Naropa’s MFA Thesis Festival | Colorado Theater Photography

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic was the first play I photographed for Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival. One of the things I love most about Colorado theater photography and photographing for Naropa is getting the chance to see these performing artists grow and develop over their years in school. I hope to see them out in the theater world too, now that they’ve graduated! Congrats to the graduates of the Naropa School of the Arts Theater Program!

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About The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth is Not the Only Thing That’s Sonic: “Give a performer time & space to express their authentic presence. This play does that, if nothing else, and there’s a lot else. It lulls us into a semi-sleep state, then surprisingly wakes us up to repeatedly question & challenge our realities. There’s something elegant about the way each character deals with their existential crises. The vehicles that carry us through our presence and language. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a vessel for what spirit & soul express through me. It never has been, nor ever will be about me. That’s something I often forget, then re-learn again & again the way humans do. The acting process is closely related to the cycle of life & death. We create an imaginary self and give it bodily form. Then that form dissolves once the show is over. If we’re aware, we learn something about what it means to be human in the process.”

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Creative Credits:

Written by Toshiki Okada
Translated by Aya Ogawa
Directed by Michael Mayes
Actor 1: Michael Mayes
Actor 2: Mark Gibson
Actor 3: Dennis Kerr
Actress 1: Victoria González
Actress 2: Karena Lyn

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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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2017 in Review | Denver Photographer

2017 was quite a year! I started the year at home, sick, rewatching the ball drop in New York City, but I ended it watching the fireworks on the 16th St. Mall in a crowd of cheering Denverites. Last summer, I moved to downtown Denver and absolutely love it! I even have a great indoor space to use for portraits in my apartment building. I’ve grown my arsenal of camera gear and business goodies, so I now have my own lighting equipment and client management software for a better client experience. Like all years, there were ups and downs, but I’m so excited about how much I and my business have grown!

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The headshot side of my business has grown a lot in 2017 and with each session, I love it more and more. I’ve worked with lots of talented performing artists, many fearless small business owners, and plenty of others, from engineers to politicians. I also used my camera to give back to the community—donating senior portraits to teen parents.

As part of my goal to network more, I had my first (and second) speaking engagement, creating an interactive presentation to teach women “How to Love Yourself in Photos.” It was so much fun to share my knowledge with others and empower them at the same time!

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This season, I became a Corporate Sponsor for Opera Colorado while photographing even more amazing events and performances for their 2017-2018 season. I met their seven new Young Artists and got a first peek at their new rehearsal/event/performance space!

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I continued working with the wonderful Park Hill Dance Academy and Naropa University’s Theater Program. I also photographed shows from other local theater and dance companies, including Local Lab and Wild Heart Dance. And I continued to work on new personal dance projects.

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In my personal life, I photographed my family reunion in North Carolina and took my camera to the Boulder Pride Parade, the Women’s March on Denver, and other protests. I started and then quickly gave up on a New Year’s resolution to take a professional selfie each month (not all resolutions are meant to be kept!). What brought me to tears, however, was seeing the total solar eclipse in Wyoming—an overwhelming experience!

I’m sure 2018 will bring even more exciting and stunning moments to capture. Wishing you a joyful year ahead!

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

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Snowy Group Portraits | Denver Headshot Photography

Being a Denver headshot photographer may sound pretty straightforward but there are many challenges that come my way. I love finding ways to work in unusual conditions and overcome the hurdles.

 

This was not an easy session but I’m so proud of the photos we created.

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Each year, I get to do a group portrait session with the Young Artists at Opera Colorado. Last year was the first time we did this and it was so much fun. Be sure to check out the photos here! Later in the season, the group changed a bit so we did another session. That meant that instead of a beautiful sunny day in September, we were shooting in the middle of a snowstorm in January. We used the lobby of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for some of the smaller group portraits and then the Young Artists got changed and we headed outside. I had them all bring cute winter coats and scarves and they looked really great together. They were freezing cold but hopefully the hand warmers I brought them helped a bit! I always have a few in my bag for clients to hold and stuff in their pockets for winter sessions.

