It’s time to chill out

Monday morning Kailua-Kona greetings to one and all!

It’s the week before Christmas and for a lot of people, they are starting to shut it down for the rest of the year. Hey, that’s Jan and I! 🙂 When I first started worked for myself about 28 years ago, the thought of taking time off at Christmas seemed a little crazy because I thought that everyone else would be on vacation at that time and I didn’t want to go somewhere and have it be busy with a bunch of tourists. After a couple of years in business and being in Peoria at Christmas time, I quickly realized that for my business and what I do, the time between Christmas and New Years was non-existent and I started to think, “what the heck am I doing in Peoria in the dead of winter when I can be someplace warm!” Jan and I started taking off the week of Christmas and New Years and we’d head someplace like Destin, Fla. or New Orleans, La. for the week. I then started to see where business was shutting down even sooner then just Christmas as clients would be taking time off to try and use up any extra vacation time or they would lose it! We’ve not gotten to a point where by about the middle of December, things have pretty well shut down for the rest of the year and so Jan and I are taking full advantage of that slow time to get the heck out of town and detune from the year and all that’s gone on!

We’ve got a lot of things planned out over the coming days to get out and shoot a bunch of nature photography and do some hiking and that will be great!!! There’s something that’s very therapeutic about getting out in the sunshine and hearing the birds singing!

Here’s one of Jan’s photos from yesterday and our first day in paradise and you’ll see what we mean about tranquility!

If you’re going to be traveling this coming week and weekend for the Christmas holiday to spend time with family and friends, make it a safe one and have a wonderful time!!! I know that we’re going to do our best to do the same!!!

Thanks as always for taking the time too check out our work and we hope that you have a great week to come!!!

Kev and Jan

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Return Visit

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

For Jan and I, this is our last week of work for the year and needless to say we’re quite happy about that! Now we’ll still have some Monday morning promos to finish out the year, so you’ll still hear from us in the coming weeks. It really has been a very good year once again and we are very blessed to be doing all that we have in 2017! There have been a lot of road trips and it’s good thing that we both enjoy being on the road. Now don’t get me wrong, you can be on the road too much and when that happens it’s always good to come back home to Peoria!

We’ve got a visiting sculpture in Peoria and if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, it’s pretty darn cool. For the next nine or so months, the sculpture titled “Return Visit” will be featured here in the Peoria area. “Return Visit” is a giant 31’ tall bronze statue that depicts Abraham Lincoln standing with a modern-day man who’s holding Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The statue is outside on the East side of the Peoria Riverfront Museum and faces the Illinois River. It’s a very impressive piece and you just don’t realize how big that it is until you get up next to it! I like the fact that we are getting some of these things in the Peoria area and it’s really nice to see!

Here’s one of my photos of “Return Visit” taken with the drone.

It’s time for us to get busy, we’ve got a lot to do in the next five days to get things wrapped up for the year! We hope that you’re going to have a great week to come and thanks as always for taking time to check out our work!!!

Kev and Jan

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Heading down the stretch

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

We’re winding things down for 2017 and we’ve got a couple more weeks here in town before we shut it down for the rest of the year. It’s amazing how fast this year has flown by with all of the different shoots and locations that we were at around the country. It’s never too upsetting to have things slowing down a bit at this time of the year and it allows us to get a bunch of year-end stuff done so that when we start 2018, we’re caught up with everything and are ready to go! It’s nice having the desk all cleaned up and all the appropriate paperwork filed and boxed up!!!

On my trip out to Southern New Mexico over the Thanksgiving week, I was able to get out and shoot photos everyday which always makes me very happy! One of my photography spots that I was able to visit on this trip was the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens. It’s not as huge of a garden as some of the other ones that Jan and I have shot at around the country, but it’s a very nice place that’s incredibly tranquil and peaceful. There are a number of fountains in the park, so the sound of running water in the desert is a very calming presence in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now at this time of the year, it’s a little harder to find flowering plants and trees since it’s out of season, but there still were some and that’s where the challenge is finding some things to shoot! All and all I had a great few hours walking around the gardens listening to the running water and grabbing a few snaps!

Here’s a couple of my photos from a morning spent at the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens.

It’s time for us to get rocking on all of the last-minute yearend things that we need to get done! We hope that you’re going to have a great week and thanks for taking the time to check out our work!

Kev and Jan

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Back at it

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well it sure was nice to sleep in my own bed last night! What a crazy past month it’s been with all of the road-trips and driving for these different shoots all over the US. Sometimes it’s like that and you just push through it and know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and for the next three weeks it will be good to be here in Peoria! Yea! The final tally on all the driving was 9840 miles in the car! Yes, that’s a lot of miles in one month!!! It’s a good thing that there’s creature comforts like Sirius XM radio in the car to help keep you going when you’re out in areas where there’s not a whole lot going on! All and all I was able to slug through it and my butts not too sore from sitting in the drivers seat all those many days!

