The Great White North

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

I just got back last night from a gig up in Canada and we had a great shoot! We were up there shooting pictures of a Cat motor-grader that was clearing snow from the roads and it couldn’t have been more perfect of a shoot. Oh sure, it could have been a heck of a lot warmer, but other then that, we had perfect shooting conditions! As most of you know, I love having blue sky days when I’m shooting over a cloudy or overcast day. There are photographers that prefer those overcast days, but not this guy! Of course the trade off for those perfect shooting days is a lot of cold temperatures and you just have to bite the bullet with the conditions like that! The sun was great in terms of warmth and making things a lot nicer, but every once and awhile that wind would kick up and things were down right cold! The first thing right out of the box I was having to get some of my photo gear together and I had to take my gloves off for a couple of minutes. The next thing I know, my fingers were starting to get numb from the extreme cold. Once I got my gloves back on and the sun hit them, it warmed things up and I was fine, no frost bite for this kid! The other big challenge of this shoot was trying to get to spots off the road and in those spots the snow was four feet deep! We even had a snowmobile to get us to some more spots off the road and that worked great until I had to get off the snowmobile and I’d drop down to my waist in the snow! We even had a minor crash with the snowmobile (at a very low speed) and I was ejected into the snow and we got the sled stuck and it was a bear to get it turned back on it’s side so we could use it again! All and all it ended up being a great shoot!!!!

Here’s a couple of my snaps from last week in Canada! Our motor-grader operator John Beauliue couldn’t have been nicer and also was incredibly skilled with what we asked him to do! Here’s a couple of shots of John and him in action with the Cat Motor-grader!

Thanks as always for checking out the work and it’s all very much appreciated!!!

Kev and Jan

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kmccat2mar15

A historic day in Peoria

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

Well this past Friday all the anxiety and fears about Caterpillar staying in Peoria or moving somewhere else were answered in a historic press conference at the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Cat is going to stay in Peoria and they are also building a brand new world headquarters here as well! A couple of years ago Cat announced that they would be doing a study to determine what their options would be in terms of a new facility or a renovation or that they could leave all together. The state of Illinois hasn’t had a pro-business climate for a number of years now and there are a lot of states that are much more pro-business. I’m sure that the offers that Cat received from other states and even countries to have the world headquarters would have been numerous and I’m sure that they had to really think about what would be best for the company. We are very fortunate that they are not only staying, but also going to completely change the face of the city and the skyline of Peoria!

I can only begin to imagine the shot in the arm that this project will have on our local economy. To think of what Cat will be doing, but then also what other business will do now knowing what Cat’s plans are for the area. We are going to see new construction and business coming into the downtown area because of this headquarters that will be right downtown. I can also see more retail stores along with restaurants and bars as well. I have a feeling that in ten years when this project is all done, it will be hard to remember what our city looked like, but everyone will be so proud of what it will become! This will be a jewel no doubt about it!!!

Alright, here’s a bunch of snaps from the historic press conference at the Caterpillar Visitors Center this past Friday. You’ll see photos of our new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner along with some of our local politicians and a few of our friends from Caterpillar as well!

For those of you not in Central Illinois, he’s a great link with a computer generated look at what the new world headquarters will look like and also how it’s going to transform the city of Peoria! http://youtu.be/JV3FfmAnNnI

Alright, it’s time to get busy and the city of Peoria is moving forward with a little more pep in our step this week! We hope that you have a very wonderful week as always and thanks for checking out these photos!!!

Kev and Jan

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kmccat22feb15

Western Sunsets

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

Well winter here in Central Illinois is sure reminding us that it’s not over just yet! We are very fortunate that we aren’t getting pounded with snow like they are out on the East coast of the US, but we sure have had our share of cold weather this past week and more to come this week! We’ll all just have to bundle up and ride it out for a little bit longer and hope that there is a break in the cold sometime soon!!!

While Jan and I were out in Utah a few weeks ago shooting nature photography in the Moab area, we were very blessed to have some incredible weather for February and that was a very welcome change. Having the good weather also made for some good shooting days on three of our four days there with lots of sunshine! We were also very fortune to have some very nice sunsets with some clouds and that was great as well!!!! On our last night shooting at Arches National Park, I had a feeling that we were going to get some interesting shots because of the high light clouds that we were seeing durning the course of the day. Needless to say we weren’t disappointed in the photos we got that evening!!!

Here’s a couple of our snaps from Arches National Park at sundown!

We hope that you have a great week to come and thanks for checking out our work!!!! :)

Kev and Jan

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kmcanp16feb15

Wasted on the Young

Monday morning greetings from Genesse, Colorado!

