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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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.

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New Project! | Dance Warriors

I’ve launched an exciting new dance photography project. It’s an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. The project is called Dance Warriors!

In the last few years, like many people, I have become more tuned in to what is going on in our country and in our world. As I’ve become increasingly aware of political and social issues, I have strived to make change happen. However, I’ve also felt overwhelmed and helpless at times. It seemed that every day I would wake up to another tragedy and it was difficult to focus my efforts. What could I alone do to make an impact?

At the same time, I started to feel less creative and less motivated to make my art. I knew I needed to do something to respond to what was happening around me and dance photography had to be the medium. I began this project to shed light on political issues that affect all of us.

I started by reaching out to dancers who wanted their voices to be heard. In most cases, the dancer chooses an issue they feel passionately about. Each session highlights a different issue, expressed by the location and the dancer’s movements.

So far, I’ve photographed three dancers for three different social and environmental issues. And in three different cities too! Here’s a sneak peek at the Dance Warrior series to date. If you are a dancer who is interested in participating in Dance Warriors, please email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com with the issues you are most passionate about and a photo of yourself dancing.

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Jessie Westbrook in Denver – Oil Industry

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Anna Rogovoy in New York City – Gentrification

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Kelleigh Harman in Chicago – Climate Change

Want engaging dance 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.

Park Hill Dance Collective in the Rain | Denver Dance Photography

Denver weather can change in an instant, which can make planning sessions a bit tricky. But I love Denver dance photography in all kinds of weather. I had a creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective planned for a Sunday in the Fall at City Park. A half hour before the session, Karlyn called me because it was pouring out. She knew her company dancers would be fine with dancing in the rain but we had also scheduled headshots for her youth company at the same session and she didn’t want the kids to get soaking wet and catch colds. We almost moved this session to a dryer location at the last minute but I am so glad we didn’t. We missed all the downpours and just had a light mist the whole time. Plus there were plenty of overhangs to duck under and places to run in to stay warm.

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This rainy, foggy day proved to be quite beautiful for our creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective. We did the last Collective shoot a few years ago, and they needed some updated portraits and photos from their new pieces. City Park is an awesome location to do a session of any kind. For Park Hill, it was perfect since it’s just a few blocks away from their studio. Karlyn and the company have always been very connected to their neighborhood, so I’m so glad we were able to incorporate that into our session this time.

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City Park has some great natural areas, but being the city kid that I am, I always gravitate toward the architectural features. We started out behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where there is a super cool sculpture (I’m a sucker for public art!) and some fun windows. The male dancers could only stay for the first part of the session, so the ladies and I had some fun at the end. We went down to the lake, where there is this lovely little retaining wall and a great view of the fountain and boathouse. I thought we might get some epic skyline views too, but by the time we got there the fog was so thick, you couldn’t see the buildings anymore! I think we got some pretty epic photos none-the-less.

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I had to include this blooper, just for fun!

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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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2017 in Review | Denver Photographer

2017 was quite a year! I started the year at home, sick, rewatching the ball drop in New York City, but I ended it watching the fireworks on the 16th St. Mall in a crowd of cheering Denverites. Last summer, I moved to downtown Denver and absolutely love it! I even have a great indoor space to use for portraits in my apartment building. I’ve grown my arsenal of camera gear and business goodies, so I now have my own lighting equipment and client management software for a better client experience. Like all years, there were ups and downs, but I’m so excited about how much I and my business have grown!

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The headshot side of my business has grown a lot in 2017 and with each session, I love it more and more. I’ve worked with lots of talented performing artists, many fearless small business owners, and plenty of others, from engineers to politicians. I also used my camera to give back to the community—donating senior portraits to teen parents.

As part of my goal to network more, I had my first (and second) speaking engagement, creating an interactive presentation to teach women “How to Love Yourself in Photos.” It was so much fun to share my knowledge with others and empower them at the same time!

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This season, I became a Corporate Sponsor for Opera Colorado while photographing even more amazing events and performances for their 2017-2018 season. I met their seven new Young Artists and got a first peek at their new rehearsal/event/performance space!

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I continued working with the wonderful Park Hill Dance Academy and Naropa University’s Theater Program. I also photographed shows from other local theater and dance companies, including Local Lab and Wild Heart Dance. And I continued to work on new personal dance projects.

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In my personal life, I photographed my family reunion in North Carolina and took my camera to the Boulder Pride Parade, the Women’s March on Denver, and other protests. I started and then quickly gave up on a New Year’s resolution to take a professional selfie each month (not all resolutions are meant to be kept!). What brought me to tears, however, was seeing the total solar eclipse in Wyoming—an overwhelming experience!

I’m sure 2018 will bring even more exciting and stunning moments to capture. Wishing you a joyful year ahead!

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

Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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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