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Gerado – New Legacy High School | Denver Senior Photography

Gerardo and I met at the Denver Nature and Science Museum as part of a senior portrait event with New Legacy High School. New Legacy High School is a Denver charter school for young parents. It’s half high school/half early learning center so the students and their children can learn at the same time. When I saw the opportunity to volunteer to photograph senior portraits for these students, I went for it. It was a great opportunity to dip my toes in the Denver senior photography world, while giving back at the same time.

Gerardo was one of the 3 students I photographed that day. When he showed up, I immediately noticed his awesome shoes. I loved the little pop of color on the backs. (check them out in his last photo). He and another student at the school have a daughter together. This little kid is a total daddy’s girl. The whole session, she was trying to play with him and following him around everywhere we went. The three of them are such a cute family.

We had a lot of fun at our session! We did half the session outside, in the park and the other half in the museum. There are some cool modern areas with great natural light in the Museum of Nature and Science. And with City Park right there, we had the perfect mix of nature and modern.

I’m so glad I participated in this event. I approached senior portraits similarly to my headshot sessions. For me, it’s all about creating a fun and relaxed experience and bringing out my client’s personality. I love senior photography and I cannot wait to do more!

For more senior fun, take a look at Layla’s session here.

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Looking for a fun, relaxed senior portrait experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Why to Hire a Professional | Denver Boulder Headshot Photography

First off, if your friend or a local students wants to photograph you and you’re up for it, then definitely go for it. Model for them, have some fun, be their muse. But if you need photos for auditions, promotions, your website or whatever, it’s always best to hire a professional. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. You’re in charge, not them

When you seek out a photographer and hire them, you are the client, and you are in charge. This doesn’t mean that you get to make all the rules. A professional photographer knows what they’re doing and you should listen to their advice. But, as the client, you get to customize the experience. If you need a photo of a certain person at an event, want a colorful wall as the background of a headshot, or have another specific idea for your session, your photographer can make it happen. Within reason, they’re job is to serve you and make sure you’re happy.

A great example of this is model sessions. Most photographers do model sessions when they wanna play with the camera or have a really cool idea. While client sessions are about bringing the client’s vision to life, model sessions are about the photographer’s vision. This is what you’ll get when you hire a friend. It’ll be fun, but it might not be what you really want.

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2. Money talks

No one wants to admit it, but money does talk. My paid sessions always come before my non-profit work, model sessions, and my personal work. This means they get priority booking, faster delivery, and more attention to detail. I run a business and I can’t pay for my cameras or groceries with exposure or experience. Money really can be that extra little push that makes someone put in more effort. It shows us that we are literally valued and worth it to our clients.

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3. Insurance

A very practical reason to hire a professional is insurance. Professional photographers, like myself, have all kinds of insurance. Liability insurance keeps the photographer and the client safe. If you get hurt at a session, liability insurance can cover the cost of medical care and damages.

Professional photographers have all sorts of fail safes put in place to protect the client. Birth photographers have back up photographers. Wedding photographers have second shooters. Portrait photographers have back up cameras and assistants. All professionals have contracts and insurance.

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4. Experience matters

Professional photographers have of experience and education under their belts. This makes a big difference. Photography isn’t just a gift that some people are born with. No one pops out of the womb a Pulitzer Prize winner. Talent is part of it sure but experience is most of it. Also, actually taking pictures is barely a quarter of our time as professionals. WE have to know how to edit, how to communicate with clients. We have to set up policies and systems for client management, bookkeeping, paying taxes, everything it takes to run a business. And most importantly for you, we have to know how make our clients feel comfortable and beautiful. This also takes time, education, and experience.

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5. No hard feelings

If the shoot doesn’t go wonderfully or you end up not loving the photos, a friend might take your feedback personally. With a professional, you never have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or ruining a relationship. Professionals know how to handle criticism and use it to improve their business. You might just gain a new friend instead of lose an old one.

