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Luncheon Discussion | Denver Event Photography

One of my favorite things about Denver event photography is that I get to learn. I get to be a bystander and ease drop of fascinating lectures, panel discussions, speeches, and presentations. While I work, I get to absorb information on all sorts of topics from urban planning to the future or battery storage. Sometimes, I’m introduced to a whole new industry and sometimes I get to learn more about something I’m already involved with.

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When I started my internship at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2013, I knew nothing about opera. I still thought it was only for old people and I thought it must be so boring. After photographing numerous events surrounding and leading up to the opening nights of each show that season, I learned to love opera. It turned out I was just watching it wrong! I even wrote a whole blog post about how to watch opera so that you’ll enjoy it. What I learned is that the key to loving opera is learning about it. The more I know about the story and the production, before I watched it, the more I enjoyed it.

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It’s the same way with Opera Colorado. They have so many events leading up to each show so that audiences can learn more about the piece before seeing it. When I photograph these events, I get to learn along with the audience and it gets me even more excited to see the shows! I love that this company has so many events around each production. I think it really increases audience engagement and creates a better experience for all audience members.

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This event was a luncheon discussion hosted by the Lamont School of Music at the Newman Center. Cast and crew members from Opera Colorado’s production of La Boheme were there to discuss the production and answer questions. There were even a couple of Lamont opera students there to perform before the talk. I love all the collaboration that went into this event.

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Want engaging event 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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Sip and Sing | Denver Performing Arts Photography

I love Denver performing arts photography. It takes me to new places and gives me an insider look into really cool events and experiences. I love going all over the city for my job and discovering new things. When I photographed Opera Colorado‘s Sip and Sing last year, I got to go to the Preservery for the first time. It is such a cool space and it was a great location for this event. They also provided a three course meal that looked so good, each course paired with wine.

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I’m not going to lie. This event was not easy to photograph. With Denver performing arts photography, I never use flash during a live performance. This can often mean I face difficult lighting situations that are completely outside of my control. I have to rely on the light available and outside of the traditional theater, it can be very hit or miss. The lighting at the Preservery is really cool. The space is filled with mismatched fixtures, Edison bulbs, and a wall of painted traffic signs. While the lighting looked really great, there was not a lot of it. It gave a wonderful, soft ambiance to the space but made photography difficult.

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I can deal with low light though, I can thrive in these situations. The one thing I had never encountered before was the wall of signs. I collect signed like this and I think they’re really cool. Their job is to alert drivers of necessary information, day or night, and they do this by reflecting light. They are really good at this. That means that no matter what I did, the signs would hog all the light and reflect it on the backs of the singers’ heads. But through experimenting with my exposure and editing, I made it work and highlighted the singers as best I could.

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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.

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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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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

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Ema’s 92nd Birthday | Documentary Family Photographer

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My amazing grandmother turned 92 this month!

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My grandmother (I call her Ema, which means mother in Hebrew) is an inspiration to me. When she was 16, she left her whole life behind and came to this country to escape Nazi Germany. She knew no English when she got here and still managed to graduate at the top of her class.

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She has had such an incredible life and she met her 92nd year with so much joy.

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She still has her sense of humor too. After she opened all her presents, she said, “It pays to have birthdays!”

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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.

Opera Colorado Champagne Gala | Colorado Performing Arts Photographer

For the past few months, I’ve been working with Opera Colorado’s Education department. I’ve photographed their behind the scenes workshops and the Young Artists production of Romeo and Juliet and I’ve got a some more, exciting projects coming up. I’m so glad I was able to dive back into the world of opera when I moved to Denver.

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

In February, Opera Colorado asked me to photograph their annual Gala and I jumped at the chance! It is such a treat to dress up and photograph a glamorous night full of VIPs, amazing performances, and dancing.

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Joyce de Roos, Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Opera Colorado Board Members Ellie Caulkins, Carol Crossin Whitley, and Dirk de Roos – Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper spoke before the performance, about the importance of the arts in Denver.

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper – Opera Colorado Gala 2015

During the performance, I was in heaven. The singing by Cynthia Clayton and the Young Artists was incredible. I was so happy to be running around the theater, capturing every possible angle and each beautiful moment.

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Cynthia Clayton on the Ellie Caulkins Opera House stage – Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Cynthia Clayton on the Ellie Caulkins Opera House stage – Opera Colorado Gala 2015

The rest of the evening was so much fun. There were prizes, games, and lots and lots of dancing. Instead of being exhausted at the end of the night (like me body should have been), I was on a high and eager to go through the photos and relive the evening.

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

Opera Colorado Gala 2015

If you have an event or performance coming up in the Denver/Boulder area, let me know. I would love to be a part of it and document all the best moments. Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Lauren and Jake’s Chicago Wedding

In September, I was able to be the second photographer for Karli Cadel Photography. This wedding was such a joy to photograph for so many reasons. It was in my hometown of Chicago, at one of my favorite venues, Ravenswood Event Center. It was a beautiful fall wedding, and I already knew the couple and many of the guests.

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Everyone who knows Lauren and Jake, can see how completely in love they are. It shows every time they look at each other, every time they talk about each other, every time they even think about each other. It was such an honor to be part of their special day.

Lauren and Jake met at The Glimmerglass Festival, where I was the photography intern in 2013. Karli was my mentor that summer and it was so wonderful to work with her again. There were so many people at the wedding who I knew but hadn’t seen for over a year. It was like a little Glimmerglass reunion!

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If you’re looking for someone to document the next big event in your life or just a regular day, I’d love to chat with you.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in New York City, definitely check out Karli Cadel.