Thanksgiving 2017 | Denver Portrait Photography

We’re not the most traditional family out there. We have our traditions but, for the most part, we like to mix things up. For Thanksgiving, we have a new theme each year for the meal. There’s usually a few new people at the dinner table. Some years, we don’t even eat turkey. So every year is different from the last. There are a few things, however, that we just cannot have Thanksgiving without.

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Themes. As I mentioned, there’s always a theme to our Thanksgiving meals. Some years, it was different countries or cuisines. Last year, we started a new tradition of picking a name out of a hat and that person has a year to decide on the theme. We started with the co-host, my uncle. He chose a 1950s cookbook as the theme. Everyone had to make a dish from the cookbook or a variation of it. This year, it’s my aunt’s turn and her theme is foraged ingredients. Each dish has to feature one ingredient that can be foraged from the area.

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Music. There is always music at my aunt and uncles house. There’s always a Pandora station playing in the background and a guitar lying around for my brother, Josh, to play. In the last few years, we started having family sing-alongs, which are insanely embarrassing and so much fun.

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Mushroom goo. Mushroom goo is my uncle, Alex’s, invention. It’s a combination of mushrooms, onions, and cream and it’s usually stuffed into more mushroom caps and topped with parmesan. It’s the most amazing thing ever had and I look forward to it every year. Last year, we put it in homemade ravioli inspired by the 1950’s cookbook.

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Buckeyes. From probably the first Thanksgiving I can remember, my aunt Robbie and I made Buckeyes together. Buckeyes are an Ohio treat consisting of peanut butter balls partly covered in chocolate. My dad and uncle are from Ohio and they are and huge Ohio State fans. The mascot is the Buckeye, which inspired the dessert. These days, my little cousin Ava helps us make them and we use the leftover chocolate to make bark with whatever we can find in it.

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Each other. It wouldn’t be a cheesy Thanksgiving post if I didn’t gush about my awesome family. While our table is open to many people who come and go, our family is always together on Thanksgiving. I am so grateful for that.

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

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Remembering Ema | Denver Portrait Photographer

July 8th was my grandmother’s birthday. She turned 95 years old. It was also the day that she passed away. As my aunt put it, she had a perfect death. Apparently, in Judaism, dying on your birthday means good luck. It means your life has come full circle. We had all just visited her over the weekend and were able to see her one last time. Plus, I’m pretty sure she wanted to unlock that achievement of 95 years before she left.

We actually celebrated her birthday the day before. We told her she was 95 a day before she actually was. See, in the last few weeks of her life, she could hardly speak and wasn’t very responsive to us. She spent most of her time sleeping. Even in her last few years, she had lost a lot of her memory so every time we celebrated her birthday, it was a surprise to her. This year, we celebrated a day early because it was when we were all in town. Even though we told her it was her birthday the day before, I think she knew we were lying. She still waited until her real birthday so that she could actually reach 95. She’s pretty cunning like that.

My grandmother’s life started out wonderfully. She had an idyllic childhood, with family vacations and lots of friends. Then, it was all destroyed. When she was nine, Hitler came to power. She saw him speak in the plaza of her hometown, in Bavaria. Soon after, her friends and schoolmates started throwing rocks at her and brother. They had to change schools multiple times. They were harassed constantly. When she was fifteen, she and her brother left the country by themselves, soon after Kristallnacht. After they reunited with their parents in Holland, they came to the United States to start over.

And that’s just what she did. She learned English and became fluent, graduating from her high school at the top of her class (a class full of native English speakers). She got married and raised three children. She traveled. After her kids were grown, she went to college and studied Hebrew. She made a life for herself here, one that was taken from her in Germany. And she lived it fully.

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Interested in working with me? Send me an email at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Getting in the Frame | Denver Family Photography

This year, I’ve been trying to take professional self portraits of my little family. I actually made it one of my new years resolutions to be in one professional self portrait (meaning I took it with my big girl camera) each month. I failed that goal pretty much immediately. These were the first “pro-selfies” I took of us and they were from Valentine’s Day.

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Each Valentine’s Day, our tradition is to plan out a meal and cook it together. We’ve made pizza from scratch a couple times. One time we just made cookies; I guess we got lazy. This year, we decided to make homemade pasta. We had just bought a hand crank pasta maker and found a great mushroom sauce recipe.

