Park Hill Dance Academy Headshots | Denver Dance Photography

As a Denver dance photographer, I have the awesome opportunity to photograph the youth company at Park Hill Dance Academy. But, I swear, these girls must totally hate me! The first time I photographed them, it was pretty chilly and they had to wear their leotards and tights outside. The second time I worked with them was at sunrise, in February. And this time, it was cold and rainy the whole time! At least, this time, they got to wear a long sleeve shirt over their leos, if they wanted to!

We did headshots of a few of dancers from the adult company, including the studio owner, Karlyn. Then we did portraits of each girl in the youth company and a few group photos as well. We did one group of all the dancers together, in their dance attire and one, just for fun of everyone in street clothes with their umbrellas! I had everyone dance in the rain and jump around for the last shots! Those were some of my favorite photos from the session!

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I love photographing in City Park. It’s a great location, with lots to offer but in typical city kid fashion, I always gravitate toward the architecture of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science rather than the pretty trees and flowers. Behind the museum is a really nice area, that is great for headshots. There was even a dry spot, under a tree, for the girls to sit! (I always bring towels to my headshot sessions so no one has to sit in rain or snow.) The steps were the perfect spot for us to do the group photos. And in a rainy day like this, it was really nice to have some overhang areas to hang out and stash our stuff, plus people could run into the museum lobby to warm up. These girls are total troopers. They are dancers, after all!

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Are you looking for engaging portraits of you or your company? 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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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