty of gorgeous natural landscapes, that made for the perfect backdrops to our session. At the end, there was a massive downpour and Andrea was so excited to dance in it. She actually had to convince me to keep taking photos! They turned out amazing and my equipment was unharmed. In true Colorado fashion, the storm passed quickly and left us with an incredible double rainbow to end the day.

Dance Warriors – Holistic Health | Boulder Dance Photography

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

I, Andrea Jayne Martin, am an eclectic mover, creator, dance educator, yogi, and healing artist residing in Boulder, CO.

In 2017, I established ethereum dance co. to continue my passion for creating socio-political performance art pieces that speak to the human experience. My approach is symbiotic between body, mind & spirit- encouraging full immersion in movement through a heightening of the senses.

I am a graduate of Rhode Island College with a B.A. in Dance as well as a B.A. in Performing Arts Management. I also hold a Certificate in Non-Profit Studies in addition to a Minor in International Non-Governmental Organization Studies and was the recipient of a 2015 Rhode Island College Leadership Award in the category of “Vital Contribution to the Community.” I hold certifications in Selah® and Intuitive Dao Tantric Healing Arts, Kripalu Yoga, and Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga. I am the sole owner of Selah® | Holistic Wellness and also serve as Founder and President of 501c3 nonprofit holistic wellness advocacy organization Seeds of Wellness (SOW), Inc.

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Why are you passionate about holistic health?

I spent much of my early life very unwell- enslaved by chemical dependency and reckless on every level… 90 pounds soaking wet with all the attributions of a stale cigarette. The right people stepped in for me when I couldn’t and shed light on a journey of purpose-driven recovery. Eight years later and, of course, still evolving, the renewed pursuit of holistic wellness in my own life has translated into the lives of others through my healing arts practice, Selah | Holistic Wellness, based in Boulder, CO. My work stems from a passion to offer the same light to others that was extended to me in my time of need.

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How has dance helped you express yourself?

Dance is therapy. We are kinetic in nature. Movement is deeply engrained within us, down to the cell. Technical training allows the soul to fly, and to speak a language that is beyond words. I believe dance is the ultimate form of expression. It allows me to hone in on the subtleties of my being- to discover them, to feel them, to embrace them, and to share them.

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

Art is inherent to our beings. Just as we were created, we also create. We create meals, homes, decisions, babies… the list goes on. We are all artists. And just as the dancer needs technical training to hone in on their craft, the human being needs boundaries around what they create. Everyone has their own idea of what those boundaries should look like, giving us politics. What art does is hold politics accountable. Accountable to human nature… to the moral compass that exists within. To what we feel in our bodies- not just what our fleeting minds are able to talk us into. Art has the power to change the perception of a whole nation in a single moment, due to its inherent, holistic way of expression. Art speaks to the body, mind, and spirit as opposed to the playing field of politics, which dominantly exists in the cognitive realm. May art continue to provide the balance we need to live in peace.

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Want engaging dance photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Want to be a part of the Dance Warriors project? Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Opera Artists Portraits | Denver Portrait Photography

I plan out all my blog post at the beginning of each year. I put them all on my calendar and at the start of each month, I sit down and put together the blogs for the next four or five weeks. Today, I looked at my calendar and my heart sank. The first blog post of the month was this one, the Opera Colorado Young Artist Portraits. It’s one of my favorite sessions to do each year and I love revisiting it and looking at the photos again. But this one is different.

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A few weeks ago, I started seeing a lot of photos of one of these Young Artists, Nathan, being posted all over facebook. I soon learned that he had passed away, losing his life to depression. I didn’t know Nathan well but it is always heartbreaking when someone dies, especially someone young. This session, from over a year ago, was the first time I met these seven opera singers. From the beginning, it was clear that they were very close.

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I photographed events he sang at throughout the season and every once in a while, we would chat a bit after the show. There are a couple of things that I remember about my interactions with Nathan. He was always the first to lend a hand anytime I needed to carry or move something. And everything he said felt genuine. Anytime he asked me how I was doing or thanked me for photographing him, I could tell that he genuinely cared. He wasn’t just trying to make conversation. That authenticity and passion came through in his art as well. Nathan’s kindness and talent will be greatly missed in the opera community.

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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.

Madame de Sade | Denver Theater Photography

I was going through some of my archives the other day and I found these photos from one of the first plays I ever photographed. While I was in college, at RIT, I started finding my niche with performing arts photography. Since my school didn’t have a theater program, I reached out to a nearby university and asked to photograph one of their productions. I had photographed plenty of opera and dance at that point, but this was my first straight play. I’ve since photographed many plays for Naropa University’s MFA Theater Program. This adaption of “Madame de Sade” was performed by the International Theater Program at the University of Rochester.

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Madame de Sade is a 1965 historical fiction play written by Yukio Mishima, set in Paris in the late 1700s. The play has an all female cast. The University of Rochester adapted the play to be set in the time of it’s writing. The costumes and props were all inspired by the 1960s rather than the 1700s. It was wonderful to watch such an interesting adaptation of a modern play. I loved that the Theater Department chose to feature a play with an all female cast as well!

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I found that with photographing straight plays, as opposed to operas and musicals, the emotions are less exaggerated, which meant I had to work a bit harder to capture them well. There were many quiet moments throughout this play that held so much emotion in context and it was a challenge to find ways to capture that tension without having the context of the rest of the scene. This is always a challenge in photographing any performance, but I always love a good challenge!

