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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.

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Snowy Group Portraits | Denver Headshot Photography

Being a Denver headshot photographer may sound pretty straightforward but there are many challenges that come my way. I love finding ways to work in unusual conditions and overcome the hurdles.

 

This was not an easy session but I’m so proud of the photos we created.

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Each year, I get to do a group portrait session with the Young Artists at Opera Colorado. Last year was the first time we did this and it was so much fun. Be sure to check out the photos here! Later in the season, the group changed a bit so we did another session. That meant that instead of a beautiful sunny day in September, we were shooting in the middle of a snowstorm in January. We used the lobby of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for some of the smaller group portraits and then the Young Artists got changed and we headed outside. I had them all bring cute winter coats and scarves and they looked really great together. They were freezing cold but hopefully the hand warmers I brought them helped a bit! I always have a few in my bag for clients to hold and stuff in their pockets for winter sessions.

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This was a very difficult session. With the snow and the cold, I could hardly see what I was doing since my viewfinder kept fogging up. We only had less than 15 minutes before everyone froze their butts off. And of course, the snow kept blowing in everyone’s faces the whole time. All that said, I really love these group portraits. These wonderful Young Artists were so awesome. They put up with the cold, wind, and snow, and even smiled the whole time (just keeping their eyes open was a chore). They were enthusiastic and didn’t complain once. I am so grateful for that because I love snowy, winter portraits. And nothing quite compares to what we can get during a real snowfall.

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Want fun, engaging portraits for you or your company? Get in touch with me at jamie@jamiekraus.comI would love to help tell your story through photography.

Elixer of Love |Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Each year, Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists take two operas on the road. Cherity Koepke the Director of the Young Artist Program and Brett Sprague the Assistant Director adapt and restage the shows to work with an audience of school children. They’ve been introducing new shows into the mix, and last year’s new production was Elixer of Love. It’s a funny story about con-artists, love triangles, and root beer saloons. As a Colorado performing arts photographer, I was called in to photograph the show for marketing materials.

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Each season, the Young Artists go on a tour around Colorado. They pack up the set, props, costumes, and themselves in a van and drive all over the state. They performing operas at middle schools and high schools in rural areas and mountain towns. So many of these kids have never seen an opera before. These photos were used to market the show to schools who wanted the opera to perform for their students. They’re also used to attract audience members to the annual Family Day event and to encourage donors to sponsor a Young Artist.

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Since this show is a touring production, that goes to school auditoriums across the state, we didn’t have a formal performance space to photograph in. Instead, we used their rehearsal space, the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. There is some natural light in the space but no stage lights. With performing arts photography, you have to be adaptable. So I brought my own equipment to give the photos a more production feel to them. I have a very portable light set up that works perfectly for events and small performances like this!

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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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Opera Singer Omar | Denver Headshot Photography

When Omar came to me interested in new audition photos, he said he hadn’t gotten headshots in six years and that he looked like he was 12 in them. That’s a really good reason to get new headshots! We already knew each other since he was a tenor in the Young Artist program at Opera Colorado. I get to work with the Young Artists a lot throughout the season but I don’t always have the chance to get to know them. That’s why I love Denver headshot photography so much. I get to spend time with awesome people, like Omar!

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Our session was set for February and with Colorado weather, we had no idea if it would be sunny or a snowstorm.  We got the perfect middle ground though! It was a beautiful, sunny day and it started snowing part way through the session. It was pretty much perfect. A lot of people think I only shoot portrait sessions in the summer, since my sessions are mostly outdoors. I love photographing all year long though! I can take whatever the weather will throw at me. Plus, everyone looks good in sweaters and scarves, right? Omar definitely rocked them in this session.

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We did Omar’s headshots at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This is a great location for performing artists. It has an aspirational element to it, it provides a wide range of backgrounds, and if the weather isn’t great, we can stay under the glass dome!

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A few months ago, I saw that they had torn down the bridge that the photos below were taken on. The Denver Performing Arts Center will be undergoing some major changes in the next couple years, and I guess this bridge was the first thing that had to go. It made me so sad to see this because the bridge was a really great spot for portraits. It got great light, it felt nice and private, and I loved the Convention Center facade in the background. Enjoy these photos, because you won’t see any more sessions here!