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It turns out past is pretty easy to make! Our meal was delicious and we had a lovely Valentine’s Day together. I learned a few important lessons from this attempt at self portraiture:

  1. I thought I could use my phone as a trigger but the app kept disconnecting from the camera’s wifi, so I used my wireless trigger instead.
  2. My camera kept turning off so I had to set it to never fall asleep. I thought it would die after being on all night but it hardly drained the battery. Win!
  3. Setting the trigger to 2 second timer mode made for more natural, less posed, and less awkward photos. (Notice us holding the trigger in the header and the first photo as opposed to the last two images.)
  4. All the lights in my apartment flicker ever so slightly and in photos, it drives me totally crazy.
  5. Taking self portraits all night makes everything more annoying but also more fun! And the memories are totally worth it.

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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 about your adventure at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Beach Maternity Dance | Denver Dance Photography

Karlyn and I met at the Park Hill Dance Collective photoshoot we did in the spring. She is the artistic director of the company and owner of Park Hill Dance Academy. We were both really excited to make maternity dance portraits so a month or so later, we headed to the beach with her partner, Kevin.

First the two of them did some partner work and even a couple of lifts. I’m pretty sure lifting one person is hard, but lifting one and a half people in sand must be way harder. Then Karlyn braved the water and even rolled around on the shore, because she is one badass mama!

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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.

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N’s 5th Birthday | Colorado Springs Family Photographer

This TMNT-obsessed, Pokemon loving kid turned 5 years old in June. On the Saturday after his actual birthday, he had an awesome Pokemon themed party with all his family and friends. I was able to come early and capture all the preparations, play time, and a few quiet moments before the party started. Noah’s mom and dad baked a cake and decorated the house, while he helped and played with his TMNT action figures.

When I showed Noah’s mom the photos, we started talking about what an important birthday this is. Five is the age where some of your first memories are made. It’s the age where you start to gain some independence and branch out on your own. Five is when your personality really starts to take shape. I am so glad I was able to capture such a pivotal time for this awesome, little family.

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http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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Noah’s mom ordered a beautiful album with a linen cover from this session as well as some gift prints for family.

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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 about your adventure at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Travel Alert: New Orleans Sept. 3-5 | Dance and Family Photographer

I’m going on a super fun trip! Over Labor Day weekend, I will be in New Orleans with my best friend and a bunch of other cool people. NOLA has been on my travel wish list since the HBO show Treme came out. I love the richness and uniqueness of the culture there. My aunt once said that New Orleans culture represents what all of America should be. A mix of cultures that keeps the uniqueness of each, while creating a magic all it’s own.

While I’m visiting, I’ll be taking a limited number of dance and storytelling sessions on September 3rd, 4th, and 5th. I am offering in-home family storytelling sessions for all types of families and on-location creative dance sessions for individual dancers and companies, anywhere within the city of New Orleans. It could be years before I am back, so book now to save your spot. Fill out the form below, to book your NOLA session!

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http://www.facebook.com/jamiekrausphoto/

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Find out more about Creative Sessions and Storytelling Sessions and get in touch to book yours! 

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M & J’s Summer Solstice Wedding | Colorado Couples Photographer

Half a year ago, I met Missy at a women’s networking group in Denver. We sat next to each other and were partnered up for some ice breakers. It turned out she was getting married about a month later, and I was able to photograph her winter solstice wedding in Boulder! Then six months later, I got to capture the next part of their ceremony on the summer solstice.

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Vendors
Venue: Lyons Farmette
Meal: Katie Baum with I Cook, You Eat
Dessert: Chef Chris and Chef Alex from Spruce Farm & Fish at the Boulderado
Florist: Helen Skiba
Dress Alterations: Maggie Evans Designs
Bridal Make Up: Sarah Pierce
Bridal Hair: Abby at West End Salon

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It was so amazing to see this couple’s wedding ritual come full circle through a six month long journey. For their summer wedding, Missy and Jaice had a few of their closest friends and family members join them in Lyons, where they live. Since they first met over tea, they started their rituals with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Missy and Jaice intentionally spilled the tea when they were pouring it, symbolizing that in life, shit happens and you just have to deal with it and keep going. (I might be paraphrasing a bit!) Then they exchanged rings by the river and celebrated with their loved ones.

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Food is very central to Missy and Jaice’s lives together. They had an amazing family style meal, using all local ingredients (some picked right from the Lyons Farmette). Everyone shared food, stories, and laughs around the table as the solstice sun began to set behind the mountains. They ending the evening the way all good evenings should end. With music and dancing under the summer night sky.

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