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Choreographer Kat Gurley | Denver Outdoor Headshots

Kat Gurley is the Artistic Director of Wild Heart Dance, a dance company based in Boulder, Colorado. I first met when I photographed her show, The Beloved at Naropa University’s Performing Arts Center. More recently, I got to collaborate on a promotional session with them late last year. Kat was also selected to be a part of Presenting Denver’s In the Spotlight, so I had the chance to take a few Denver outdoor headshots for that.

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Erika Weiss interviewed Kat and wrote a piece of her for Presenting Denver’s website. You can read the whole article here. I love getting to take these head shots because it usually means I get introduced to new people in the dance world. And when I get to photograph people I already know, like in this case, I get to learn more about them through their articles.

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Choreographer Kat Gurley | Denver Outdoor Headshots

Kat is originally from Boston and has a varied background is dance and movement. She is trained in everything from ballet to martial arts and West African dance to yoga. She doesn’t just create dance performances, she makes movement masterpieces. The promo session we did was focused on the art of falling. It’s not often that you see dancers take risks like that and tap into the athleticism of dance in new ways. It’s so exciting to see such creativity in the local arts scene!

Another new thing I learned about Kat, is that she gets all her funding through crowd sourcing. Her work is funded as it’s being created rather than waiting for grants to start making new works. She relies on her patrons who are invested in her company and excited to see new works. I love that Colorado has cultivated an culture that appreciates art and invests in it!

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

Wild Heart Dance | Colorado Dance Photography

Colorado dance photography is all about creativity. I like to refer to myself as a translator of art. My job, first and foremost, is to document the movement and emotion of the performers hiring me. that probably doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of room for creativity on my part, but it is so much more than that. Everything can be interpreted in different ways, by different viewers, so my job is to interpret what is in front of me, from my perspective. I then translate that into a new medium – two dimensional, still photography. It’s always exciting to see new works, new ways of moving, new ways of expressing, and to be the one to translate that to others.

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I was so excited when Wild Heart Dance started describing their vision for this session. Jumping, falling, dancing in water, the flatirons in the background, and tall grasses in the foreground. This session had it all! Wild Heart was in the midst of experimenting with tumbling and creating new work around it. They brought their mats and blocks to the session and we found ways to hide them from the camera, in the grasses. Then it was time to get wet! I made sure to bring my rainboots so I could wade in the water with the dancers. They ended up having a water splashing fight, which was so much fun to capture. I also ended up with an X shaped sunburn on my back that stuck around for months. It was totally worth it!

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We did lots of individual portraits in addition to the dancing photos. We took headshots at the beginning of the session, then right after coming out of the water, and again at the end of the session. I love seeing them all lined up together below.

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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.

Revolutions | Denver Dance Photography

I have been photographing Park Hill Dance Collective and Academy for a number of years now. When their yearly production, an evening of pieces performed by the Collective dancers and Academy dancers, was approaching they asked if I could photograph is. I love Denver dance photography and I really wanted to see and photograph this show, but I knew I would be out of town on the dates they needed me.

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That’s when Amanda came in! Amanda Tipton and I work together a lot throughout the year. Anytime, one of us cannot photograph a show or event, we call up the other one to help us out. Amanda was able to be my associate photographer for the event. She photographed the show, then sent the photos to me to edit and deliver. This works out really well because my clients don’t have to deal with a new business, new contracts, or new pricing. And their events are still covered even if I’m unavailable. Plus, I only hire associates I trust to photograph at the same level as my own work.

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I really wish I had been in town the see this show myself! Looking through the photos to edit them was so much fun because I was really seeing this work for the first time. It looks like an amazing show! I always love how Park Hill combines their studio and company dancers into one performance.

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I also thought it was really cool that the male dancers wore long, red skirts in one of the pieces. I was talking to another male dancer last year who was upset that there are so few opportunities men have to dance in flowing clothing. He felt that a big part of the movement could be missing with tight-fitting clothes. So, I was so excited to see the whole company, men and women, in flowing skirts during this production!

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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.

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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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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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.

Presenting Denver Ambassadors | Denver Headshots

I have been an ambassador for Presenting Denver since I moved to Colorado almost four years ago. I serve as a Dance Events Committee Member as well as an Ambassador Photographer. One of my roles as Ambassador Photographer is to take Denver headshots of other ambassadors for the Presenting Denver website.

Presenting Denver Ambassadors | Denver Headshots

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Presenting Denver is a wonderful, local non-profit that brings dancers and patrons together to support and uplift the dance community. This organization has been growing and changing a lot recently. They hosted their first dance festival this summer and are preparing for more big events in the coming years. Presenting Denver is a volunteer-driven organization, with an amazing team of ambassadors and board members donating their time and skills to keep this organization going. New ambassadors are joining all the time to help with marketing, event planning, writing, and more.

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Last year, we organized a few days dedicated to headshots so we could take portraits of everyone who helps make Presenting Denver a success. We did these portraits at Presenting Denver’s headquarters, some outside and some indoor, depending on the weather. Since then, I’ve been taking Denver headshots for new ambassadors as they join the Presenting Denver Community. I’ve been able to do take these portraits in my own photography space so that there is still a consistency between all the images. This also makes it very convenient to keep the website up to date as new people join throughout the year.

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I couldn’t forget about King, Presenting Denver’s ambassador cat! King attends every meeting and is very passionate about the organization’s mission to support the art of dance through increased public exposure and the appreciation of movement as an innovative art form. He is very good at taking notes on other people’s laptops, raising morale by demanding pats and keeping an eye on everyone by walking around the table.

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