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La Boheme Opening Night | Denver Event Photography

One of the best parts of Denver event photography is getting to go to swanky parties! When La Boheme opened at Opera Colorado, there was an opening night dinner at Kevin Taylor’s in the lower level of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. It was so much fun photographing this event. I loved seeing everyone in their best formal wear, ready to enjoy a classic opera! The same night, I also got to photograph the pre-show talk that was open to all the opera attendees. I love when companies include educational pieces like pre-show talks and Q&A’s. I think it really adds to the overall experience of seeing a show live.

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Just a bit of a photo nerd out here. This was the first event I photographed with my new lighting setup. I had just bought three brand new flashes. light stands, umbrellas, and the little bits that go with it. This was the first event I was able to use it for after lots of playing around in my apartment. I was definitely still getting used to it and playing around with different setups for everything, but I love how the images turned out. I remember getting home that night and downloading the photos to my computer. It was so exciting to see what a difference the lights made and so proud of the images I created.

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Kevin Taylor’s at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House is a really cool space, but it is very difficult to photograph. The ceiling looks like the night sky, with tiny spots of light throughout and there are some really cool paintings by Vance Kirkland. But the lighting is very low with weird spotlights and a low, dark ceiling. I used to dread photographing events in this space but my new lighting setup made it so much better.

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Want engaging photos of your next event? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Revolutions | Denver Dance Photography

I have been photographing Park Hill Dance Collective and Academy for a number of years now. When their yearly production, an evening of pieces performed by the Collective dancers and Academy dancers, was approaching they asked if I could photograph is. I love Denver dance photography and I really wanted to see and photograph this show, but I knew I would be out of town on the dates they needed me.

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That’s when Amanda came in! Amanda Tipton and I work together a lot throughout the year. Anytime, one of us cannot photograph a show or event, we call up the other one to help us out. Amanda was able to be my associate photographer for the event. She photographed the show, then sent the photos to me to edit and deliver. This works out really well because my clients don’t have to deal with a new business, new contracts, or new pricing. And their events are still covered even if I’m unavailable. Plus, I only hire associates I trust to photograph at the same level as my own work.

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I really wish I had been in town the see this show myself! Looking through the photos to edit them was so much fun because I was really seeing this work for the first time. It looks like an amazing show! I always love how Park Hill combines their studio and company dancers into one performance.

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I also thought it was really cool that the male dancers wore long, red skirts in one of the pieces. I was talking to another male dancer last year who was upset that there are so few opportunities men have to dance in flowing clothing. He felt that a big part of the movement could be missing with tight-fitting clothes. So, I was so excited to see the whole company, men and women, in flowing skirts during this production!

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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 Talk | Denver Performing Arts Photography

Every once in a while, I’ll be looking back through some of my Denver performing arts photography from years ago and think, “why have I never blogged this? I should totally blog this!” So sometimes I end up blogging old photos from events that happened years and years ago. It’s kind of fun to have a throwback post every once in a while! This is one of those throwback posts. This was an Opera Colorado event from a few years ago that never ended up on the blog. I was not nearly as consistent or organized about blogging back then so it probably got lost in the shuffle. 

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Opera Talk was a really cool event that was part of the Inside OC program, so I thought I should bring it back and show it off a bit. This was a TED Talk style event held at the Denver Art Museum. People from various aspects of the opera world, from history to costumes to stage combat, spoke about what goes on behind the scenes to make an opera happen. Hint: there’s a lot that goes into every opera! It was a fun, informative, and interactive event. 

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Opera Talk was also a great opportunity for people to catch a special sneak peek of a really exciting opera that the company was putting on later that year, As One. As One is a opera about a trans woman’s journey through transition and self-discovery. It was the first in Opera Colorado’s Scene Change series of important new works in venues throughout the Denver metro area. Two of the Artists in Residence performed an excerpt from the show at the event. 