This last little trip for the Thanksgiving week took me out to Southern New Mexico to spend the week with my folks and it’s always so nice to see them and spend time there. The weather couldn’t have been nicer with abundant sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70’s to high 70’s all week! That’s my kind of paradise! I was able to get out everyday for a hike and to shoot some nature photography and it’s always wonderful to be able to do that! I know what I’ll be doing in retirement!!! 🙂

Here’s one of my snaps from Soledad Canyon just outside of Las Cruces, N.M.

It’s time to get busy and there are lots of loose ends on a few projects that we’ll be tackling in the next few days, so it’s time to get started! We hope that you’re going to have a great week to come and thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work and seeing what we are doing!!!

Kev and Jan

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A week of thanks

Monday morning greetings from Oklahoma City!

Well it sure was a crazy couple of weeks of driving and the final tally on the rental car was 5718 miles for the three shoots over that two week period of time! I made it back home on Saturday evening and was able to regroup a little bit and sleep in my own bed before heading out again yesterday for a week in New Mexico with my folks for the Thanksgiving holiday. Needless to say after this week of driving it will be good to be back in Peoria for at least a little while before heading out once again!!!

Both Jan and I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week and to me it’s always been a good time to be a little reflective about how things are going. Now I don’t think that any of us probably has the perfect life with everyday and everything being perfect all the time. We all have our moments, but that’s what life is all about and you just have to take the bad with the good. I do think that we are very blessed that we have so many wonderful clients that hire us and see the value in what we do. Jan is finishing up her third year working with me and I’m very happy that we have been able to do so much and spend so much time together having fun while we are working and traveling for our gigs! Life can be short, so enjoy everyday and be grateful for all that you have and who you are!

Here’s a quick snap from my time in Utah a couple of weeks ago when I was able to get out and shoot some nature photography for myself and this always makes me happy!

It’s time for me to get going, I’ve got about 670 miles of driving today to make it to my folks place! Jan and I both hope that if you’re going to be traveling this week to spend time with your family and friends that you make it a safe one and come back home in one piece. Thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Kev and Jan

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Rolling down the road

Monday morning Georgia greetings to one and all!

Well it was a crazy week this past week and the fun’s not over yet! I was out in Utah for a shoot last week and everything worked out great and we had a good shoot. As sometimes happens, shoots can come up at the spur of the moment and I had a request for a last-minute shoot this week in Southern Georgia. I had driven out to Utah because of the amount of gear that was needed, so that was 1350 from Peoria to Salt Lake City. I spent the weekend driving from SLC back over to Georgia and that was another 1880 miles. Now the fun really begins, after the gig in Georgia I’ve got to drive up to Connecticut for a gig this coming Friday and this was another last-minute gig that came up late last week. So the drive from Georgia to Connecticut will be another 930 miles. Once I finish the Connecticut gig on Friday, I’ll start heading back to Peoria and that we’ll be another 965 miles to get back home. Just when you thought that the driving would all be done for a while, it will be Thanksgiving week on the 20th and I’ll be heading out to spend the week with my folks and that’s another 2750 miles of driving round trip! I’m going to need a vacation after all of this driving! 🙂

Here’s one of my snaps from the drive from Salt Lake City to Georgia on the back roads in Utah!

It’s time to make the doughnuts, so we hope that you’re going to have a great week and thanks for taking the time to check out our work!!!

Kev and Jan

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40 Years!

Monday morning greetings from Sal Lake City, Utah!

Yes the road-trips have started again! Denver two weeks ago and then back to Peoria for last week and now this week in Salt Lake City for another photo and video shoot! The good thing is that we enjoy it becuase if you didn’t, it sure wouldn’t be a lot of fun!!!

We don’t always get the chance to share some of the video projects that we work on, but this week we can! This has to be the biggest video project that Jan and I have ever worked on and it wasn’t that it took weeks and weeks to shoot, but it was the time that it took to edit putting everything together that was so extensive and time consuming!

David Vaughan Investments is one of those companies in the Central Illinois area that you’ve probably never heard of, but they are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. In this day and age when companies come and go at the drop of a hat, being in business for 40 years really says something about the company and the people who work there. To mark this anniversary, DVI worked with another one of those companies that you might not have ever heard of, Burdess and Associates to put together a video celebrating the 40 years of business. lol, the funny thing is that most people in Central Illinois have no idea who I am either, so I like to think that like DVI and Burdess, we all fly under the radar when it comes to the general public.

Unless you’ve work on a project like this, you’ve really don’t have an idea as to the time that it takes to make all the elements come together. It all starts with concept meetings on what the video will be about and the look that we are after. From there we interviewed the principle players at DVI and after that is when the heavy lifting really began. If you think about it, we had to whittle down two hours of interviews into a seven minute video to span the 40 years of DVI. I give a huge amount of the credit to how well this video turned out to Barb Massey and Mark Burdess from Burdess and Associates. Barb was able to craft the story from all the interviews and Mark was responsible with the look and feel of the video. Trust me, without their help on this DVI video, it never would have looked and sounded as good as it does! It takes a team of people to put something like this together and in this case we spent days and days and days together working on the editing of the video over a two month period of time! That’s a crazy amount of time, but well worth the effort when you see the finished piece!

