Colorado Gives Day 2017

Colorado Gives Day 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 Incentive Fund. The incentive fund is split between all participating non-profits, based on the percentage of donations they receive. This year, they’ve introduced, Kids for Colorado Gives, a website just for kids so they can donate to their favorite causes. Colorado Gives Day is December 5th this year, which is tomorrow!

A couple years ago, I wrote my first blog for Colorado Gives Day and I thought it was important to update it. This time I’m sharing where I donate throughout the year. It can be hard to find the resources to donate money or even time. I’ve built this 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 three local organizations I support, that need your help as well.

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Opera Colorado

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.

I give to Opera Colorado by donating a portion of my services to the company. My donation is through their new Corporate Sponsorship Program. 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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Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care and advocates for the same across the country. They have clinics, online service, and events throughout the year. While Planned Parenthood is an international organization, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains focuses on the needs of people in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.

For the past two years, I have been donating monthly to Planned Parenthood. They also have many volunteer opportunities for local events like Denver Pride Fest. You can donate to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains through Colorado Gives Day here.

http://www.jamiekraus.com/

Presenting Denver

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. They are also co-presenting a dance festival, in partnership with the Newman Center. The first Presenting Denver Dance Festival will be this summer, on June 23rd and 24th.

Like Opera Colorado, I donate my services to Presenting Denver in the form of dance, event, and headshot photography. I also give my time by serving on their Dance Festival Committee. They even have an Amazon Smile account so you can support them through your regular Amazon purchases. You can donate to Presenting Denver here.

Happy Giving Colorado

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Elixer of Love |Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Each year, Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists take two operas on the road. Cherity Koepke the Director of the Young Artist Program and Brett Sprague the Assistant Director adapt and restage the shows to work with an audience of school children. They’ve been introducing new shows into the mix, and last year’s new production was Elixer of Love. It’s a funny story about con-artists, love triangles, and root beer saloons. As a Colorado performing arts photographer, I was called in to photograph the show for marketing materials.

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Each season, the Young Artists go on a tour around Colorado. They pack up the set, props, costumes, and themselves in a van and drive all over the state. They performing operas at middle schools and high schools in rural areas and mountain towns. So many of these kids have never seen an opera before. These photos were used to market the show to schools who wanted the opera to perform for their students. They’re also used to attract audience members to the annual Family Day event and to encourage donors to sponsor a Young Artist.

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Since this show is a touring production, that goes to school auditoriums across the state, we didn’t have a formal performance space to photograph in. Instead, we used their rehearsal space, the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. There is some natural light in the space but no stage lights. With performing arts photography, you have to be adaptable. So I brought my own equipment to give the photos a more production feel to them. I have a very portable light set up that works perfectly for events and small performances like this!

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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

Opera Director Cherity | Denver Headshot Photography

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cherity for over three years now. Cherity is the Director of Education and the Director of the Young Artists at Opera Colorado. She had always been so great to work with through the opera, so I was so excited when she said she wanted to book me for her own headshots too! At the session, she kept telling me that she never looks good in photos, but I like proving people wrong. I think she looks stunning in these portraits!

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If you’ve been thinking about getting your portraits done for a website, audition, social media, or whatever, now is the time. Don’t let another year go by without updating your headshots. Winter can be a great time for a portrait session. This session took place in January and we had a ton of fun. Click here if you’re ready to book!

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Cherity decided to book her session with Brett, the Assistant Director of the Young Artist. It is such a great idea to book with a friend or coworker. You can encourage each other and help each other feel more comfortable. I switch off between the two of you, which gives you a few nice breaks from smiling so much. And we can do some fun photos of the two of you together! Plus, you can take advantage of a discount for booking back to back.

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We did this session at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I love this location for it’s clean, urban look. It is a cultural center of the city, making it a great backdrop for any kind of artist or arts admin. We also got to go in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and use the theater for a few photos. These made for some really classy headshots at the end of our session.

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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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Opera Singer Omar | Denver Headshot Photography

When Omar came to me interested in new audition photos, he said he hadn’t gotten headshots in six years and that he looked like he was 12 in them. That’s a really good reason to get new headshots! We already knew each other since he was a tenor in the Young Artist program at Opera Colorado. I get to work with the Young Artists a lot throughout the season but I don’t always have the chance to get to know them. That’s why I love Denver headshot photography so much. I get to spend time with awesome people, like Omar!

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Our session was set for February and with Colorado weather, we had no idea if it would be sunny or a snowstorm.  We got the perfect middle ground though! It was a beautiful, sunny day and it started snowing part way through the session. It was pretty much perfect. A lot of people think I only shoot portrait sessions in the summer, since my sessions are mostly outdoors. I love photographing all year long though! I can take whatever the weather will throw at me. Plus, everyone looks good in sweaters and scarves, right? Omar definitely rocked them in this session.

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We did Omar’s headshots at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This is a great location for performing artists. It has an aspirational element to it, it provides a wide range of backgrounds, and if the weather isn’t great, we can stay under the glass dome!

