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At A Crossroads Rehearsal | Denver Dance Photography

Park Hill Dance Academy’s At A Crossroads dress rehearsal was just beautiful. A couple months earlier, we did a promotional creative session for this show, which was so much fun. Park Hill used those photos to promote the show on social media, and one of the images was used for the show’s poster. The student’s parents were so excited. Many of them helped out at the promo shoot and some of them came to watch the end of the dress rehearsal too.

At A Crossroads was performed at the Vintage Theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the first half of the show, all the students and a few company members danced together in a beautiful, moving piece. Some parts were performed by the younger students, some by the older students, and in some parts, everyone was dancing together on stage. It was really great to see students from different classes coming together for the show. I loved that they all had their lace dresses in different colors as well.

The second half of the show was comprised of multiple, shorter pieces, some by the Academy students and some by the company members. Each piece brought a different emotion to the show and they all complimented each other well. This second half started off with the slower, more melancholy feel of the first half, but got gradually more joyful and vibrant. By the end of the show, everyone was on stage, in fun, bright colors and having a big dance party. One of my favorite pieces, was lit by tiny candles the students held in their hands and danced with. (Don’t worry, they weren’t real candles.) It created a really beautiful glow.

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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.

Stepping Out | Boulder Dance Photography

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a show by one of the biggest dance companies in the area. Boulder Ballet‘s show “Stepping Out” was a joyful, vibrant work. I was asked by Eli Akerstein to photograph the show alongside him. It can be very helpful to get a couple different perspectives at a dress rehearsal. I sat up in the seats, in the center to get lots of wide shots of the show, while Eli was up close, getting some interesting angles.

This show was a world premier of contemporary works. There were three pieces and they were each uniquely different from each other. The first piece was a light, classical piece full of pastels and fun interactions. This piece was accompanied by live music from Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. The last piece was bright and upbeat, with an Irish vibe to it. There was lots of plaid and even some Irish step dancing.

While I normally gravitate toward anything vibrant and colorful, the second piece was my favorite. It was moody. It was emotional. It was dark, full of tension, and had the perfect amount of weirdness. It was set to an original piece of electronic music called Light Fandango created by Robert North. As much as I love color, weird is my favorite and when it comes to dance photography, tension is everything.

This show had something for everyone and definitely left you feeling happy, which was the whole point. The artistic director, Ana Claire, spoke before the show and noted that “Stepping Out” was created to bring joy to an emotional time post-election, without ignoring the problems at hand. I think it did a wonderful job and it certainly lifted my spirits.

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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.

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.

 

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.

At A Crossroads Promo | Denver Dance Photography

One Sunday morning in February, about a dozen kids and a bunch of adults woke up at the crack of dawn and started running through the middle of the street. Did they all go crazy? Was there something in the water? Nope. They were just dancers.

Park Hill Dance Academy and I planned out this elaborate dance creative session to promote their show, At A Crossroads (get tickets here!). We wanted to convey that theme of being at a crossroads in life, of decision making and turning points.

Production photography is important for a new show (check out the photos from the dress rehearsal here). They are great for press, future marketing, and for your dancer’s portfolios. Promo sessions, however, are essential marketing pieces for an upcoming show or event. They can be used before the show opens, to attract more audience members and increase hype around the piece. Since these can be done much farther in advance than rehearsal photos, they can have a greater effect on ticket sales.

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Mary Chase Doll is one of the the guest choreographers for this work and she had the idea to do the photo shoot at the intersection by the dance studio. We had parents pushing the crosswalk buttons and watching for cars. I was up on a huge ladder, and Mary was shouting directions at the dancers from off camera. It was really fun to see everything come together to create Mary’s vision for the poster. The final poster turned out beautifully!

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We all had a super fun morning and got some really cool photos! I always love the behind the scenes shots too. You can see a behind the scenes video my assistant took, on my Instagram and Facebook feeds! Here are a few of the dancers practicing their moves and Karlyn talking to her students.

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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.

Park Hill Dancer Portraits | Denver Dance Photography

Today is Dance Teachers Appreciation Day! I wanted to do a spotlight on a dance studio and a dance teacher I love: Park Hill Dance Academy! Last year, I photographed Park Hill Dance Collective. Here are the awesome dance portraits from that session.

More recently, I took portraits of all of the older students at Park Hill Dance Academy. It was a chilly day, but they were all such troopers and their portraits turned out wonderfully!

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This is Karlyn, the mastermind behind Park Hill Dance Academy. She is a truly wonderful person and she runs an amazing dance studio.

