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2018 Year in Review

Each year, I recap my work and collect all of my favorite images from my favorite sessions throughout the year. My business, my work, my clients all continue to inspire me and move me forward. For that, I am so grateful!

This year came with some pretty exciting things in my personal life. In March, my family went on a huge trip to Africa to explore Cape Town and go on safari in Botswana and Zambia. It has been my mom’s dream to take us on a safari for years! It was such an incredible trip and I have so, so many photos. I haven’t even edited them all yet! 

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I launched a new dance photography project this year and started photographing for another that has been in the works for a while now. In March, I announced my new project, Dance Warriors! I am so excited about this project and I’m so proud of everyone who has been involved. It’s an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. 

I also started photographing dancers for the Day in the Body of a Dancer, which I am working on with Presenting Denver. For this project, I will be documenting ten dancers through their, professional and personal lives. The images, along with interviews by Celeste Davis Stragand, will eventually be put together in a book. 

Speaking of Presenting Denver, we had our first Presenting Denver Dance Festival and it was so far beyond my expectations! The rehearsal day happened to be on my birthday, so I got to spend it doing what I love, photographing dance! I can’t wait until the next one, in 2020! 

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At the beginning of 2018, Morgan and I moved into a new apartment, and I know have an office! No more working in the living room and trying to confine all my stuff into 5 square feet! I also have an amazing space for indoor headshots that I’ve used a lot throughout the year. It’s a great option for those looking for a professional office feel in their images or clients who are wanting to stay warm for winter sessions. 

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In 2019, I’ve got some pretty exciting things going on! I’ll be doing my speaking engagements this year! Make sure you’re on my email list if you want to learn How To Love Yourself in Photos! Next year, I’ll be traveling to Chicago, New York State, Washington DC, and hopefully San Francisco and Las Angeles. I’m also going to be starting a new blog series of Denver mac and cheese reviews. So, if you’re as crazy about cheese and pasta as I am, or at least half as crazy, then keep an eye out for those! Wishing you a joyful year ahead!

What was your favorite part of 2018? 

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

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Politician Sam | Denver Headshot Photographer

As a Denver headshot photographer, my job is to put my client’s personalities into a still image. I work to draw out a person’s essence and capture it so that other’s can see them, the real them, their whole selves, in an instant. Once they see that, they are able to connect with and empathize with the person in front of them. This is what a good headshot does.  

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I try to stay politically active and informed, and I have even donated my services to political campaigns I felt especially passionate about, but I had never taken a politician’s headshots before. The word politician has such a negative connotation. I might be an optimist, but I truly believe that the problems of our government can be solved. This is really the job that politicians have, which makes them an incredibly important part of our society. There may be some bad ones but in essence, all politicians are people trying to help others. My job with this session was to show that. 

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Sam is one of those people who just overflows with kindness, gratitude, and humor. I had photographed his son Bennett’s actor headshots and senior session earlier in the year. In the winter, Sam came to me for headshots. He had decided to run for office and needed professional portraits to use in his campaign for Boulder County Assessor. Sam mentioned that the public’s perception of this position is especially negative and he wanted me to make him look likable, approachable, and nice. It wasn’t hard to do that at all since he truly is all of those things! 

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Since is was cold outside, we decided to have the session at my indoor location in downtown Denver. This gave us a great home base to chat and look over outfits. We did the first half of the session inside the natural light space and the second half outside at a local park. We even met the tiniest, most adorable dog on the way! 

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Looking for a relaxed, fun headshot experience, with a lot of character? 

Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Opening Night Reception | Denver Event Photography

The coolest thing about Denver event photography is getting to be a part of awesome, important events. This one was a pretty incredible night. Opera Colorado had just opened their world premiere or Steal a Pencil For Me at the Mizel Arts and Cultural Center at the JCC in Denver. After the show, they held a reception for the biggest supporters of the new production along with the amazing cast and crew.

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World premieres are always really exciting (this was Opera Colorado’s second since I’ve been involved) but this one hit close to home. Steal a Pencil For Me is primarily a love story, but it is also a Holocaust story and it is all based on real events. My family has their own Holocaust stories so these always stand out to me. The story revolves around a young man and young women who meet at the start of the war. Soon, they and their families are taken off to camps and forced to work for the Nazis. Through all the trauma, they manage to find hope in their love for each other.