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A few months ago, I saw that they had torn down the bridge that the photos below were taken on. The Denver Performing Arts Center will be undergoing some major changes in the next couple years, and I guess this bridge was the first thing that had to go. It made me so sad to see this because the bridge was a really great spot for portraits. It got great light, it felt nice and private, and I loved the Convention Center facade in the background. Enjoy these photos, because you won’t see any more sessions here!

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

Dance Festival 2018 | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver is hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival with The Newman Center in June 2018 and I am so looking forward to it! The jurors are deciding what companies will perform as I write this. As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also serve as a photographer ambassador, along with Amanda Tipton.

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In preparation for the announcement of the festival, Amanda, Leslie Merrill, a Presenting Denver videographer ambassador, and I did a photo shoot at the Exdo Event Center with local dancers who volunteered for the shoot. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. We each photographed each dancer or company separately and then we had them collaborate together.

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These photos are from the first set of dancers, Michelle Bernier and Cali Nass. Michelle is a contemporary dancer, while Cali does hip hop and modern fusion dance. It was so fascinating to see these two dancers, who had never met, and had completely different dance styles, improv and collaborate together. They made some pretty incredible photos!

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Exdo was the perfect location for this photo shoot. We had access to the main indoor space all day, and the outdoor space, in the morning. The light and textures inside was so diverse and fun to play with. It changed throughout the day which gave each dancer a different look to their photos. For the collaboration part of the day, we went outside, in the graffitied alley behind the Exdo Event Center. When we were there, new murals were being painted, so the images had a cool “work in progress” feel to them.

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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

Presenting Denver Dance Festival | Denver Dance Photography

Denver is getting its very own Dance Festival next summer! Presenting Denver and The Newman Center are co-hosting the Presenting Denver Dance Festival. The Festival will take place in June of 2018 and I could not be more excited! As a Presenting Denver ambassador, I serve on the festival committee that is planning the two day event. I also get to serve as a photographer ambassador, alongside Amanda Tipton.

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Here’s what Presenting Denver has to say about the festival.

“The 2018 Presenting Denver Dance Festival, co-presented by Presenting Denver and The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, will be a compilation of world premieres by performing artists, dancers, and choreographers living in the state of Colorado. It will take place on June 23-24, 2018. Selected new works will be premiered in the Byron Theatre. There will be additional dance activities over the weekend and throughout the year. Tickets for the Presenting Denver Dance Festival go on sale November 6, 2017, on the Newman Center Presents website.”

I was just at the Newman Center for an event this morning and I was reminded of what a beautiful space it was. I cannot wait to see the festival hosted there!

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In preparation for the announcement of the festival, Amanda, Leslie Merrill, a Presenting Denver videographer ambassador, and I did a photo shoot at the Exdo Event Center with local dancers. We photographed three sets of dancers, in stations. These images are from when Samba Colorado and Abby Bural came in for their photoshoots. Abby is a Jazz and Lyrical dancer and Samba Colorado is a Brazilian Dance company. Photographing everyone together was really fun. Together, they found a way to combine their styles and work together.

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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

9/11 Stair Climb | Denver Event Photographer

We all remember where we were on September 11th, 2001. I was still young and I remember my 4th grade teacher telling us to sit on the carpet as one by one, my classmates got picked up by their parents. When my mom picked me up, she told me what happened. I could see the Sears Tower from my house and I was convinced that it would be the next target. I was also convinced that it would fall, from 2 miles away, onto our house. I made an emergency plan to hide under the coffee table in the basement. For years, I was scared every time a plane flew by the building. At that age, I wasn’t quite able to process the loss of life or the sacrifices the first responders and others made that day.

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In college, my partner was a volunteer firefighter. Every Friday night, he would be on duty crew, waiting at the station for calls to come in. Even though most of his district was a college campus where the biggest calls were for dumpster fires or alarms because students forgot to put water in their Easy Mac, there was always the slight fear that something worse might happen. That he might not come home that night. That is the reality for so many family members of first responders, especially those in New York City in 2001.

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Each year, around the county, firefighters come together on September 11th and converge on the tallest building in their city. In teams, they climb stairs equal to the number of floors in the World Trade Centers. In Denver, they climb 1801 California St, twice, in order to equal the height of the twin towers. Stations from all over the state were represented. Each one wears the name tag of a firefighter who lost their lives at Ground Zero. Some of them represent the same firefighter each year and maintain a relationship with their families.

http://www.jamiekraus.com/

I photographed the ceremony before the climb and then waited on the stairs for teams to come up. Once some of the teams had finished, I went out to the roof, which has some incredible views of the city. My favorite part of the day was when the news crews on the roof interviewed the first woman to finish the climb. I was so moved by how many women were participating. The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is such an important event and I’m so honored I could be a part of it.

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If you have an Denver event coming up, let me know. I would love to be a part of it and document all the most important moments. Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.