Well it’s been a great week out West and it’s time to be heading back home to Peoria today! After spending most of last week in Moab, Ut. shooting nature photography at some of the different locations in the area, we headed to Boulder, Co. for a photo shoot on Saturday with our friends from Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine. I have know for a long time that being able to get out and shoot nature photography is the way that I can recharge my creative batteries. It’s something that takes me to back to photography as a hobby and to be out shooting personal photography like that really gets me excited about doing my photography for clients!!!

On Saturday after shooting for MQU magazine, we were able to get out for a little more personal photography. “Wasted on the Young” is a Denver based band that has been rocking for a number of years. It’s a group of musicians that are of that age when music was music and I have to say that Jan and I are in that age group as well! We are talking about the over 50 crowd and what we now call “Classic” music was the music that we grew up with. I like to think that the music isn’t limited to Rock and Roll, but all the other genre’s of music from that time. We are talking 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and beyond! “Wasted on the Young” is one of those bands that is still kicking out the jams. It’s a group of musicians that are playing for the joy of the music and not for the money. In some ways it’s how I feel about my photography and the joy that I get from doing my personal photography.

Here are our a few of Jan and my photos of the members of “Wasted on the Young” and the fun that we shared with them this past Saturday night.

Here’s a link for the band’s Reverbnation page and you can see what they are up to as well! http://www.reverbnation.com/wastedontheyoung

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

Kev and Jan

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kmcwoty8feb15

Moab, Ut.

Monday morning greetings from Moab, Ut.!

It sounds like my friends in Central Illinois got pounded with a fair amount of snow this weekend! I feel somewhat bad, but not that bad that I’m going to be rushing home anytime soon! Yes, I’m horrible!

We are out West, so we’re avoiding all the fun with the weather back home. We’ve got a few days of shooting lots of nature photography here in Utah and are really looking forward to it before heading back onto Colorado for a gig next weekend!!! To me that’s a big part of life is to be able to get out and shoot some personal photography and recharge the creative batteries. We love shooting for our clients and helping them out and then to be able to get out and shoot some personal photos is always wonderful!!!!

We are starting something new this week! There will be some weeks where Jan and I are both out shooting photos, either for business or our personal photography and we want to share those with everyone. This is our first week of doing this and I think that everyone one will enjoy seeing how we both see the world differently! That’s why photography can be a wonderful thing because we all see things differently and in the world of creativity, we don’t have to do things the same way!!!

Here’s a couple of photos from our drive on Sunday from Colorado down to Moab, Ut. The first photo is a black and white photo of Jan’s from Fisher Towers and the second photo is my shot of the Colorado River and the bike path that runs along it just north of Moab, Ut.

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

Kev and Jan

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kmcutah1feb15

Back in the studio

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

It has been awhile since I’ve done a product shoot in a studio. I sold my studio more then two and a half years ago and it’s been a great decision and no regrets for me! It’s so rare for us to be shooting products shots anymore and usually if we are doing something like that, it’s on location at the clients space. In some ways I think that this is becoming a lost art shooting product photography and making those products look nice with great lighting. Lighting is the key to any studio type shot if it’s a product or if we are photographing people.

This shot was more challenging then I thought it would be. We had a clear glass trophy that was engraved with type. At first I thought it would be a pretty easy shot, but soon found out that it was going to be more challenging then first thought. There’s type on the top and the bottom of the award and the type is on two different angles which added to the degree of difficulty for this photo. Like anything else when you’re doing work like this, it’s all about trail and error with the lighting. You first try what you think might look best and then you modify how you are lighting the product. At some point you have it looking as good as it can look in the time budgeted for the shot. With this award, there were many angles to it, so making sure that there weren’t any bad reflections was also a big concern!

Here’s the shot that we were able to come for this award and I think it looks pretty darn nice!!!!

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

Kev and Jan

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kmc26jan15

Back in town!

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

It’s good to be home after being on the road for the first couple of weeks of the year! We do like road trips and it’s always good to get out of town for a few days. The shoot last week was in Bismarck, North Dakota and needless to say, being there in January can be a little chilly! Most of the shoot was inside, so it wasn’t too bad, but we did need to grab an outside beauty shot of the St. Alexius Medical Center. To get some really nice color in a night shot, you need to have a clear sky and in the winter time the temperature can really plummet. We got the camera set up and then had to wait for the right time to shoot. It took about an hour to get everything just perfect, but it was well worth the wait. I think that the temperature was around zero and with the wind chill, it was probably about -15 below zero. Being all bundled up really helped, but with no protection on the face, things did get a little bit chilly!!!! Oh well, it’s worth it when the shot works out the way that you know it will!

Here’s our shot of the St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota!

