Stepping Out | Boulder Dance Photography

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a show by one of the biggest dance companies in the area. Boulder Ballet‘s show “Stepping Out” was a joyful, vibrant work. I was asked by Eli Akerstein to photograph the show alongside him. It can be very helpful to get a couple different perspectives at a dress rehearsal. I sat up in the seats, in the center to get lots of wide shots of the show, while Eli was up close, getting some interesting angles.

This show was a world premier of contemporary works. There were three pieces and they were each uniquely different from each other. The first piece was a light, classical piece full of pastels and fun interactions. This piece was accompanied by live music from Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. The last piece was bright and upbeat, with an Irish vibe to it. There was lots of plaid and even some Irish step dancing.

While I normally gravitate toward anything vibrant and colorful, the second piece was my favorite. It was moody. It was emotional. It was dark, full of tension, and had the perfect amount of weirdness. It was set to an original piece of electronic music called Light Fandango created by Robert North. As much as I love color, weird is my favorite and when it comes to dance photography, tension is everything.

This show had something for everyone and definitely left you feeling happy, which was the whole point. The artistic director, Ana Claire, spoke before the show and noted that “Stepping Out” was created to bring joy to an emotional time post-election, without ignoring the problems at hand. I think it did a wonderful job and it certainly lifted my spirits.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

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Two Roads | Colorado Arts Photographer

Some of the coolest parts of last summer’s Breckenridge International Art Festival were the trail performances. Along a few trails were art installation, often made out of the woods themselves. Throughout the festival, musicians would come and perform in the woods near the art installations. The Breckenridge International Art Festival is hosted in Breckenridge each August. They did such an incredible job combining various artforms together and with the stunning nature the town is known for. From acrobatic dance pieces to giant dinosaurs in the streets, there was an incredible variety of art at this festival.

We hiked up a mountain just outside of town to get to this spot, just in time for a live show. On the way up, we passed bikers and got some great views of the town below. We know we had made it because we could see the bright red of Konstantin Dimopoulos’s outdoor installation, “Two Roads,” through the trees.

From the festival’s website, Dimopoulos’s piece “is composed of branches collected from the forest floor, repurposed into chair-like structures. The skeletal quality of the frames provokes contemplation of negative space, or what is seemingly missing, while the branches, colored red, produce a vibrant contrast to the natural forest. The installation is both playful and thought provoking.”

We were then treated to a guitar performance by a local musician before hiking back down into town for some beignets, the perfect post hike food, at The Lost Cajun. Being serenaded in the woods, surrounded by nature and art is pretty incredible. I think if this were part of every hike, I would probably get way more exercise!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

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Family Day Part 2 | Colorado Performing Arts Photographer

Opera Colorado puts on a ton of awesome events to get kids excited about the opera. One of the biggest events they host is Family Day. On Family Day, kids and their parents come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to watch a show and do crafts relating to the story. The shows are all abridged, kid-friendly, English language versions of classic operas and there is a Q&A session after each show.

Family Day is a big event so I split it into two blogs. This show was the Elixir of Love. It a great show about love potions and conniving salesman and it has the perfect mix of humor and drama. The kids made their own elixirs of love and colored some root beer kegs. Part of this opera takes place in a bar so to make it kid friendly, the bar in this version only served root beer! The show was followed by a question and answer session and then the kids got to come up to look at the set and take pictures with the Young Artists. They loved playing with the costumes and props.

Opera Colorado’s season is officially over. That means the Young Artists are off on their own again, and the halls of the Ellie won’t be filled with singing voices for a while. I get to meet the new Young Artists in September and then the first opera of the season is in November. Next season brings another exciting line up of three unique operas! The season opens with La Bohème, the opera that inspired the Broadway musical and then movie, Rent. Then in January, there will be a world premier of Steal A Pencil for Me, a true story about two people who fall in love in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. The season will end with Falstaff, a tale of greed, seduction, and buffoonery

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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

Why to Hire a Professional | Denver Boulder Headshot Photography

First off, if your friend or a local students wants to photograph you and you’re up for it, then definitely go for it. Model for them, have some fun, be their muse. But if you need photos for auditions, promotions, your website or whatever, it’s always best to hire a professional. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. You’re in charge, not them

When you seek out a photographer and hire them, you are the client, and you are in charge. This doesn’t mean that you get to make all the rules. A professional photographer knows what they’re doing and you should listen to their advice. But, as the client, you get to customize the experience. If you need a photo of a certain person at an event, want a colorful wall as the background of a headshot, or have another specific idea for your session, your photographer can make it happen. Within reason, they’re job is to serve you and make sure you’re happy.

A great example of this is model sessions. Most photographers do model sessions when they wanna play with the camera or have a really cool idea. While client sessions are about bringing the client’s vision to life, model sessions are about the photographer’s vision. This is what you’ll get when you hire a friend. It’ll be fun, but it might not be what you really want.

