Park Hill Dance Collective in the Rain | Denver Dance Photography

Denver weather can change in an instant, which can make planning sessions a bit tricky. But I love Denver dance photography in all kinds of weather. I had a creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective planned for a Sunday in the Fall at City Park. A half hour before the session, Karlyn called me because it was pouring out. She knew her company dancers would be fine with dancing in the rain but we had also scheduled headshots for her youth company at the same session and she didn’t want the kids to get soaking wet and catch colds. We almost moved this session to a dryer location at the last minute but I am so glad we didn’t. We missed all the downpours and just had a light mist the whole time. Plus there were plenty of overhangs to duck under and places to run in to stay warm.

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This rainy, foggy day proved to be quite beautiful for our creative session with Park Hill Dance Collective. We did the last Collective shoot a few years ago, and they needed some updated portraits and photos from their new pieces. City Park is an awesome location to do a session of any kind. For Park Hill, it was perfect since it’s just a few blocks away from their studio. Karlyn and the company have always been very connected to their neighborhood, so I’m so glad we were able to incorporate that into our session this time.

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City Park has some great natural areas, but being the city kid that I am, I always gravitate toward the architectural features. We started out behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where there is a super cool sculpture (I’m a sucker for public art!) and some fun windows. The male dancers could only stay for the first part of the session, so the ladies and I had some fun at the end. We went down to the lake, where there is this lovely little retaining wall and a great view of the fountain and boathouse. I thought we might get some epic skyline views too, but by the time we got there the fog was so thick, you couldn’t see the buildings anymore! I think we got some pretty epic photos none-the-less.

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I had to include this blooper, just for fun!

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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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Dancer and Photographer Francisco | Denver Headshot Photography

One of the ways in which I volunteer my time is by donating my Denver headshot photography to Presenting Denver. Presenting Denver is a non-profit organization founded in 2013. Their mission is to support the art of dance through increased public exposure and the appreciation of movement as an innovative art form.

In the past, I’ve taken dance photos of members of the dance community that Presenting Denver features as part of their In the Spotlight series. This season, I took headshots for the spotlights, as well as of ambassadors for the organizations. We did these portraits on the rooftop of the Beauvallon building, where the Presenting Denver offices are located. This location gave us some wonderful spots, with nature, architecture, and beautiful views of the city.

Dancer and Photographer Francisco | Denver Headshot Photography

One of the featured artists, I photographed was Francisco Estévez. Francisco is a dancer and dance photographer in Denver. He has been dancing since childhood, when he took ballet classes with his sister in his hometown of Quito, Ecuador. In his professional career, he has performed with companies around the world. Francisco now dances for Colorado Ballet with his wife, Tracy Jones. They have been with the company for five years.

As Ali Weeks writes in her In the Spotlight interview with Fransisco, “Francisco had long been interested in photography, and once he landed in Colorado, this interest deepened. He soon moved on from watching his peers rehearse and perform and began capturing moments of movement preserved long after the performance was over. Recently, Francisco completed his exquisite Shadows & Dust series.” This photography project later became a collaboration with local painter Darrell Anderson. The photographs and paintings are on display at the Colorado Ballet building.

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

Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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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

Amber on the High Line | New York Dance Photographer

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town and Amber was the last dance session I did before heading home. It was a little chilly, so we met in the Chelsea Market to look over outfits and plan everything out. Then, we went up to the High Line to start shooting!

The High Line is such an awesome urban trail. It’s an industrial/nature walk built on the old elevated train tracks and runs through Chelsea in Manhattan. The last time, I was there, they had only finished the first couple sections of it. The last part goes up to the water and overlooks a rail yard. It was really cool to see the whole thing completed.

Amber did an amazing job at this session. Of course, I knew she would because this isn’t the first time I’ve photographed her. She was my student spotlight during the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow. Check out that session here! These sessions were two and a half years apart so it was amazing to see her again and see how she’s grown as an artist.

In that time, she has graduated from Julliard and founded a dance non-profit, Art Belongs to People. She also just finished her role in the Cirque du Soleil show “Paramour” on Broadway. I got all sorts of gossip about life as a Broadway dancer. And she was learning some aerials skills from the other dancers while she was there. What an awesome woman!