The weather looks to be very nice in Central Illinois this week, so enjoy that it’s not freezing cold out there!!! Thanks and have a great week to come!!!!

Kev and Jan

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kmc18jan15

Thinking of spring!

Monday morning greetings from a cold Bismarck, ND!

What an incredible response to last weeks promo announcements! With everyone checking out the announcements, our website (http://blog.kevinmay.com/) doubled it’s busiest day ever and that is completely amazing ! We did have a few people thinking that we’re not going to be shooting still photography anymore since we are now shooting video. Don’t worry, we can see this being a 50/50 split between stills and video at some point down the road, but we’ll always do what the clients want us to do!!!!

We’ve been very fortunate this winter to not get blasted with a lot of snow and cold early in December like we did last year. We did have some snow and cold this past week, so in some ways we are a little bit spoiled in that regard. It does make us think of warmer spring days that are coming and maybe in some cases not soon enough for our liking. That’s ok, if we don’t have record snow fall like we did last year in Central Illinois, we won’t complain at whatever we do get!!!

Thinking of warmer days makes us think of spring time and all the things that happen when things warm up!!!! Once of those on going projects that we’ve worked on is shots of the Central Illinois area for the Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau. One of our shoots from this past fall was a shoot out at the beautiful Weaver Ridge Golf Club. We picked a perfect day to get out and shoot a few photos and it shows in the results that we got!!!! Here’s one of the photos from our gig at Weaver Ridge!

Ok, it’s time to get outside and freeze, but we are loving it regardless of the conditions!!!!! We hope that you’re going to have a wonderful week and thanks for checking out my work as always!!!!!

Kev & Jan

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kmcwr11jan15

Two big announcements

2015 Peoria greetings to one and all!

I hope that you had a wonderful and safe Holiday season between Christmas and New Years!

I’ve got two big announcements to start off 2015. Durning my 25 years of self-employment, one of the most asked questions that I’ve gotten is, “Do you shoot video?” and the answer till now has been no. Today, I’m officially announcing that the answer to the question “Are you shooting video?” is YES!!! This all really started with the advent of DLSR still cameras having the ability to shoot 1080 HD video, as well as shooting traditional still photography. For these past couple of years, as I have been doing a still shoot and saw that something would make a nice clip of video, I would get a little “B” roll for the client, as well. From there, this has mushroomed into some small video projects which have been helpful getting my feet wet in the world of video shooting. I now feel comfortable shooting video projects that are within my ability and if I can’t handle a project, I’ve got plenty of videographer friends that can handle a bigger project like that.

I’ve put together a demo reel with some of the things that I’ve been shooting these past couple of years and I’ve uploaded the reel to YouTube. Here’s a link for my demo reel! http://youtu.be/EQ5wCvyYDnE

The second big announcement is that I’m hiring Jan Ebling to work with me full-time. Jan has helped me in the past on a freelance basis, but now I can see where I need her help full-time. Besides assisting me, Jan will also be a second shooter on many of these shoots. Jan’s expertise of being a photo stylist for many years will be invaluable for numerous projects that we’ll be doing!

I’m incredibly excited about these two announcements and I know that this coming year is going to be a great one!!!! :)

I hope that you’re going to have a wonderful 2015 and we are both looking forward to helping out when needed!

Thanks again!

Kev

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janb

That’s a wrap on 2014!

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well we are just about at the end of the 2014 and what a year it’s been! I have always likened the business of photography to riding a roller coster. When things are slow, the roller coster is climbing up the tracks and you never think you’re going to reach the top. When things are booming that roller coster is going a 1000 MPH and you never think it’s going to slow down! That’s how 2014 was in a nutshell! The first seven months of the year I couldn’t buy any work! It was slower then slow and I really was starting to question myself and thinking that maybe I was over the hill and it was time for them to put me out to pasture. Then the last week of July comes and the flood gates opened and there was more work then I could handle and not enough hours in the day to get everything done! Things have been so crazy since the end of July that I’m now just getting caught up on things that I’ve needed to get done for months! I’ll be using this week at the house to get caught up and hopefully be ready to rock for 2015! Already there is no sign of things slowing down next year and I’ve already booked a number of shoots in January and even into February! I guess that when it rains it pours!!!

Well here’s a look back at my year and they ten best photos of 2014. These are photos that mean something to me and I think “Wow, I took that!” I’ve made this into a PDF and it’s about 14 megabytes, so you’ll probably have to view it on a computer with a good internet connection.

Thanks again for being part of my year and sharing the adventures that I’ve been up too! There’s more coming and more fun to be had next year and I can’t wait to get started!!!!

Have a safe and fun New Years and we’ll see you next Monday in 2015!!!!

Kev

Click on link to see the PDF with the photos

2014TopTen