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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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Madame de Sade | Denver Theater Photography

I was going through some of my archives the other day and I found these photos from one of the first plays I ever photographed. While I was in college, at RIT, I started finding my niche with performing arts photography. Since my school didn’t have a theater program, I reached out to a nearby university and asked to photograph one of their productions. I had photographed plenty of opera and dance at that point, but this was my first straight play. I’ve since photographed many plays for Naropa University’s MFA Theater Program. This adaption of “Madame de Sade” was performed by the International Theater Program at the University of Rochester.

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Madame de Sade is a 1965 historical fiction play written by Yukio Mishima, set in Paris in the late 1700s. The play has an all female cast. The University of Rochester adapted the play to be set in the time of it’s writing. The costumes and props were all inspired by the 1960s rather than the 1700s. It was wonderful to watch such an interesting adaptation of a modern play. I loved that the Theater Department chose to feature a play with an all female cast as well!

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I found that with photographing straight plays, as opposed to operas and musicals, the emotions are less exaggerated, which meant I had to work a bit harder to capture them well. There were many quiet moments throughout this play that held so much emotion in context and it was a challenge to find ways to capture that tension without having the context of the rest of the scene. This is always a challenge in photographing any performance, but I always love a good challenge!

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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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Frances at the Botanic Gardens | Denver Senior Photography

Frances is a dance student at Park Hill Dance Academy, where I photograph portraits and performances throughout the season. When she entered her senior in high school, she needed a Denver senior photographer and remembered me from the headshots I took at Park Hill. Since Frances is a dancer, we made sure to take a couple of dance photos with her point shoes during her senior session. The glass greenhouse was the perfect spot for it. It was so fun getting to know Frances a bit and learn more about her. She is really interested in technical theater and library sciences!

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She knew she wanted a nature setting with lots of flowers for her session, so we decided on the Denver Botanic Gardens. I was a little worried that we might miss all the flowers since our session was in October but there was still so much color and beauty at the gardens in autumn. Plus, we got a few photos with some gorgeous fall foliage, which was such a treat in the middle of the city.

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Frances is a huge fan of the 1987 movie Wings of Desire and got her own amazing set of angel wings. It was so much fun incorporating them into her session throughout the gardens. She also wanted to recreate the iconic poster image from the movie, which we did at the end of the session, in Cheesman Park. I have to say, Frances had the most creative outfits and they showed off her personality so well. She found a lot of the pieces in thrift shops and vintage clothing stores. Isn’t that amazing!?

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Isn’t that red, leather jacket incredible? And with the yellow, aspen leaves, it was just perfect.

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

Wyo-Horse Jewelry | Denver Branding Photography

I do a lot of Denver branding photography for service-based entrepreneurs and people who are the face of their brand, whether they are artists, politicians, or small business owners. For these sessions, the photos are all about the person in front of me. I focus on their personality and helping their audience connect with them through their portraits. We tailor the outfits and locations to match their brand.

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This session for Wyo-Horse Jewelry was a bit different from my regular branding sessions because this brand was a product line, rather than an individual. I photographed this session with a photographer friend of mine, Jennifer Mason. We had four models and Jennifer and I rotated between them as they changed outfits and jewelry. There were a lot of different pieces and looks to cover. We had a ton of variety, which made for a really fun branding session.

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Wyo-Horse Jewelry specializes in unique, trendy, and colorful jewelry and accessories that are fashionable with a western edge. They are a wholesale jeweler so they sell their products through farm and western wear stores. They have a ton of jewelry options, as well as some accessories like sweaters and bags. And everything is made right here in Denver! Supporting local small businesses is always so amazing.

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Just like with personal branding sessions, we tailored the location and outfits to the brand. We asked the models to each bring a few outfit options with neutral and earth tones. This way, the colors matched the brand but the clothing wasn’t distracting from the focus of the photos, the jewelry. We decided to do the session at Genesee Mountain Park. This spot isn’t far from Denver (in fact it is still considered a Denver park) and it has a gorgeous mountain setting with tons of evergreen trees, boulders, and a beautiful field that we used for sunset photos.

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

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CU Student Bennett | Denver Senior Photography

Photographing Bennett last year was such a treat! I love creating portraits and senior sessions are always so much fun. Bennett’s aunts were looking to give him a Denver senior photography session as a gift for his graduation. They decided to hire me because of my experience working with actors and performing artists. This session served as a senior session, celebrating his graduation, and an actor headshot session, for an audition portfolio.

