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Thanksgiving 2016 | Denver Portrait Photographer

I was just talking to a friend about the stress of traveling for the holidays and I started to realize that despite all the stress, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite family holiday. We have solid traditions that I love. Our family grows and shrinks and changes every year, but it is always a group I feel so comfortable with and loved by.

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There is a Passover tradition where families are supposed to invite strangers in to share their meal with. We never did that at our Passover Seders but I feel like we make up for it with Thanksgiving. In addition to my family, there are always a few friends and neighbors who join our table, along with some regular honorary family members who join us each year.

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One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is the themed meals. Thanksgiving in our family is at my aunt and uncle’s house. My uncle is an amazing chef and my aunt is an outstanding baker and they love to get creative. Each year, Thanksgiving dinner has a new theme. Sometimes, it’s a country. One year, the theme was ravioli! We made all different kinds of ravioli and sauces to mix and match.

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Last year, Thanksgiving was a few weeks after my grandma passed away. So our theme was Nana’s takes on Thanksgiving classics. Nana was known in our family for having some weird recipes. She loved collecting them from friends and writing them down for her recipe box. She brought us my favorite cheesecake in the world but also the purple chicken, which did not get such great reviews. Whether the dish was amazing or awful, it always sparked conversation, so we wanted to honor all of it. Well, we were sort of a mess this year so the theme fell apart and became deconstructed Thanksgiving classics, with little bits of Nana’s memory here and there.

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Let’s get to know each other! Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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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.

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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.

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Mason Family in RiNo | Denver Family Photographer

Remember way back when, when I shared some family Denver photos of the Mason’s pregnancy announcement? Well, they had their beautiful baby a couple weeks ago, so I thought I’d share the photos we took while wandering around the RiNo Arts District in May. We had a blast exploring the neighborhood during First Friday. M loved all the murals and wanted to be on her daddy’s shoulders the whole time.

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Every day is a story. I would love to help you share yours and document all of life’s little moments. Find out more about Storytelling sessions and tell me your story at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Our Anniversary | Broomfield Portrait Photographer

This is a bit of a cheesy post, and I’m not a very cheesy person, but here it goes: Four years ago today, this kid Mike and I changed our facebook relationship status from Single to In a Relationship… with each other! We had been flirting for about a month but that’s when I knew it was the real deal. He came over that night, we ate ravioli, talked about astro-photography (he’s an astrophysicist so this is our common ground), and stared into each other’s blue eyes. It was super puke worthy!

Anyway, one of the reasons I love him so much is because of how dedicated he is to his hobbies. He loves building, fixing, tinkering, creating. So one weekend, I photographed him doing all those things. Plus it gave me an excuse to photograph his butt! He worked on my car (what a gentleman!), built a planter for our herbs, and relaxed with some video games.

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Every day is a story. I would love to help you share yours and document all of life’s little moments. Find out more about Storytelling sessions and tell me your story at jamie@jamiekraus.com.  

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Meet Baby N | Documentary Family Photography

For over two decades, I have been the baby of my family, but in late December, that all changed. At our family reunion, I got to meet my new baby cousin, little baby N.

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In addition to documenting the whole reunion, I spent some time focusing on the newest addition to the family. I got some cute photos of baby N smiling and laughing but the ones I love the most are the ones with her parents. Storytelling photography is all about the connections between people (and animals!). Capturing a parent’s love for their child is pretty magical.

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N’s parents ordered some metal prints of her to hang in the new home they’re building. Metal prints are my favorite! They are modern, they work with any decor or style, and they are super durable (plus, fully recyclable).

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Every day is a story. I would love to help you share yours and document all of life’s little moments. Find out more about Storytelling sessions and tell me your story at jamie@jamiekraus.com.  

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Lattice’s Story | Broomfield Pet Photographer

I first met Lattice and his parents about a year ago. Lattice was one of our first (and still one of our favorite) dog sitting guests. He loves attention and being close to his humans. He will bury his head in your lap or push himself against any part of you that he can reach, just to be close. He’s sweet, cuddly, playful, and smart, but he can also be stubborn and picky. And he’s afraid of the bathtub.

As a Colorado pet photographer, I love being able to show the connections between people and their pets (or pets and their people)! Here is Lattice’s story, from an evening with his humans.

Every day is a story. I would love to help you share yours and document all of life’s little moments. Find out more about Storytelling sessions and tell me your story at jamie@jamiekraus.com.  

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Fourth of July Reunion | Documentary Family Photographer

I don’t have any first cousins, except for the furry ones of course, and I don’t get to see my second cousins very often since they live on the east coast. We’ve only had three reunions, but they are always beyond awesome. This time there was a lot to catch up on and celebrate. There was a wedding and a baby, many years of college past, new careers and relationships begun.

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We all met up in Ohio for the Fourth of July weekend. We stayed at this awesome old house with the sweetest inkeeper ever. She decorated for us, did our hair, and even made all 18 of us breakfast on the our last morning there.

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We didn’t really do a whole lot, just hung out and talked, but we did manage to work in a game of tennis and some ultimate frisbee.

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I don’t think athletics run in our blood. There was a lot more falling and laughing than there was scoring!

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The most exciting part of the trip was meeting the next generation! I’ve always been the youngest in my family so having a brand new cousin was super awesome.

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Isn’t she adorable? She might even be cuter than me!

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We pretty much spent the whole weekend drinking and cooking…

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…and grilling and baking. We really like food, okay?

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I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect vacation.

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Every day is a story. I would love to help you share yours and document all of life’s little moments. Tell me your story at jamie@jamiekraus.com.