The desert is alive!

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

I made it back from a quick trip out to New Mexico last week to see my folks and as always it was a great time! I’ve
made trips out there at different times of the year, but never during this time of the year. In Southern New Mexico they have had their rainy season and it’s showing in the desert. They only get about six inches of rain a year, so when they do get rain, everything in the desert comes alive.

I was able to get out for a hike at one of my favorite spots, Dripping Springs Natural Area. In all of my hikes there over the years, I’ve never seen many animals. This time I was rewarded with a number of lizards, toads and even my first ever snake! Fortunately for me, the snake was a non-posionous Bull snake, but it sure looked like a Diamond Backed Rattlesnake! The flowers were out in force and that’s something that I haven’t seen much of either during my past visits! It’s usually something that doesn’t last long, so I just happened to be there at the right time of the year to see all the color!

Here are some of my photos taken at Dripping Springs Natural Area last week!

Next weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and it’s the official start of summer! If you’re going to be traveling next weekend, be safe and have some fun as well!

Have a great week to come and thanks as always!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcds17may15

Rocking along

Monday mid-morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

We clicked another month off for 2015 and the year is motoring along and that’s a good thing! Last week Jan and I were on the road for a gig down in Oklahoma for our friends at Telsmith. Telsmith manufactures rock crushers and conveyers that crush and transport the rock at quarries. It’s one of those worlds that unless you work there, you’ll probably never see it! We were very fortunate to have great weather for this shoot and as I’ve always talked about, having a good sunny day is about 90% of the battle for any outdoor shoot. We shot video and stills of the whole operation from the beginning when the rock was loaded into the crushers to the end when the rock was hauled away for the customers to use. I think that’s one of the things that I most enjoy about doing stuff like this is seeing the behind the scenes of what goes on at any business that we work with!

Here’s a few of the photos that Jan and I both shot last week in Oklahoma for TelSmith!

Thanks as always for checking out our work and we hope that you have a great week!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmctel4may15

Residences at SOSC

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Wow it’s been busy! There is so much going on work-wise right now and it’s a great feeling! Most of this weekend was spent shooting or on the computer editing photos and video from the past week. It wasn’t too upsetting to be on the computer on Saturday with the weather being cold and rainy here in Central Illinois. Sunday was the complete opposite from Saturday and there was glorious sunshine all day and we were out shooting a number of projects, so we took full advantage of the great weather!

One of the on going projects is a series of still and video images for our friends at Cullinan Properties. This project took us down to St. Louis and Quincy this past week and the weather was sunny, but very windy! One of the properties that we photographed was the Residences at The Streets of St. Charles. The property is just West of the Missouri River in St. Charles, Mo. and it’s a great set-up. They have condos and then have incorporated shopping as well within the neighborhood. It gives the area a city feeling without all of the hubbub of the big city!

Here’s a series of time-lapse images of the Residences in a nice little YouTube video.

Thanks as always for checking out our work and we hope that you have a great week!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to video the Time-Lapse

YouTube Preview Image

Old School Fun

Monday morning greetings to one and all!

One of the things that I have talked with fellow photographers a lot about over the last five or so years, is the art of lighting and how it is becoming a lost art. When we think of old school photography, and I’m talking about shooting film, there wasn’t any Photoshop to massage or manipulate an image. As a photographer you had to get it right “in the camera”, which meant that you had to have everything perfect when you pressed the shutter button. The lighting and composition had to be spot on or the photo wouldn’t be what you needed.

In today’s photography world, clients’ budgets have been squeezed and we are having to work faster, not being able to spend the time on a photo like we have in the past. I think what made this shoot last week so special is that we had time to do lighting on the project and what a difference it made in the photography. We were shooting some antique tractors and were given the proper time to make them look as good as possible with our lighting. It takes a lot of photography gear to light one of these big tractors and make it look great. It also takes time to set everything up on location and then do the actual photography. As we all know, time is money!

Here’s one of our shots from last week of this beautiful Best tractor from a by gone era!