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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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Frances at the Botanic Gardens | Denver Senior Photography

Frances is a dance student at Park Hill Dance Academy, where I photograph portraits and performances throughout the season. When she entered her senior in high school, she needed a Denver senior photographer and remembered me from the headshots I took at Park Hill. Since Frances is a dancer, we made sure to take a couple of dance photos with her point shoes during her senior session. The glass greenhouse was the perfect spot for it. It was so fun getting to know Frances a bit and learn more about her. She is really interested in technical theater and library sciences!

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She knew she wanted a nature setting with lots of flowers for her session, so we decided on the Denver Botanic Gardens. I was a little worried that we might miss all the flowers since our session was in October but there was still so much color and beauty at the gardens in autumn. Plus, we got a few photos with some gorgeous fall foliage, which was such a treat in the middle of the city.

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Frances is a huge fan of the 1987 movie Wings of Desire and got her own amazing set of angel wings. It was so much fun incorporating them into her session throughout the gardens. She also wanted to recreate the iconic poster image from the movie, which we did at the end of the session, in Cheesman Park. I have to say, Frances had the most creative outfits and they showed off her personality so well. She found a lot of the pieces in thrift shops and vintage clothing stores. Isn’t that amazing!?

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Isn’t that red, leather jacket incredible? And with the yellow, aspen leaves, it was just perfect.

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

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Luncheon Discussion | Denver Event Photography

One of my favorite things about Denver event photography is that I get to learn. I get to be a bystander and ease drop of fascinating lectures, panel discussions, speeches, and presentations. While I work, I get to absorb information on all sorts of topics from urban planning to the future or battery storage. Sometimes, I’m introduced to a whole new industry and sometimes I get to learn more about something I’m already involved with.

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When I started my internship at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2013, I knew nothing about opera. I still thought it was only for old people and I thought it must be so boring. After photographing numerous events surrounding and leading up to the opening nights of each show that season, I learned to love opera. It turned out I was just watching it wrong! I even wrote a whole blog post about how to watch opera so that you’ll enjoy it. What I learned is that the key to loving opera is learning about it. The more I know about the story and the production, before I watched it, the more I enjoyed it.

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It’s the same way with Opera Colorado. They have so many events leading up to each show so that audiences can learn more about the piece before seeing it. When I photograph these events, I get to learn along with the audience and it gets me even more excited to see the shows! I love that this company has so many events around each production. I think it really increases audience engagement and creates a better experience for all audience members.

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This event was a luncheon discussion hosted by the Lamont School of Music at the Newman Center. Cast and crew members from Opera Colorado’s production of La Boheme were there to discuss the production and answer questions. There were even a couple of Lamont opera students there to perform before the talk. I love all the collaboration that went into this event.

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Want engaging event 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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Business Coach Lisa | Denver Branding Headshots

Every one of my personal branding clients gets a series of emails from me. One of the first ones they get after booking me for Denver branding headshots is an email with a list of suggested hair and makeup artists. I always recommend that my portrait clients hire a makeup artist. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup, a professional can really help perfect your look in photos.

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The first makeup artist on that list is Oksana. She is multi-talented and has a lot of experience with makeup for the camera as well as brand styling. When Lisa booked Oksana for her session, she not only her for hair and makeup, she also booked her for wardrobe styling. They worked together before Lisa’s personal branding session to shop for the best outfits that would flatter her and showcase her branding.

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Just before our session together, Oskana went to Lisa’s house to do her hair and makeup. They also worked together to narrow down the outfits for our session and pair everything up perfectly, from sweaters and scarves to the jewelry. At the beginning of every session, I always look through outfits with my clients and figure out what would look best on them and on camera. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way as to what clothing works best, what flatters different body types, and how to showcase a brand through clothing. That said, it is so, so awesome to have someone who is actually an expert in this work with you from shopping to styling.

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Business Coach Lisa | Denver Branding Headshots

Lisa and I had an amazing session at her friend’s cabin. Since this was an at home session in the mountains, we had to get some cozy cabin portraits. Outside, we caught some of the first fall leaves and even a bit of snow. It was pretty cold but Lisa powered through it and it was totally worth it! I mean just look at how beautiful these are!

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

Wyo-Horse Jewelry | Denver Branding Photography

I do a lot of Denver branding photography for service-based entrepreneurs and people who are the face of their brand, whether they are artists, politicians, or small business owners. For these sessions, the photos are all about the person in front of me. I focus on their personality and helping their audience connect with them through their portraits. We tailor the outfits and locations to match their brand.

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This session for Wyo-Horse Jewelry was a bit different from my regular branding sessions because this brand was a product line, rather than an individual. I photographed this session with a photographer friend of mine, Jennifer Mason. We had four models and Jennifer and I rotated between them as they changed outfits and jewelry. There were a lot of different pieces and looks to cover. We had a ton of variety, which made for a really fun branding session.

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Wyo-Horse Jewelry specializes in unique, trendy, and colorful jewelry and accessories that are fashionable with a western edge. They are a wholesale jeweler so they sell their products through farm and western wear stores. They have a ton of jewelry options, as well as some accessories like sweaters and bags. And everything is made right here in Denver! Supporting local small businesses is always so amazing.

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Just like with personal branding sessions, we tailored the location and outfits to the brand. We asked the models to each bring a few outfit options with neutral and earth tones. This way, the colors matched the brand but the clothing wasn’t distracting from the focus of the photos, the jewelry. We decided to do the session at Genesee Mountain Park. This spot isn’t far from Denver (in fact it is still considered a Denver park) and it has a gorgeous mountain setting with tons of evergreen trees, boulders, and a beautiful field that we used for sunset photos.

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