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The Sisters DeCantate | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

I’ve loved being able to capture Naropa’s student theater productions. Through Colorado performing arts photography, 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 are 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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“Chekhov’s Three Sisters find themselves in a grungy, old jazz bar to sing the smoky, grey incantations of their souls.” This is the line printed in the program for The Sisters DeCantate, presented by Jade Garisch in collaboration with Kristin Stelter, Chie Saito, Madelyn Robinson, and Marko Melnick. Their performance was beautifully done and highly engaging. I was so drawn into it as I was photographing the show. Throughout the performance, the audience got a chance to get to know each of the three sisters, the struggles they shared, and their unique personalities. There was so much raw emotion packed into this hour-long show and I was left feeling as though a weight had been lifted. 

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Cast and Crew

Irina – Jade Garisch

Olga – Madelyn Robinson

Masha – Kristin Stelter

Birdmother – Chie Saito

Guitar / Accordian / Effects / Pedals: Marko Melnick

Composition: Music composition, words, structure, concept and direction by Jade Garisch. Guitar parts/live effects composed by Marko Melnick.

Choreography: Chie Saito in collaboration with Jade Garisch and cast

Stage Manager: Cameron MacAlpine

Assistant Stage Manager: Brandon Thomas

Light Board Operator: Isaac Eide

Sound Board Operator: Jake Cacciatore

Production Coordinator: Malachi Tharp

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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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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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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.

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.