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

Wine and Opera | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Last year, Opera Colorado came up with a genius idea. They wanted to create an engaging, fun, and social experience that involved opera. So they teamed up with a sommelier and paired arias with wine at a Denver vineyard. Colorado performing arts photography is always so much fun but this was really something special.

To see two totally different disciplines come together and compliment each other was quite amazing. And the creativity that went into the pairings was incredible. Each aria and wine pairing fed off each other and enhanced the experience. They were paired with purpose.

The whole night was so much fun. The Balistreri Vineyards, a family owned, multi -generation vineyard in Denver, was a beautiful venue and guests even got a tour to see how the wine was aged. The Opera Colorado Young Artists paired three sets of songs with three wines. The songs were curated by Cherity, the Education Director and the wine was chosen and paired by the grandson on the the Vineyard’s founder. I love that the Young Artists end each performance with a full group aria. It is always amazing to see them all sing together.

Events like these are such a great way to draw in new audience members as well as partner with other local businesses. Having great images of these events really helps to draw people in and get them excited about your organization.

Inside OC will be doing more of these events in their upcoming season! The next two events will be at Nocturne and The Preservery with the new cast of Young Artists. You won’t want to miss them!

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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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Opera Colorado Portraits | Denver Portrait Photography

I am so, so glad I got to take these awesome group portraits of Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists last season. These Denver portraits were bright, fun, and colorful. Right up my alley! We did the portrait photography right before their Opera Colorado debut at the Young Artist Showcase.

It was the perfect day to take photos too. The light was just gorgeous! Allison Nicholas (soprano), Danielle Lombardi (mezzo-soprano), Omar Najmi (tenor), Ryan Bradford (baritone), Charles Eaton (baritone), and Nathan Van Arsdale (bass baritone) rocked this session and made it so much fun! I got to take Danielle and Omar’s headshots later in the season too!

For this session, we went with a bright, jewel tone color scheme, which I loved! The Young Artists did a great job coordinating their outfits without being too matchy. We did two looks. The first was a casual look, outdoors, with the Denver Theater District as the background. Then we went inside, for a more formal look, with the gorgeous Ellie Caulkins Opera House as the backdrop. We got some champagne glasses and cocktail tables to complete the look!

Professional group portraits can help your cast or company feel more relatable and boost your sales. These images are great to use on websites and social media and work perfectly to advertise an event you don’t have imagery for yet. Opera Colorado used these group portraits to advertise upcoming performances and to attract the next group of awesome Young Artists. Why wouldn’t you want to work here!? We were also able to squeeze in some photos of smaller groups to advertise shows where just a few of the artists performed.

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Want fun, engaging portraits for you or your company? Get in touch with me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photography.

Opera Singer Brett | Denver Headshot Photography

I met Brett when he was a Young Artist, during my first season with Opera Colorado. Brett Sprague is a tenor from Tacoma, Washington. He played Tamino in the Student Matinee of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. You can see the production photos from that show here. More recently, he played Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Colorado as well as other role’s across the country. Check out his full bio and website (with more photos) here.

For the past few seasons, he has been the Assistant Director of the Young Artist Program at Opera Colorado. He is always full of great ideas and has been a great mentor to the new Young Artists. He and Cherity, the Director of the Young Artist Program, make such a great team!

The two of them decided to book their headshot sessions together. It is such a great idea to book with a friend or coworker. You can encourage each other and help each other feel more comfortable. I switch off between the two of you, which gives you a few nice breaks from smiling so much. And we can do some fun photos of the two of you together! Plus, you can take advantage of a discount for booking back to back.

We did this session at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I love this location for it’s clean, urban look. It is a cultural center of the city, making it a great backdrop for any kind of artist. We also got to go in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and use the theater for a few photos. These made for some really classy headshots at the end of our session.

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Looking for a relaxed, fun headshot experience, with a lot of character? Need updated portraits for your website, social media, or auditions? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.