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Their story is told through letters they wrote to each other while they were in the concentration camps. At the reception were letters written to loved ones in response to the opera’s story. There were also plenty of drinks and food (and cake pops!) to go around. The room was buzzing with excitement after the show. Everyone was talking about how much they loved it. I’m so glad we were able to get a huge group photo with the cast and crew at the event as well!

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Looking for 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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Bird Fur Tees in Five Points | Denver Portrait Photography

Bird Fur Tees is the t-shirt company my brother, Josh, created. Josh has always had a quirky sense of humor and an entrepreneurial spirit and this company has been the perfect combination for him. His shirts are funny, weird, timely, and sometimes even philanthropic. He’s always posting behind the scenes photos, new designs, and funny memes on his Facebook page. Go ahead and take a look.

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This session was so much fun! I loved so many of the new t-shirts. My favorites from this session were the You’re my Everything Bagel shirt and the Delicious Nazi Tears shirt. Also, these murals are amazing! We went to the Exdo event center, where Tracks is. If you haven’t seen a drag show at Tracks, you are missing out. There are so many amazing murals in their parking lot and the alley behind their main building. I love how colorful they all are!

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We always try to take a few photos of the models wearing blank t-shirts. That way new designs can be photoshopped onto the blank tees as they are released, so customers can get a better idea of how they’ll actually look. Josh comes out with new t-shirt ideas as he thinks of them, but we can only do a couple of sessions a year. This is a great way to keep the photos up to date with the current products, in between photo shoots.

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What’s a Bird Fur shoot without some ridiculous silliness? We didn’t even have to steal a dog this time because one of our models brought her own! Emily brought her pup, Cricket to the session and she was such a charmer. She was very well behaved and followed most of my posing directions without any treat bribing!

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Check out all the other Bird Fur photo shoots we’ve done.

The First Bird Fur Photo Shoot

Bird Fur on Santa Fe

Bird Fur in Rino

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Need to spice up your website or up your social media game? I would love to chat about creating engaging, eye-catching photos for you and your brand. Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Colorado Gives Day 2018

Colorado Gives Day is today! This is Colorado’s local version of Giving Tuesday. Each year on the Tuesday following Giving Tuesday, Coloradoans can donate to local non-profits while maximizing their giving power through a $1 Million Incentive Fund. The incentive fund is split between all participating non-profits, based on the percentage of donations they receive. 

I know how hard it can be to find the resources to donate money or even time to non-profits. That’s why I’ve built it into my personal budget and my business structure, because I know giving is so important. Non-profits need money, but they also need other forms of support like time, services, and resources. Below are five local organizations I volunteered with, supported, or donated to this year. These are wonderful, homegrown organizations that need your help as well. 

Presenting Denver

Who they are: Presenting Denver serves as Denver’s dance community. Their goal is to create a way to bring dancers and dance lovers together through performances, support, and resources. 

How I gave: I volunteer on the Dance Events committee. I also volunteer as a photographer ambassador, where I photograph headshots, promotional material, and events.

How you can give: There are so many ways to support Presenting Denver. You can volunteer on one of their committees, attend an event, become a sponsor, or make a financial donation

Opera Colorado

Who they are: Opera Colorado is Denver’s biggest opera company. Each season, they produce three operas, two at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and one at a smaller theater. They strive to present new works, and bring up and coming artists to the state.

How I gave: I give to Opera Colorado by donating a portion of my services to the company.

How you can give: They have so many ways for you to support, from Young Artist Sponsorship to one time donations. You can donate to Opera Colorado through Colorado Gives Day here.

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Gender Identity Center of Colorado

Who they are: The Gender Identity Center is an important resource for transgender, nonbinary, and questioning Coloradoans as well as their families and friends. They offer therapy, support groups, community, and other essential services. The GIC is one of only a few centers in the country that does this and they have been open for over 40 years. 

How I gave: I ran a charity photo shoot at Boulder Pride, to raise money for the organization. I also donated to their fundraising campaign. 

