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.

http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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.

Wine and Opera | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

Last year, Opera Colorado came up with a genius idea. They wanted to create an engaging, fun, and social experience that involved opera. So they teamed up with a sommelier and paired arias with wine at a Denver vineyard. Colorado performing arts photography is always so much fun but this was really something special.

To see two totally different disciplines come together and compliment each other was quite amazing. And the creativity that went into the pairings was incredible. Each aria and wine pairing fed off each other and enhanced the experience. They were paired with purpose.

The whole night was so much fun. The Balistreri Vineyards, a family owned, multi -generation vineyard in Denver, was a beautiful venue and guests even got a tour to see how the wine was aged. The Opera Colorado Young Artists paired three sets of songs with three wines. The songs were curated by Cherity, the Education Director and the wine was chosen and paired by the grandson on the the Vineyard’s founder. I love that the Young Artists end each performance with a full group aria. It is always amazing to see them all sing together.

Events like these are such a great way to draw in new audience members as well as partner with other local businesses. Having great images of these events really helps to draw people in and get them excited about your organization.

Inside OC will be doing more of these events in their upcoming season! The next two events will be at Nocturne and The Preservery with the new cast of Young Artists. You won’t want to miss 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

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Opera Colorado Portraits | Denver Portrait Photography

I am so, so glad I got to take these awesome group portraits of Opera Colorado‘s Young Artists last season. These Denver portraits were bright, fun, and colorful. Right up my alley! We did the portrait photography right before their Opera Colorado debut at the Young Artist Showcase.

It was the perfect day to take photos too. The light was just gorgeous! Allison Nicholas (soprano), Danielle Lombardi (mezzo-soprano), Omar Najmi (tenor), Ryan Bradford (baritone), Charles Eaton (baritone), and Nathan Van Arsdale (bass baritone) rocked this session and made it so much fun! I got to take Danielle and Omar’s headshots later in the season too!

For this session, we went with a bright, jewel tone color scheme, which I loved! The Young Artists did a great job coordinating their outfits without being too matchy. We did two looks. The first was a casual look, outdoors, with the Denver Theater District as the background. Then we went inside, for a more formal look, with the gorgeous Ellie Caulkins Opera House as the backdrop. We got some champagne glasses and cocktail tables to complete the look!

Professional group portraits can help your cast or company feel more relatable and boost your sales. These images are great to use on websites and social media and work perfectly to advertise an event you don’t have imagery for yet. Opera Colorado used these group portraits to advertise upcoming performances and to attract the next group of awesome Young Artists. Why wouldn’t you want to work here!? We were also able to squeeze in some photos of smaller groups to advertise shows where just a few of the artists performed.

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Want fun, engaging portraits for you or your company? Get in touch with me at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photography.

Opera Singer Brett | Denver Headshot Photography

I met Brett when he was a Young Artist, during my first season with Opera Colorado. Brett Sprague is a tenor from Tacoma, Washington. He played Tamino in the Student Matinee of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. You can see the production photos from that show here. More recently, he played Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Colorado as well as other role’s across the country. Check out his full bio and website (with more photos) here.

For the past few seasons, he has been the Assistant Director of the Young Artist Program at Opera Colorado. He is always full of great ideas and has been a great mentor to the new Young Artists. He and Cherity, the Director of the Young Artist Program, make such a great team!

The two of them decided to book their headshot sessions together. 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.

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. 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? Need updated portraits for your website, social media, or auditions? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.