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Do you remember the maternity dance session I did on the beach? This little cutie is the “bump” from those photos! The dance students totally adore her and love having her around the studio.

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

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6 Gift Ideas for Dance Teachers | Denver Dance Photography

Dance Teacher Appreciation Day is next Wednesday! Dance teachers work hard. Show your gratitude with these fun gift ideas. Below are seven gift ideas, from personal gifts to gifts from your whole class.

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Spa Day: Your dance teacher works hard and puts a lot of wear on their body. Treat them to a relaxing day at the spa or bring the spa to them. You can get them a gift card to a spa, like the Woodhouse Day Spas in Denver or DragonTree Spa in Boulder.

If you’re the crafty DIY type, you can make your own spa gift basket. Get some massage oils, lotions, bath bombs, and lots of Epson Salt. A dancer can never have too much Epson Salt.

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Leg Warmers: If you’re good at crocheting, handmade leg warmers is a very thoughtful gift for your dance teacher. Find out their favorite colors and make a pair they’ll love! Here are a bunch of free crochet patterns to get you started.

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Dance tickets: Gift your favorite dance teacher a night out. Get them a pair of tickets to a dance show they’ll love. The Newman Center in Denver always has a great season filled with dance companies from all over. There are tons of great local companies as well from Colorado Ballet to Cleo Parker  Robinson.

Dance Books: Misty Copeland’s “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History by Margaret Fuhrer
Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans

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Music: What dancer doesn’t love music? Getting your favorite teach a nice pair of headphones, a speaker set, or a subscription to Spotify Premium is a great way to give them the gift of music.

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Creative Session: A dance photography session can be a fantastic way to show your dance teacher how much you admire them. This gift not only shows them that you think they’re great, it shows them that you think their creativity is worth celebrating and showing off. Especially if your teacher doesn’t perform as much as they used to, a photo session is a ton of fun and a great way to get creative and “perform” in an out of the box way. I offer Denver and Boulder dance photography as well as session gift cards. Click here to find out more about creative dance sessions.

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Want to celebrate your creativity or honor someone else’s? 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.

World Series Champions | Chicago Dance Photographer

I am a very proud Chicagoan and while I grew up on the south side, I will still root for the Cubs (unless it’s a crosstown classic), because they’re my home team too. I honestly didn’t think they would win the Word Series last year. I was shocked! I was so excited! And then I was really sad that I wasn’t there to celebrate. So to make up for not being at the game or the rally, my friend Hannah and I got together and did a Cub’s inspired Creative Dance Session in Wrigleyville.

Just like dancing, being a dance photographer is a great way to express yourself. November was a really shitty month for me, so being able to celebrate the Cub’s World Series win and express my joy and pride, was pretty therapeutic for me. Hannah also grew up in Chicago and moved away, so this was really the first time either of us were able to celebrate in our hometown.

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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.

Best of 2016 | Denver Photographer

Wow, 2016. I’m not going to lie and say that 2016 was great. It was a very difficult year, for the world as well as for my personal life. But, of course, there were good parts and some really good parts. And now, it’s over! So let’s celebrate with some photos!

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This is my 2016 photo review. My favorite images from my favorite sessions throughout the year. My business, my work, my clients were consistently positive throughout the year. And for that, I am so grateful. When I was at my lowest, crying alone in an airport, I got an inquiry for a really fun photo shoot that I knew would fuel my soul. It didn’t lessen all the pain, but it did give me something positive to look forward to and something to be grateful for.

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In 2016, I started working more closely with Opera Colorado, taking portraits of the Young Artists, and working with Inside OC. I got to photograph one of my dream dance companies, Streb. I started offering headshot sessions and was able to work with some incredible people one-on-one. I was hired by Naropa University’s Theater Program and photographed three shows for them. I worked with a lot of dancers around the country, making creative portraits together. Perhaps most exciting, I started a new dance project, which will be announced later in 2017!

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

STREB in Breck | Colorado Dance Photographer

Over the summer, my family took a vacation to Breckenridge. It turns out we picked the perfect week to go because it was the Breckenridge International Arts Festival!  From public performances on the streets, installation art in the woods, live music on the trails, to shows in the local theater, there was so much going on all week.

This show was the highlight for me. STREB Extreme Action has been on my must-see list of dance companies for years. They performed two acts: Ascension and Quake. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. I got to watch the show, photograph it, and even meet the creative director after. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking now.

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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.