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This was a very difficult session. With the snow and the cold, I could hardly see what I was doing since my viewfinder kept fogging up. We only had less than 15 minutes before everyone froze their butts off. And of course, the snow kept blowing in everyone’s faces the whole time. All that said, I really love these group portraits. These wonderful Young Artists were so awesome. They put up with the cold, wind, and snow, and even smiled the whole time (just keeping their eyes open was a chore). They were enthusiastic and didn’t complain once. I am so grateful for that because I love snowy, winter portraits. And nothing quite compares to what we can get during a real snowfall.

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

Summer Moving Project | Denver Dance Photography

I love being able to capture talented artists of all ages. Denver dance photography is my way of interpreting the creativity of local performing artists and create everlasting memories out of their art. These photos can be used by the company to promote their show and their school, as well as by the performers for their portfolio. They also serve as a wonderful memento for the dancers and their parents. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph a student production in Broomfield, Colorado and I was blown away by the performance.

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Summer Moving Project is Colorado Conservatory of Dance‘s annual summer showcase. Colorado Conservatory of Dance has dance classes for students from ages one to adulthood. Their studios are in Broomfield, just down the street from where I used to live! They have two main performances each year, their Nutcracker performance and the Summer Moving Project. This is the students’ chance to show off what they’ve been learning throughout the school year. The middle and high school students performed in a beautiful multi-piece show at the Broomfield Auditorium, in July.

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I was so impressed by the skill and creativity of these young dancers. They bring so much passion to their performances. Everything, from the costumes to the music and lighting was professional and well thought out. The pieces were fun, emotional, silly, and upbeat. There were various pieces performed by the different age groups and the show ended with a final piece involving all the students in the show. Overall, it was an exceptional show!

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The image above is one of my favorites from the show. I love the layering of the three dancers and the strong emotion they each evoke in their movement. The lighting adds an additional level of drama to this dance photo.

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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

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

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STX by Close Act Theater | Colorado Performing Arts Photography

What I love most about the Colorado Performing Arts scene is that there is so much variety. You can find anything you’re looking for, from family-friendly to risque, traditional to very unusual, local to international. And the best art can be found all over the state, not just in Denver or Boulder. Breckenridge has an incredible art scene year round, so if you think it’s just a ski town, think again.

Close Act Theater is a performing arts company in the Netherlands. They came to Breckenridge for the Breckenridge International Art Festival and performed two shows, STX and Saurus. They did two shows a day, for a week! I can’t imagine how tired they must have been at the end. This show was so much fun, I saw it three times! Each show was different from the one before it. They interacted with the audience and the space so well. This was definitely a family friendly event, and the kids in the audience had a blast. All the adults did too. Everyone was following them around, taking pictures, in awe of everything,

It can actually be really helpful to see a show before photographing it. That way I can plan out where I need to be when, what moments are the most important, and how to photograph each piece. I tend to run around a lot when I photograph dress rehearsals, in order to always get the most dynamic angle. This show was no different, since it was so immersive. The performers and audience members were moving around the whole time, all throughout Breckenridge’s main square.

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Want fun, engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Contact me here or send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help you tell your story through photography.

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At A Crossroads Rehearsal | Denver Dance Photography

Park Hill Dance Academy’s At A Crossroads dress rehearsal was just beautiful. A couple months earlier, we did a promotional creative session for this show, which was so much fun. Park Hill used those photos to promote the show on social media, and one of the images was used for the show’s poster. The student’s parents were so excited. Many of them helped out at the promo shoot and some of them came to watch the end of the dress rehearsal too.

At A Crossroads was performed at the Vintage Theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the first half of the show, all the students and a few company members danced together in a beautiful, moving piece. Some parts were performed by the younger students, some by the older students, and in some parts, everyone was dancing together on stage. It was really great to see students from different classes coming together for the show. I loved that they all had their lace dresses in different colors as well.

The second half of the show was comprised of multiple, shorter pieces, some by the Academy students and some by the company members. Each piece brought a different emotion to the show and they all complimented each other well. This second half started off with the slower, more melancholy feel of the first half, but got gradually more joyful and vibrant. By the end of the show, everyone was on stage, in fun, bright colors and having a big dance party. One of my favorite pieces, was lit by tiny candles the students held in their hands and danced with. (Don’t worry, they weren’t real candles.) It created a really beautiful glow.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.