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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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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.

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.

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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.

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.