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In his senior year of high school, Bennett started acting and singing in his school’s theater productions. By the end of the year, he was auditioning for local theater companies outside of school. That meant he needed audition headshots! Bennett is now in college at CU Boulder pursuing degrees in math and theater. Isn’t that awesome!? My degree is in scientific photography so I’m all about the crossover between the arts and sciences. I know Bennett will be up to some incredible things in the next few years, so keep an eye out for him!

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We did this session at Waneka Lake in Lafayette, where we did Janet’s personal branding session, earlier in the year. Coming from a city on the Great Lakes, Colorado doesn’t have a whole lot of waterfront spots. That’s why I love shooting at Waneka Lake! It really feels like I’m back in the midwest again and it’s a gorgeous spot for all kinds of photos.

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A few months after we did this session, I got the chance to photograph Bennett’s dad, Sam, for his political campaign. I am always so honored to get referrals from past clients and it was wonderful to work with this awesome family a second time. I’ll be sharing Sam’s headshots this winter!

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

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Those Who Attend Your Funeral | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

I’ve loved being able to capture Naropa’s student theater productions. I’ve gotten the chance to see some of these students perform throughout their years in graduate school and it is amazing to watch how they’ve grown. Not just in terms of their skills but in the way they think as well. Their productions and performances deeper and more impactful each year. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements.

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The program for Those Who Attend Your Funeral is designed like a funeral program. on the back are the lyrics to Amazing Grace, which is sung during the performance. The starts with a funeral for a young woman and follows the lives of her father, sister, and boyfriend as they try to live after her death. The show is dark but full of sweet, beautiful moments.

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Cast and Crew:

Mark Gibson — Young Man

Dennis Kerr — Pastor

Mike Mayes — Dad

Fiona Small — Younger Sister

Ben Harrison — Stranger

Shiloh Shahan — Stranger

Victoria Gonzalez — Young Woman

Stage Manager — Cameron MacAlpine

Lighting Design — Isaac Eide, Cameron MacAlpine, and Malachi Tharp

Light Board Operator — Isaac Eide

Sound Board Operator — Jake Cacciatore

Assistant Stage Manager — Brandon Thomas

MFA Theatre Faculty:

Jeffrey Sichel — Chair

Erika Berland — Faculty

Ethelyn Friend — Faculty

School of the Arts & Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Staff:

Sue Hammond West — Dean

Liz Acosta — Senior School Administrator

Amy C. Buckler Rusterholz — Academic Administrator

Carline Swanson (“Swanee’) — Administrative Coordinator

Charmain Schuh — Gallery and Events Manager

Hayes Moore — Graduate Academic Advisor

Malachi Tharp — Production Coordinator

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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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Dance Warriors – Oil | Denver 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 Denver dance photography to raise awareness about the issues that face us today.

This was the first session I did locally, in Colorado. For months, I drove past the Suncor oil refinery a few days a week. It’s very visible from the highway. Something about it intrigued me. It looked so cool, industrial, grungy, even beautiful, but it also made me sad. It may look beautiful but it’s function wasn’t. Knowing what it was and the harm it was doing to us and the environment made it frustrating to see every time I drove home. Knowing that there are better ways to create the energy we need but that those methods are being suppressed and blocked so these companies can stay in business, without the need to change or innovate. That was hard to deal with. And seeing this symbol of that damage so close to the city I call home was difficult too.

I knew this had to be the location of the next installment of the Dance Warriors project. Jessie Westbrook is a dancer, choreographer, and model. She contacted me about this project and was very passionate about the idea. Read on for more about her and her thoughts on the oil industry, plus the photos!

Dance Warriors – Oil | Denver Dance Photography

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Tell me a bit about yourself.

I have been dancing for 21 years. I’m trained in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, house, and bboy.  I love to spend my free time in the outdoors, hiking, camping, anything that brings me outside. We have a 5-year-old boarder collie aussie mix who is our ever loyal adventure buddy. I teach dance to kids and teens and hope to have my own dance company one day.

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Why are you passionate about the oil industry?

Even though I don’t know much about the oil industry I feel very passionate about changing it because I grew up hearing about the effects of global warming and now we are starting to see it. It is becoming very real and it strikes a huge chord with me when people continue to turn and look the other way, motivated by greed or manipulated by corporations.

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How has dance helped you express yourself? 

Dance has helped me find a way to express myself when words have failed. It has helped me through the hardest years of my life and has been a platform of communication and change. Dance is a part of who I am, helps me find direction and purpose, and empowers me to do the things that I didn’t think I could.

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What do you think is the intersection between art and politics?

Art is a platform to express any message that one feels is important. It is a different type of voice, one that commands a thought process, a conversation.

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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.