How you can give: The GIC is always looking for volunteers to help at events, lead support groups or offer pro-bono therapy to the community. 

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Vagina Monologues Denver

Who they are: Kate Spencer organizes Denver’s production of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, a world renowned play to help stop violence against women and girls. 

How I gave: I volunteer to photograph their rehearsals, headshots, and performances.

How you can give: Audition! Vagina Monologues is looking for anyone who identifies as a woman to be a part of the show. No acting experience required. Auditions are being held on December 15th. Don’t want to be on stage? Follow them on Facebook and attend a show in February!

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The Center

Who they are: The Center serves as the LGBTQ community center for Colorado. The provide the LGBTQ community with resources, programs, communications, and opportunities. 

How I gave: I donated clothing to their transgender clothing swap event.

How you can give: Volunteer at an event, donate, or shop through one of their affiliates.

Happy Giving, Colorado! I’d love to collaborate with you or your organization! Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Theater Marketer Rachel | Chicago Headshot Photography

Last year, while I was home, in Chicago, for Thanksgiving, I hosted a headshot and wine event. I offered mini headshot sessions and we had some wine and cheese to mingle over before the sessions. It had been a few years since I did Chicago headshot photography (I work primarily in Denver) and it was so fun to get back to shooting there. I did the sessions in the neighborhood I grew up in. There were still some fall leaves that hadn’t fallen yet and I loved all the textures and backgrounds the neighborhood provided.

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Rachel is my oldest friend. Our moms are good friends and we were born only a few months apart, so we grew up together. Somehow, we ended up working in the same industry, although in completely different parts of the country. While I photograph a lot of performing arts and theater, Rachel works in marketing for theater companies. She is also a theater critic, writing for Broadway World and her own blog, Rachel Weinberg Reviews. She’s currently in school, pursuing her master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

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Rachel has always been obsessed with purple and I love the purple top she brought to her session! The timing of our session was perfect. I hardly get to see Rachel anymore, now that we live so far apart and it was great to spend some time with her at our session. She even brought her mom so our moms could hang out while the two of us got to catch up. Plus, pretty soon, she’ll be looking for a new job when she graduates and now she’ll have a fresh, new headshot to promote herself with on Linked In!

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

Thanksgiving 2017 | Denver Portrait Photography

We’re not the most traditional family out there. We have our traditions but, for the most part, we like to mix things up. For Thanksgiving, we have a new theme each year for the meal. There’s usually a few new people at the dinner table. Some years, we don’t even eat turkey. So every year is different from the last. There are a few things, however, that we just cannot have Thanksgiving without.

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Themes. As I mentioned, there’s always a theme to our Thanksgiving meals. Some years, it was different countries or cuisines. Last year, we started a new tradition of picking a name out of a hat and that person has a year to decide on the theme. We started with the co-host, my uncle. He chose a 1950s cookbook as the theme. Everyone had to make a dish from the cookbook or a variation of it. This year, it’s my aunt’s turn and her theme is foraged ingredients. Each dish has to feature one ingredient that can be foraged from the area.

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Music. There is always music at my aunt and uncles house. There’s always a Pandora station playing in the background and a guitar lying around for my brother, Josh, to play. In the last few years, we started having family sing-alongs, which are insanely embarrassing and so much fun.

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Mushroom goo. Mushroom goo is my uncle, Alex’s, invention. It’s a combination of mushrooms, onions, and cream and it’s usually stuffed into more mushroom caps and topped with parmesan. It’s the most amazing thing ever had and I look forward to it every year. Last year, we put it in homemade ravioli inspired by the 1950’s cookbook.

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Buckeyes. From probably the first Thanksgiving I can remember, my aunt Robbie and I made Buckeyes together. Buckeyes are an Ohio treat consisting of peanut butter balls partly covered in chocolate. My dad and uncle are from Ohio and they are and huge Ohio State fans. The mascot is the Buckeye, which inspired the dessert. These days, my little cousin Ava helps us make them and we use the leftover chocolate to make bark with whatever we can find in it.

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Each other. It wouldn’t be a cheesy Thanksgiving post if I didn’t gush about my awesome family. While our table is open to many people who come and go, our family is always together on Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for that.

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Let’s get to know each other! Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.