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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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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.

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

Dance Festival 2018 | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver is hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival with The Newman Center in June 2018 and I am so looking forward to it! The jurors are deciding what companies will perform as I write this. As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also serve as a photographer ambassador, along with Amanda Tipton.

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In preparation for the announcement of the festival, Amanda, Leslie Merrill, a Presenting Denver videographer ambassador, and I did a photo shoot at the Exdo Event Center with local dancers who volunteered for the shoot. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. We each photographed each dancer or company separately and then we had them collaborate together.

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These photos are from the first set of dancers, Michelle Bernier and Cali Nass. Michelle is a contemporary dancer, while Cali does hip hop and modern fusion dance. It was so fascinating to see these two dancers, who had never met, and had completely different dance styles, improv and collaborate together. They made some pretty incredible photos!

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Exdo was the perfect location for this photo shoot. We had access to the main indoor space all day, and the outdoor space, in the morning. The light and textures inside was so diverse and fun to play with. It changed throughout the day which gave each dancer a different look to their photos. For the collaboration part of the day, we went outside, in the graffitied alley behind the Exdo Event Center. When we were there, new murals were being painted, so the images had a cool “work in progress” feel to 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

Presenting Denver Dance Festival | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver and The Newman Center are co-hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival. The Festival will take place in June of 2018 and I could not be more excited! As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also get to serve as a photographer ambassador, alongside Amanda Tipton.

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Here’s what Presenting Denver has to say about the festival.

“The 2018 Presenting Denver Dance Festival, co-presented by Presenting Denver and The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, will be a compilation of world premieres by performing artists, dancers, and choreographers living in the state of Colorado. It will take place on June 23-24, 2018. Selected new works will be premiered in the Byron Theatre. There will be additional dance activities over the weekend and throughout the year. Tickets for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival go on sale November 6, 2017, on the Newman Center Presents website.”

I was just at the Newman Center for an event this morning and I was reminded of what a beautiful space it was. I cannot wait to see the festival hosted there!

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In preparation for the announcement of the festival, Amanda, Leslie Merrill, a Presenting Denver videographer ambassador, and I did a photo shoot at the Exdo Event Center with local dancers. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. These images are from when Samba Colorado and Abby Bural came in for their photoshoots. Abby is a Jazz and Lyrical dancer and Samba Colorado is a Brazilian Dance company. Photographing everyone together was really fun. Together, they found a way to combine their styles and work together.

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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