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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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The Sisters DeCantate | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

I’ve loved being able to capture Naropa’s student theater productions. Through Colorado performing arts photography, I’ve gotten the chance to see some of these students perform throughout their years in graduate school and it is amazing to watch how they’ve grown. Not just in terms of their skills but in the way they think as well. Their productions and performances are deeper and more impactful each year. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements.

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“Chekhov’s Three Sisters find themselves in a grungy, old jazz bar to sing the smoky, grey incantations of their souls.” This is the line printed in the program for The Sisters DeCantate, presented by Jade Garisch in collaboration with Kristin Stelter, Chie Saito, Madelyn Robinson, and Marko Melnick. Their performance was beautifully done and highly engaging. I was so drawn into it as I was photographing the show. Throughout the performance, the audience got a chance to get to know each of the three sisters, the struggles they shared, and their unique personalities. There was so much raw emotion packed into this hour-long show and I was left feeling as though a weight had been lifted. 

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Cast and Crew

Irina – Jade Garisch

Olga – Madelyn Robinson

Masha – Kristin Stelter

Birdmother – Chie Saito

Guitar / Accordian / Effects / Pedals: Marko Melnick

Composition: Music composition, words, structure, concept and direction by Jade Garisch. Guitar parts/live effects composed by Marko Melnick.

Choreography: Chie Saito in collaboration with Jade Garisch and cast

Stage Manager: Cameron MacAlpine

Assistant Stage Manager: Brandon Thomas

Light Board Operator: Isaac Eide

Sound Board Operator: Jake Cacciatore

Production Coordinator: Malachi Tharp

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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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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.

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.

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Those Who Attend Your Funeral | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

I’ve loved being able to capture Naropa’s student theater productions. I’ve gotten the chance to see some of these students perform throughout their years in graduate school and it is amazing to watch how they’ve grown. Not just in terms of their skills but in the way they think as well. Their productions and performances deeper and more impactful each year. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements.

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The program for Those Who Attend Your Funeral is designed like a funeral program. on the back are the lyrics to Amazing Grace, which is sung during the performance. The starts with a funeral for a young woman and follows the lives of her father, sister, and boyfriend as they try to live after her death. The show is dark but full of sweet, beautiful moments.

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Cast and Crew:

Mark Gibson — Young Man

Dennis Kerr — Pastor

Mike Mayes — Dad

Fiona Small — Younger Sister

Ben Harrison — Stranger

Shiloh Shahan — Stranger

Victoria Gonzalez — Young Woman

Stage Manager — Cameron MacAlpine

Lighting Design — Isaac Eide, Cameron MacAlpine, and Malachi Tharp

Light Board Operator — Isaac Eide

Sound Board Operator — Jake Cacciatore

Assistant Stage Manager — Brandon Thomas

MFA Theatre Faculty:

Jeffrey Sichel — Chair

Erika Berland — Faculty

Ethelyn Friend — Faculty

School of the Arts & Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Staff:

Sue Hammond West — Dean

Liz Acosta — Senior School Administrator

Amy C. Buckler Rusterholz — Academic Administrator

Carline Swanson (“Swanee’) — Administrative Coordinator

Charmain Schuh — Gallery and Events Manager

Hayes Moore — Graduate Academic Advisor

Malachi Tharp — Production Coordinator

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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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Marketing Arts Events | Denver Performing Arts Photography

A lot of people think that Denver performing arts photography is all about capturing photos of mainstage shows to be sent to newspapers. It is so much more than that! A lot of what I do is capture smaller shows and events for performing arts companies. I cannot tell you how important it is to have a professional photographer at events. Let’s go into some of the reasons why.

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Content

Content is king in marketing. Having lots of content is never a bad thing and photos are probably the easiest kind of content to show. They are engaging, great for SEO, and ideal for social media. Showing images from events on a regular basis shows that your company is active and engaged with the community. It’ll make people feel like there’s always something awesome going on and that they don’t want to miss out.