Below is a Youtube link for the DVI video that Barb, Mark, Jan and I put together. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!

Alright, its time to get busy in Salt Lake City, so we hope that you have a great week to come and thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work!

Kev and Jan

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Training Day Colorado

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

The road trips have started again and this past week I was out in Northglenn, Colorado for a very fun shoot! Rescue Experience: Colorado was a two day training event that was put on by a client of ours. Unless you’re a first responder or a fan of IndyCar racing, you’ve probably never heard of Holmatro, but they are the cat’s meow when it comes to hydraulic rescue equipment. If you’re not sure what hydraulic rescue equipment is, think the “jaws of life” when people are in car accidents and need to be extracted from a crash vehicle.

The first responders that went through the Rescue Experience had a little classroom time to start the day and then they were put through their paces in some realistic scenarios with the instructors. The big takeaway that the students learned was to think differently about how they might rescue victims in a timely and safe manner using the different tools that Holmatro makes and to use them properly. It was fascinating to see how the different teams would work together on these scenarios to make these rescues happen so quickly and safely for all involved including the other first responders.

On a personal note, one of the instructors was Dr. Andrew Stevens and for me as a big IndyCar fan, I’ve heard his name mentioned numerous times over the years when a racer would be injured in a crash he would be the attending physician. In my promo photos, Dr. Stevens is the gentleman on the right side of the photos in the orange Holmatro fire-suit.

I’ve got a few of my snaps from the Rescue Experience and at some point I’ll also be editing a video from the event as well.

Thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work and we hope that you have a great week to come!!!

Kev and Jan

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Big news and a Monday drive

Wednesday morning greetings to one and all!

The big news that I’m sharing today is that a week ago Monday I passed my FAA Part 107 test to become a certified drone pilot! For a person that would like to fly a drone commercially, you have to pass this test in order to be certified by the FAA, so it’s a big deal to be legal when you are flying for commercial work. For a hobbyist that would like to have a small drone and fly around in the park, you don’t need this certification, but you do have to follow some rules that the FAA has put forth. To fly legally for commercial purposes, you’ve got to study and pass the test. Mind you it’s been about 40 years since I’ve had to study for a test, so my brain wasn’t wired for all the things that you have to know to pass the test. I probably spent about 12 hours watching some videos and also going over study guides with information from reading weather reports to knowing how to read aeronautical sectional charts for the US. I took the test over in Bloomington, Il. and it took about an hour and half to complete. The good thing is that they give you the results right away and I passed with an 83% score and needless to say I was super happy about that! The certification is good for two years, so I’ll have to take it again down the road but at least I know what to study and how the testing process goes!

We’ve hit the time of the year in the Midwest when the weather is really nice and you’ve got to get out and enjoy it before winter hits! Having the cooler temperatures and lower humidities is so wonderful and it’s great to get out and drive around in farm country. Jan and I took a little trip up to Bishop Hill, Illinois and took a few photos along the way! The fun thing that we did on this day trip was to not use any of our camera gear and just use our iPhones. These phones have gotten so good that you can take some really good photos with your phone. For us it’s fun to see what you can create with just a camera phone!

Here’s a couple of our snaps from an afternoon spent at Bishop Hill.

Thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work and we hope that you’re going to have a great week to come!

Kev and Jan

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Not your grandpa’s tractor!

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

We are back in town after having a quick road trip out to Wyoming this past week for a shoot. After having been in Peoria for over a month, it was good to be back out on the road for a shoot and it’s never upsetting to be out West! After being in Wyoming for even a few days, I adjusted very quickly to the lower humidity then we have here in Peoria. We stopped in Des Monies, Ia. for the night on the way back home and when I stepped out of the car, that good old Midwestern humidity hit me right in the face! When we get to this time of the year, we’re about ready for the heat and humidity to be over and it’s coming, but maybe just not quick enough!

One of the things that we shot before heading out West was a gig for our friends at LG Seeds. About six and a half years ago we shot Bret Berg and his “Moneymaker” tractor in the studio and it’s one incredible machine. As you can see from the photos in 2011 on this link, the “Moneymaker” has four engines that are putting out 8,800 horsepower

Bret brought the “Moneymaker” tractor to the National Tractor Pullers Association event at the 130th Sandwich Fair in Sandwich, Il. If you’ve never been to a tractor pull, it’s pretty amazing to see these machines run down the track. It’s a very visceral experience because it’s a overload of your senses. As these tractors make a run, you’ll feel the vibrations of the air and hear the roar of the engines and it’s amazing!

Here’s one of our shots of the “Moneymaker” tractor in action!

Thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work and we sure do appreciate it!

Kev and Jan

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