Back in town

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well it sure is nice to be back home even if it’s only for a few days! Jan and I were up in International Falls, Minnesota for a shoot last week and it was a snow shoot and fortunately for us and the shoot, we had plenty of snow! The other good thing is that it wasn’t insanely cold and that makes being outside all day a lot more tolerable. It looks like we’re here in Peoria this week and than back on the road again this coming weekend, so we’re going to get regrouped and be ready to get going once again!

Hawaii; Jan and I were there back over the Christmas holiday and into the first part of the new year and it seems like it was just yesterday and that’s a good thing. As some of you know, we do love to shoot photos for ourselves at some of the botanical gardens all around the country. There’s something very enjoyable about being out and seeing all the different species of plants from that area and also in some cases vegetation from around the world. While we were on the Big Island of Hawaii there is an incredible place called “Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden”. HTBG is just North of the city of Hilo and it’s a very special place. When you get there, it’s like being in the Amazon rainforest and they’ve got over 2000 different types of plants at their place. When we were getting our tickets, I heard the casher telling the couple in front of us that most people spend about an hour there at HTBG. Needless to say when it comes to spending time at a botanical gardens for Jan and I, we’re not your average couple and we ended up spending five hours at the garden. We would have stayed longer, but had to drive back to the other side of the island. If you’re on the Big Island and you’re looking for a unique experience, check out HTBG and you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s a few of our snaps from our day spent at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

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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Ready to roll

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Jan and I are rocking and rolling as always and getting things done as well and that’s never a bad thing. We’ve got one more week here in town before we head out on the road once again for a number of gigs around the country in the next couple of months. We’ll be going from gig to gig and there will be some driving and also some flights, so it’s going to be a mix of fun and adventures!!!

One of the questions I sometimes get when people hear that we like going to the Big Island of Hawaii is why we like that island so much over the other Hawaiian Islands. It’s really a very simple answer for us, it’s less crowded then all of the other islands and also has the most diverse ecosystem. Wow, ecosystems? Yes, ecosystems! Most of us would think of the islands of Hawaii as just being palm trees and sandy beaches and that’s far from the truth. The big island sure has plenty of palm trees and tropical weather by the ocean, but when you head up to the center of the island you’ll see the two large volcanos that formed the big island, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and at this time of the year they have snow on top! Mauna Kea is almost 14,000 feet high and while we were there a few weeks ago, they even had a winter storm warning for the top of Mauna Kea! Even though we didn’t make it to the top of Mauna Kea, we could still see all the snow from down below!

Now that you’ve heard all about the tropics to the snow on the Big Island, I want to tell you about the area in between those two extremes. Waimea is the home to the Parker Ranch and if you didn’t know better, you’d think that you were out West somewhere in Montana in cattle and horse country. You’ll see lots of grazing grasslands and Jan’s photo this week really shows you that countryside. In the town of Waimea, it’s a lot like a Midwestern farming community and one of our favorite places to shoot is the Ke Ola Mau Loa Church also know as the “Green Church”. Waimea is a nice place to get a little change of pace on a trip to the Big Island!

Here’s our two snaps from Waimea.

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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Baby it’s cold outside

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well what a wacky few days of weather that we had here in Central Illinois this past week and weekend! Last Thursday I was out on errands in a short sleeved t-shirt and the temperature was in the low 60’s. We know good and well that it was a fluke and it wouldn’t last and boy did it ever change. I think by early evening that same Thursday the temperature had dropped well over 40 degrees in just a few hours. On Saturday morning the temperature with the wind chill was a -10! Ouch! That’s a pretty crazy swing of weather in just a few short days and I guess that you have to expect it at this time of the year! The good news is that every day that we check off the calendar is one day closer to spring and that’s a very good thing.

One of our days while in Hawaii a few weeks ago was spend in the Pololu Valley and it’s one of those end of the earth places where about the only way to really see it is by helicopter. The Pololu Valley is located on the North side of the Big Island and it’s a great drive along the coast from Kailua-Kona. You’ll go through a couple of small towns on the way and there are some local restaurants and shops which make the drive fun as well. There’s a small viewing area of the Pololu Valley at the end of the road and Jan’s photo shows you what an incredible view that you will see if you get the chance to visit there! We made a couple of visits to the Pololu Valley on this trip and our photos are from our second visit and it was sunny and much nicer!