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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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Bird Fur Tees on Santa Fe | Denver Brand Photography

This week is small business week, so I wanted to celebrate with a shout out to one of my favorite small businesses! I’ve been doing a bunch of brand photography for Bird Fur Tees in order to keep up with all their new designs and the sessions are always so much fun!

Bird Fur Tees is the t-shirt company created by my brother, Josh. Josh has always had a quirky sense of humor and an entrepreneurial spirit so this has been the perfect endeavor for him. His shirts are funny, weird, timely, and sometimes even philanthropic. He’s always posting behind the scenes photos, new designs, and funny memes on his Instagram feed.

All our shoots have been in urban parts of Denver with bright, colorful murals as our backdrop. These kinds of locations are my absolute favorites since I’m pretty much addicted to bright colors and patterns. For this shoot, we went to the Santa Fe Arts District. There are so many great galleries, studios, and murals here. I love coming for First Friday for the art walks!

We had a lot of fun at this shoot. There were new friends and old modeling for us. These shoots are always playful, a little bit weird, and full of laughter. At one point, I made all the guys tickle each other. I have video evidence! We even got some behind the scenes photos taken by one of our models, Jackson! I really love some of these new shirts. Someone get me the Beyoncé one please!

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We always try to take a few photos of blank t-shirts so Josh can photoshop on new designs before we have a chance to do another photoshoot. This way we can consolidate the shoots and get a bunch of shirts photographed at once, but Josh can still share out his new designs in real time. Plus, he’s gotten really good at photoshop!

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Need to spice up your website and up your social media game? I would love to chat about creating engaging, eye-catching photos for you and your company. Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Layla | Denver Senior Photography

Layla and I met at the Denver Nature and Science Museum as part of a senior portrait event with New Legacy High School. New Legacy High School is a Denver charter school for young parents. It’s half high school/half early learning center so the students and their children can learn at the same time. When I saw the opportunity to volunteer to photograph senior portraits for these students, I went for it. It was a great opportunity to dip my toes in the Denver senior photography world, while giving back at the same time.

Layla was the first of 3 students I photographed. She’s hoping to go to college at Colorado State University and study in the field of medicine. She has a daughter, who she describes as spoiled rotten. It’s hard not to spoil a cute little kid, right?

We had a lot of fun at our session! We went all over City Park and the Nature and Science Museum. There are some great, modern areas at the back of the museum that are nice and quiet. And with City Park right there, we had the perfect mix of nature and urban.

I’m so glad I participated in this event. I approached senior portraits similarly to my headshot sessions. For me, it’s all about creating a fun and relaxed experience and bringing out my client’s personality. I love senior photography and I cannot wait to do more!

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Looking for a fun, relaxed senior portrait experience? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Opera Singer Danielle | Denver Headshot Photography

Danielle is a mezzo-soprano in the Young Artist program at Opera Colorado. This is her second season with the company. 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 headshot photography so much. I get to spend time with awesome people, like Danielle, one on one.

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We did Danielle’s portrait session 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 range of backgrounds, and if the weather isn’t great, we can stay under the glass dome!

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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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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

Park Hill Dancer Portraits | Denver Dance Photography

Today is Dance Teachers Appreciation Day! I wanted to do a spotlight on a dance studio and a dance teacher I love: Park Hill Dance Academy! Last year, I photographed Park Hill Dance Collective. Here are the awesome dance portraits from that session.

More recently, I took portraits of all of the older students at Park Hill Dance Academy. It was a chilly day, but they were all such troopers and their portraits turned out wonderfully!

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This is Karlyn, the mastermind behind Park Hill Dance Academy. She is a truly wonderful person and she runs an amazing dance studio.

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Do you remember the maternity dance session I did on the beach? This little cutie is the “bump” from those photos! The dance students totally adore her and love having her around the studio.

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Looking for engaging portraits of you or your company? Contact me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.