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2. Money talks

No one wants to admit it, but money does talk. My paid sessions always come before my non-profit work, model sessions, and my personal work. This means they get priority booking, faster delivery, and more attention to detail. I run a business and I can’t pay for my cameras or groceries with exposure or experience. Money really can be that extra little push that makes someone put in more effort. It shows us that we are literally valued and worth it to our clients.

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3. Insurance

A very practical reason to hire a professional is insurance. Professional photographers, like myself, have all kinds of insurance. Liability insurance keeps the photographer and the client safe. If you get hurt at a session, liability insurance can cover the cost of medical care and damages.

Professional photographers have all sorts of fail safes put in place to protect the client. Birth photographers have back up photographers. Wedding photographers have second shooters. Portrait photographers have back up cameras and assistants. All professionals have contracts and insurance.

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4. Experience matters

Professional photographers have of experience and education under their belts. This makes a big difference. Photography isn’t just a gift that some people are born with. No one pops out of the womb a Pulitzer Prize winner. Talent is part of it sure but experience is most of it. Also, actually taking pictures is barely a quarter of our time as professionals. WE have to know how to edit, how to communicate with clients. We have to set up policies and systems for client management, bookkeeping, paying taxes, everything it takes to run a business. And most importantly for you, we have to know how make our clients feel comfortable and beautiful. This also takes time, education, and experience.

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5. No hard feelings

If the shoot doesn’t go wonderfully or you end up not loving the photos, a friend might take your feedback personally. With a professional, you never have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or ruining a relationship. Professionals know how to handle criticism and use it to improve their business. You might just gain a new friend instead of lose an old one.

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

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Bird Fur Tees on Santa Fe | Denver Brand Photography

This week is small business week, so I wanted to celebrate with a shout out to one of my favorite small businesses! I’ve been doing a bunch of brand photography for Bird Fur Tees in order to keep up with all their new designs and the sessions are always so much fun!

Bird Fur Tees is the t-shirt company created by my brother, Josh. Josh has always had a quirky sense of humor and an entrepreneurial spirit so this has been the perfect endeavor 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 Instagram feed.

All our shoots have been in urban parts of Denver with bright, colorful murals as our backdrop. These kinds of locations are my absolute favorites since I’m pretty much addicted to bright colors and patterns. For this shoot, we went to the Santa Fe Arts District. There are so many great galleries, studios, and murals here. I love coming for First Friday for the art walks!

We had a lot of fun at this shoot. There were new friends and old modeling for us. These shoots are always playful, a little bit weird, and full of laughter. At one point, I made all the guys tickle each other. I have video evidence! We even got some behind the scenes photos taken by one of our models, Jackson! I really love some of these new shirts. Someone get me the Beyoncé one please!

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We always try to take a few photos of blank t-shirts so Josh can photoshop on new designs before we have a chance to do another photoshoot. This way we can consolidate the shoots and get a bunch of shirts photographed at once, but Josh can still share out his new designs in real time. Plus, he’s gotten really good at photoshop!

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Need to spice up your website and up your social media game? I would love to chat about creating engaging, eye-catching photos for you and your company. Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Layla | Denver Senior Photography

Layla and I met at the Denver Nature and Science Museum as part of a senior portrait event with New Legacy High School. New Legacy High School is a Denver charter school for young parents. It’s half high school/half early learning center so the students and their children can learn at the same time. When I saw the opportunity to volunteer to photograph senior portraits for these students, I went for it. It was a great opportunity to dip my toes in the Denver senior photography world, while giving back at the same time.

Layla was the first of 3 students I photographed. She’s hoping to go to college at Colorado State University and study in the field of medicine. She has a daughter, who she describes as spoiled rotten. It’s hard not to spoil a cute little kid, right?

We had a lot of fun at our session! We went all over City Park and the Nature and Science Museum. There are some great, modern areas at the back of the museum that are nice and quiet. And with City Park right there, we had the perfect mix of nature and urban.

I’m so glad I participated in this event. I approached senior portraits similarly to my headshot sessions. For me, it’s all about creating a fun and relaxed experience and bringing out my client’s personality. I love senior photography and I cannot wait to do more!

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

Naropa’s Homeness | Boulder Theater Photography

Homeness was a beautiful, ethereal show centered around the spaces in the home. The play was born from a five day silent writing retreat that the Naropa students went on. When they returned from the trip, they compiled their different material into one cohesive piece of theater. Each scene took place in a different room of the house and told a different story about shelter, belonging, memories, and love.

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Cast/Creators

Rebecca Buckley
Landin Melendez
Gabriela Petrov
Ashley Rice
Madelyn Rose Robinson
Chie Saito
Kristin Marie Stelter
Annabel Turrado
K. Woodzick

Crew

Technical Director/Light Designer: Shevek Majors-Peer
Stage Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Emma Quarterman
Light Board Operator: Karen Cruz
Sound Board Operator: Cameron MacAlpine
Electrics and Staging: Brandon Thomas, Todd Bilsborough, Leo Soula-Hutchison, Jake Cacciatore

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.