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Want engaging dance portraits for you or your company? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.

 

Caleb in Brooklyn | New York Dance Photography

The last time I was in New York City, I reconnected with a few friends from Jacob’s Pillow Dance. I did dance sessions with three of them while I was in town.

Caleb was one of them. The year I was at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, he performed with Dorrance Dance (I photographed them here). Last summer, he went back to perform with his own tap company Caleb Teicher and Company. Caleb has been touring the world teaching and performing with his new company. Plus, he told me about a secret hidden brunch place that was amazing!

Tap has always been one of the most challenging dance forms for me to photograph since it’s so fast paced and unpredictable. But the challenge is what makes it so fun and intriguing to me! For this session, I wanted to find some creative ways to photograph tap dance. I tried to focus on the feet, and I got some fun shots that way, but Caleb is so great at incorporating his whole body and moving fluidly, so I did a bunch of wide shots as well. Overall, I think we made some great portraits that show Caleb’s talent and the beautiful neighborhood of Willamsburg.

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We found this really cool mural outside a shoe store and Caleb was already wearing some green leather Chucks. Perfection!

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I loved being able to incorporate the skyline and shore into the photos. This is one of the things I love about New York City. The skyline is one the greatest features of my hometown of Chicago so I love any city that can show theirs off as well.

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Want engaging dance portraits for you or your company? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.

Park Hill Dancer Portraits | Denver Dance Photography

Today is Dance Teachers Appreciation Day! I wanted to do a spotlight on a dance studio and a dance teacher I love: Park Hill Dance Academy! Last year, I photographed Park Hill Dance Collective. Here are the awesome dance portraits from that session.

More recently, I took portraits of all of the older students at Park Hill Dance Academy. It was a chilly day, but they were all such troopers and their portraits turned out wonderfully!

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This is Karlyn, the mastermind behind Park Hill Dance Academy. She is a truly wonderful person and she runs an amazing dance studio.

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Do you remember the maternity dance session I did on the beach? This little cutie is the “bump” from those photos! The dance students totally adore her and love having her around the studio.

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Looking for engaging portraits of you or your company? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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6 Gift Ideas for Dance Teachers | Denver Dance Photography

Dance Teacher Appreciation Day is next Wednesday! Dance teachers work hard. Show your gratitude with these fun gift ideas. Below are seven gift ideas, from personal gifts to gifts from your whole class.

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Spa Day: Your dance teacher works hard and puts a lot of wear on their body. Treat them to a relaxing day at the spa or bring the spa to them. You can get them a gift card to a spa, like the Woodhouse Day Spas in Denver or DragonTree Spa in Boulder.

If you’re the crafty DIY type, you can make your own spa gift basket. Get some massage oils, lotions, bath bombs, and lots of Epson Salt. A dancer can never have too much Epson Salt.

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Leg Warmers: If you’re good at crocheting, handmade leg warmers is a very thoughtful gift for your dance teacher. Find out their favorite colors and make a pair they’ll love! Here are a bunch of free crochet patterns to get you started.

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Dance tickets: Gift your favorite dance teacher a night out. Get them a pair of tickets to a dance show they’ll love. The Newman Center in Denver always has a great season filled with dance companies from all over. There are tons of great local companies as well from Colorado Ballet to Cleo Parker  Robinson.

Dance Books: Misty Copeland’s “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
American Dance: The Complete Illustrated History by Margaret Fuhrer
Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans

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Music: What dancer doesn’t love music? Getting your favorite teach a nice pair of headphones, a speaker set, or a subscription to Spotify Premium is a great way to give them the gift of music.

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Creative Session: A dance photography session can be a fantastic way to show your dance teacher how much you admire them. This gift not only shows them that you think they’re great, it shows them that you think their creativity is worth celebrating and showing off. Especially if your teacher doesn’t perform as much as they used to, a photo session is a ton of fun and a great way to get creative and “perform” in an out of the box way. I offer Denver and Boulder dance photography as well as session gift cards. Click here to find out more about creative dance sessions.

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Want to celebrate your creativity or honor someone else’s? Find out more about Creative Sessions and email me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through dance and photography.