Here’s hoping that your week to come and thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcbest20apr15

My Silver Jubilee

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

I can’t believe it, but I’m wrapping up my 25th year in business this coming Tuesday! I’ve said this before, but it seems like it was just yesterday that I started out on my own back in April of 1990. I guess time does fly when you’re having fun and we’ve sure had a lot of fun all these years! I’ve been incredibly fortunate and blessed that clients have been hiring me and supporting me all these many years. I know that we’ve created a lot of great work over the years and I know that we still have the desire and drive to keep pushing forward these next few years!

I have to laugh a little bit, we’ve featured photos for Unity Point Hospital two of the past three weeks and now we’ve got one more photo to share with you. We are started to get in that season of shooting architectural photography for clients with things starting to green up and when we’ve got good weather we have to take advantage of it. This past Saturday the weather was perfect, so Jan and I were out most of the day into the evening shooting outdoor photography for a number of clients. Our last shoot of the evening was a night shot of Unity Point’s Methodist Hospital. We got set up with the camera and then waited for the perfect time to get the shot. Things were starting to get good, so we started shooting and at some point about 45 minutes later we knew that the shot that was going to be the money shot.

Here’s our photo from Saturday night of Unity Point Methodist Hospital.

Year 26 starts on Wednesday, so we’re going to get rocking!!! Thanks as always for checking out our work and we hope that you have a great week!!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcupm12apr15

Working with kids

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

After my 25 years of shooting photography, when it comes to shooting photos of kids, you just never know how it’s going to work out! Now I could tell stories for hours and hours about shoots that didn’t happen or were a complete train wreck because we were working with young kids. Now it’s not that the kids were all bad or a problem, but depending on the age of the child, you usually have a very limited time to work with them. Most kids have a very limited attention span and the younger they are, the shorter their attention span can be! What I usually try to do when I know that I’m going to be working with children is to have everything set up (camera, lighting, etc.) so we can start shooting as soon as the child arrives on the set. I will always figure that I maybe have five minutes to work to get the shots I need and anything beyond that is a bonus!

Last week we had a shoot at the Morton Unity Point Clinic and we were going to be shooting some photos of a young child with a pediatric doctor. Well we couldn’t have gotten more lucky, we had Dr. May Sun as our pediatrician and little Addison as our young patient. Dr. Sun was great with Addy and I can see why she is so highly regarded with the kids! Remember that five minute rule that I have when working with kids, heck I think we got a half hour or more out of Addison and that was great as well. Like I said, you just never know how much time you’re going to get, so you really have to work fast!

Here’s a few of our snaps with Dr. Sun and Addison!

Thanks as always for checking out our work and we hope that you have a great week to come!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcup6apr15

A video postcard from Utah

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

It’s Easter week, so there’s a lot of people that are taking the week off for vacations with their families Hopefully if you’re traveling this week you’ll have a safe trip and a little bit of fun as well! I can remember as a kid we would travel down to Biloxi, Mississippi and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida for the Easter break from school. It was always nice because the weather was a heck of a lot nicer along the Gulf coast then it was back in Rockford, Illinois at this time of the year.

On to our video postcard from Utah. While Jan and I were out West back in February, we spent a number of days shooting nature photography in the Moab, Utah area. We spent time shooting photos at a number of areas including Arches and Caynonlands National Parks and Dead Horse State Park. Along with shooting lots of still photography, we also ended up shooting some video as well! There’s a lot more that goes into shooting video versus stills and when you’re out in nature hiking, this brings some new challenges as well! In the past for shooting still photography, we’ve got backpacks for the cameras and tripods, so not to much to haul around. Well for shooting video, there’s a lot more stuff gear wise that you’ve got to take with, so hiking is a bit more of a workout! All and all, it was a great experience and I’m glad that we did it! We’ll be doing more of this on future trips and are looking forward to what we can create!

Well here you go, here’s our video postcard from Utah and be sure to watch in in High Definition as well!

If you’re on Easter vacation this week, make it a good one! Thanks as always for checking out our work as well!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

YouTube Preview Image

Nighttime is the right time!

Monday morning Des Monies greetings to one and all!