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Make your guests feel like VIPs

There’s nothing that makes an event feel classy like having a professional photographer there. Believe it or not, people love being photographed at events. They got dressed up and want to show off a bit. Being asked for a photo, by a professional makes people feel special. It’s their mini red carpet moment. To be fair, not everyone feels this way but I’ve gotten pretty good at gauging who loves the camera and who doesn’t. That way, I can focus on the right people without making others feel uncomfortable.

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Professionalism

You’re going to share photos of all your events no matter what. While Instagram stories and live videos are super important for engagement, you also need to show your level of professionalism. You cannot do that with amateur cell phone photos alone. Having professional photos of your events (meaning that they were taken by a professional photographer, not the accounting person with a nice camera) shows that your company is high end and worth spending money and time on.

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Professional Denver performing arts photography can uplevel your marketing and audience engagement. It provides your company with a constant stream of beautiful content, makes your event attendees feel like VIPs, and gives your brand a more professional feel overall. Are you ready to uplevel your arts organization? Get in touch today.

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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 photosContact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

PD Dance Festival First Look | Denver Dance Photography

The Presenting Denver Dance Festival, presented with the Robert and Judi Newman Center was a huge success! I’ve been part of an amazing team of volunteers helping to make this festival a reality for the past two years or so. Even with all the work we had done leading up to the festival, I did not expect to sell out every show in our inaugural year! But that’s just what we did. Each show was packed with people and we got wonderful feedback. 

The two day festival consisted of two different shows, the “New and Now” showcase and the “No Walls” concert, with 15 local dance companies and eight brand new world premieres. All the performers were absolutely incredible! There was such a great mix of styles and emotions and the flow of the shows was perfect. Any performance that can make you laugh and cry and stare in awe, all in the same show is pretty amazing in my book! I was so impressed by how it all came together.

I’ll be sharing most of the images from the festival in the months leading up to the 2020 Presenting Denver Dance Festival (mark your calendars!), so you’ll have to be patient if you want to see them. I am just too excited to share these photos though, so you get a special sneak peek in the meantime. Keep scrolling for a few photos from the New & Now showcase as the first look at our first festival ever! 

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Credits (in photo order):
Schiff Dance Company
Edgar L. Page
Kristen Demaree
Chadesh Contemporary Dance Movement
Hannah Kahn Dance Company
Helanius J. Wilkins
Gregory Gonzales
Moripovida Contemporary Dance

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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The Trashydy of Medea | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

This was probably my favorite piece from last year’s MFA Thesis show at Naropa University. At the end of each academic year, those graduating from the school’s theater program perform works that they created for their thesis, in order to fulfill their graduation requirements. Chie Saito’s one woman show, The Trashdy of Medea, was only about 15 minutes long and was the “pre-show” to Those Who Attend Your Funeral and The Sister’s DeCantate.

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Despite it’s short run time, it was very impactful. The show starts with three men carrying a heavy trash can onto the stage. Once they leave, the can starts to move. Eventually, Chie emerges and pops up, using the can almost as a dress. For the rest of the show, she interacts with the trash can, using it as a megaphone, kicking it away, kissing it, crawling inside to hide from the world.

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When I posted a photo from the show on Facebook, someone asked if the show was about the wastefulness of fast fashion trends. It is so interesting to hear what people think a piece of art means. Art is always up for interpretation and I feel that most of the time, that interpretation can change from viewer to viewer. Everyone brings their own ideas and perspectives to the table when viewing art and that is what makes art so meaningful and magical. So I want to hear what you think. From seeing the archival photos of the piece, what do you think is the meaning behind The Trashedy of Medea?

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Starring: Chie Saito and Malachi Tharp, Jake Cacciatore, & Lorenzo Gonzalez as ‘hazmat suits.’

Composed by: Lorenzo Gonzalez & Chie Saito from texts by Euripides & Christa Wolf

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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.