Big Boy Toys

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

I’m laughing because I’m thinking this summer in Central Illinois will go down in history as the summer of rain and cutting the grass! It seems like everyday it’s raining and about ever other day I’m cutting the grass at my house!! I was out on a quick trip to the East Coast this past week for a shoot and I cut the grass before I left and then three days later when I came back home I had to cut it again! One thing is for sure, it’s really good exercise pushing the lawn mower around the yard! :)

Speaking of that East Coast swing last week, I was out shooting what I fondly call the Big Boy Toys. Big Boy Toys in my world are any large pieces of equipment that as a kid you would dream about using while you were playing with your “little” toys in the yard all those many years ago. I‘m still fascinated by how things work and enjoy watching these Big Boy Toys do their thing. You could give me a lawn chair and for hours on end I could sit there and watch a construction site or combine harvesting a farm field.

This past weeks shoot was at a rock quarry in Easton, Pa. and one of the rare things as well for me is to be out shooting photos of a brand spanking new machine. I’m thinking in my 25 years of photography, I’ve maybe shot a brand new out of the box machine less then a handful of times, so it’s very rare indeed to see and photograph at a customers site. Everything on a machine like this is brand new, so your photos are going to look great because the machine isn’t all beat up!

Here’s a few of my snaps from Easton, Pa. of this brand new Caterpillar 988K Wheel Loader!

Well it’s either time for me to get to work or it’s time for me to get outside and get the yard cut again! Have a great week to come as always!!!

Kev and Jan

Click on the image to see a larger version

kmccat22june15

Rain, rain go away…

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

Well we’ve sure had more then enough rain here in the Midwest these last few weeks. It seems like everyday day we are getting some rain and things are getting a little soggy! I ended getting my yard cut yesterday and normally I would wait for things to dry up before cutting it, but I saw a break in the weather for a few hours and thought I’d better get it done. The whole time that I was cutting it, the ground was wet and my shoes were nice and squishy! We’d love to send some of this water out to the West Coast where they don’t have enough!!!

Back at the first of this year I made the announcement that we were starting to shoot some video for clients. I’ve been truly amazed at the number of projects that have rolled in this year. We just did another one last week where I was shooting video images and Jan was shooting still images for the client, so that was a lot of fun!

We have learned so much in the past few months about the whole process and ways to do things better. There are technical things that we never had to deal with shooting still images and now we are learning about video. One of the biggest things that we’ve learned was getting better audio for a video commercial like the ones we’re sharing today. There was some trail and error in the beginning, but with the help of a incredible video mentor, we are getting things where they should be! These spots are a great example of that!

We’ve been doing a series of TV commercials for our friends at Goldfine and Bowles. We learned so much about audio recording doing these commercials and ways that we could make it sound even better. Like anything else in life, we learn from our mistakes and try to not make them again!

Here’s a couple of our new spots for Goldfine and Bowles!

Thanks as always for checking out our work and we’ll keep rocking and we hope you will as well!

Kev and Jan

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Off they go

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well we sure had quite the Sunday of weather in Central Illinois. In the afternoon the thunderstorms really heated up and the winds were rocking. I heard on the radio that about 10,000 Ameren customers were without power at some point yesterday, so that’s a pretty good storm!

We were recently helping out our friends at UnityPoint with some photos. We were trying to show some of the projects that the UnityPoint Health – Methodist / Proctor Foundation has funded. One of the many projects was this project that we are featuring today. When a child is going in for some surgery at the hospital, there is a point where they have to leave the parents and head in for that surgery. This can be a little scary for the child to leave the safety of mom and dad, so to ease that anxiety they get them all “gowned up” and ready to go. Once they do this, they have a couple of battery operated cars that the kids can drive to surgery. It might not sound like the biggest thing in the world, but it’s probably that little bit that makes things a little easier during what could be a very stressful time for the child.

The one funny back story to this shoot was that we had three sisters aged 7 to 4 and we were going to have the oldest one drive this little yellow Hummer for us. Well as sometimes does happen, she got scared and didn’t want to do it. We then tried the middle sister and she wanted no part of it either and then on to the youngest sister and the same results. We ended up putting the youngest sister in the Hummer and the nurse pushed the gas peddle and as soon as the other sisters saw what was happening, they both couldn’t wait for their turn. I think we got this photo with the youngest sister, but we photographed all of them so they would each have a turn driving the Hummer. Sometimes when you think something isn’t going to work like this, you get lucky and get the shot that you’re after!

Here’s one of our photos from this great project that was funded by the UnityPoint Health – Methodist / Proctor Foundation.

We hope that you’re going to have a great and thanks for taking the time to check out our work!

Kev and Jan

Click on the image to see a larger version

kmcup8june15

In the Limelight

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Jan and I are rocking and rolling as always and things have been pretty darn busy of late and we can’t complain about that!

One of the things that I’ve always enjoy seeing is live music! It doesn’t matter what type of music it is, to see musicians playing live has a wonderful feel and there’s an energy that you get from them and their music. I can recall from my days here in Peoria when I was going to Bradley University, a bunch of us would get out to the Second Chance (for those from the Peoria area and also old enough to remember that place) and catch some local and regional bands. It was a great venue to see bands and I really miss the place! Well not to fear, it looks like we’ve got a place here in Peoria that’s fitting the bill as a local place to see live music. The Limelight is a entertainment complex on the North side of Peoria and it’s a great venue to catch live music. I was there for the first time yesterday for a “Generations” show with local bands from yesterday and today. My guys, The Rave who I’ve photographed for over 30 years and featured here on the blog were there and did a 10 song set of original music. Let me tell you from a photographic standpoint, 10 songs sounds like a lot of time to get photos, but it’s not! I was really banging the motor drive on the camera and trying to get as many images as I could in such a short amount of time! It was a great show and as always the guys rocked!!!!

Here’s a few of my snaps of The Rave rocking the Limelight!

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

Kev and Jan

Click on image to see a larger version

kmcrave1june15

Abandoned

Tuesday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

For my friends in the US, hopefully you had a safe and wonderful Memorial weekend. We’ve got a four day work week this week, so I’m sure that not too many of us will be complaining about a short week of work!

I’ve got one more image to share from my trip out to New Mexico a few weeks ago. One of the things that I always enjoyed about being out West is coming across abandoned buildings like the one that I’m sharing this week. It seems like when you’re going through a small town you’ll find these cool old buildings from a by gone era. Sure all cities will have old abandoned buildings, but it seems like the smaller towns have some pretty cool ones! If I see something that this I’ll try to stop and take a few photos if time permits.

Here’s my snap of this great old abandoned building in New Mexico.

It’s time to get busy and get this week started, so thanks for checking out the work and have a great rest of the week!

Kev and Jan

Click on the image to see a larger version

kmclc26may15

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