We are headed back from a quick trip to Colorado for some advanced video training. It was a real banzai run these past few days. We got in the Explorer late Thursday afternoon arriving in Colorado on Friday afternoon. Saturday was spent getting more advanced techniques with the video camera and also some computer software lessons! Sunday morning we started back home and made it as far as Des Moines, Iowa and we’ll be back to P-Town ready to rock once again this afternoon! All and all, it was a great trip out West even if it was so incredibly brief, but lots of great information that will really help on future video projects!!!

This past week we got rocking and rolling for 2015 with the first architecture shoot of the year. In Peoria with the snow and the lack of vegetation in the winter months, it makes no sense to be out there shooting photos of buildings when you can see things that you don’t want to see. When it comes to daytime photography of architecture in Central Illinois, we are still a good month or so away before things start to green up enough to make good photos. In the case of a night time shot in Peoria, we have hit the time of year when we can get started. Our friends at Unity Point Hospital in Peoria were needing some nighttime shots of both hospitals (Methodist and Proctor) and we had some perfect weather last Monday to be out shooting at night! Everything came together and we had a great sunset that topped off the shot!

Here’s our photo of Unity Point Proctor Hospital at night!

Well it’s time to get to work, so we hope that you both have a very wonderful week!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcup22mar15

Shark Tank and Echo Valley Meats

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well there was big fun in Peoria this past Friday night! Dave Alwan from Echo Valley Meats was on the ABC television show “Shark Tank” for the second time in the past couple of years. The first time that Dave presented his idea to the “Sharks”, they rejected it, but the response for Echo Valley Meats was huge. The phones and internet started ringing with orders and this caught the attention of the producers of the show. They asked Dave to come back and pitch his idea one more time. Dave had all of his ducks in a row this time and had three of the sharks making him an offer and he choose the offer from Mark Cuban (NBA Dallas Mavericks owner) and now they are partners and that’s great!

On Friday night when the show was going to air on tv, Echo Valley Meats had a big viewing party with over 100 guests. When the show came on, they projected the video on the wall for everyone to see. Dave came in and made his pitch to the sharks and when he announced on the show that he was teaming up with Mark Cuban, the whole room erupted with cheers and applause!!! Smiles and congratulations were in order and the party was on! The other thing that I thought was really cool is they had set up a computer and a big screen that was showing all the analytics on the Echo Valley Meats web site and the traffic that it was getting during and after the show! The amazing thing is that with-in 13 hours of the show airing on Friday night, the EVM web site had an additional one million hits to the site! It really shows you the power of a hit tv show like “Shark Tank”!!

Here’s a few of the images from a great evening with Echo Valley Meats and their big news!!!

We hope that you have a great week as always and thanks for checking out our work!

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcevm16mar15

Postcards from Canada

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!!

Wow, we actually had the temperature in Peoria getting over 32 degrees this weekend and that sure was nice!!! It seems like it’s been about a month of below average temperatures for us and to have that at the end of the winter season makes things a little tougher!!! The good thing is that they are calling for the temps to be in the 50’s this week and that’s going to seem like a heatwave!!!!

When I was up in Canada a week ago on my shoot, I was fortunate to have an off day on Saturday before flying back home last Sunday. I was also very fortunate that even though the temperatures were cold, there was plenty of abundant sunshine and that always makes me happy! Having lots of sunshine also makes for great photos too!!! :)

I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick and wanted to drive over to the coast to St. John, New Brunswick and check that out and shoot some photos. It was about a 70 mile drive to St. John and it was super easy to get there. I did snap a few photos in St. John, but didn’t see too much at this time of the year with all of the snow. I was about to head back to Fredericton and I saw a sign for a lighthouse up the road about 20 miles in St. Martins and thought that might be good. When I got there, the lighthouse was pretty much buried in snow and it wasn’t going to make for a lot of good photography, but I did find a number of other things to shoot in the area, so my drive was rewarded!!!!

Here’s a few of my snaps from a off day driving around and doing a little sightseeing in Fredericton, St. John and St. Martins!

Well here’s to a much warmer week in Central Illinois and I hope that your week is a good one!!! Thanks as always for checking out the work!!!! :)

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmccanada1mar15