Here’s a couple of our snaps from the Pololu Valley.

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

Kev and Jan

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Ready to roll

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

Well, all good things sometimes have to come to an end as our time in Hawaii did this past weekend! It was great to be there as it always is and to get away from Central Illinois when the weather isn’t all that wonderful at this time of the year makes it pretty darn nice as well. The other thing that’s also nice for Jan and I is that we are able to get out and shoot some nature photography for ourselves. When your shooting photos and video for a client, your first goal is to make them happy with the content that you’re creating for them. If you’re able to please yourself in the process, then it’s a win win for everyone. When you go out to shoot photos for yourself, your only goal is to please yourself and that’s the kind of photography that can get your creative batteries recharged. By getting out and shooting the nature photos like we did, we were able to enjoy some sunshine and warm temperatures and also create some great photos as well!

One of our stops on the Big Island was the Lapakahi State Historical Park on the Northwest side of the island and it’s an old fishing village that’s been partially restored as it would have been hundreds of years ago. At this time of the year just off of the coast, you’ll catch glimpses of the whales that have migrated from Alaska and we were able to see a few, but they were too far off shore to photograph.

Here’s a few of our photos from our day spent at Lapakahi State Historical Park.

It’s time for us to get busy with 2018, so we hope that you’re going to have a great rest of the week and thanks for taking the time to check out our work!!!

Kev and Jan

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2018 and we’re almost ready to go

Tuesday morning Kailua-Kona greetings to one and all!

2018 is here and we made it! If you’ve had some time off durning the holiday season, it’s probably hard to get back into the swing of things getting back to work. Fortunately for Jan and I, we’ve got a few more days here in paradise before coming back to Peoria on Friday afternoon where I hear it’s going to be a balmy 11 degrees for the high that the day! I guess I won’t be wearing my flip-flops and shorts when I get off the plane. That’s going to be a real shock on the system after having had three weeks of 80 degree days!

2017 was a very nice year for Jan and I and we were really very blessed to have so much work once again without us being so swamped that things got crazy busy. Lots of road-trips and shoots out of town around the US and out of the country and that’s always a very good thing. We’re already getting booked up into February and we’ve got road trips on the East and West coasts in the first couple of months of this year, so we’ll get regrouped from our time away at Christmas and get ready to roll once again!

One of our shooting spots this past week was Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park. If you look at a map of the Big Island, you see Punalu’u on the Southeast side of the island. It’s a great little area with the black sand and the Green Sea Turtles and that’s always fun to see them too. The one bit of advice that I’d give if you’re ever going to visit Punalu’u is to have some sort of footwear because when the sun is out, you could fry a egg on that black sand, so it’s a little hot on the bottoms of your feet.

Here’s a few of our snaps from Punalu’u and you’ll see that Jan got a great image of a Green Sea Turtle in a shallow pool of water.

We both hope that you’re going to have a healthy and safe 2018 and thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work!!!

Kev and Jan

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Mele Kalikimaka

Monday afternoon Kailua-Kona Christmas greetings to one and all!

For those of you not familiar with the Hawaiian language (like I’m fluent in it, lol), Mele Kalikimaka is Merry Christmas, so I hope that today on this Christmas Day you and yours are having a very Merry Christmas!!!

Jan and I are here in Kona on the Big Island and needless to say it’s a little warmer and a little less snowy then it is back home in Central Illinois! It’s great to have sunshine and warm temps in the high 70’s with the nice light trade winds blowing to keep things nice and comfortable. We’ve already put a 1000 miles on the rental car in the week that we’ve been here and have been shooting nature photography at a number of locations around the island and it’s been very fun and very relaxing as well.

One of our first stops was at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and the Kīlauea volcano. Now to answer your first question, No, we didn’t see any lava flowing! You can see the steam rising from the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and we’ve been told when it’s dark you can see the orange glow coming from the crater. At the moment, there’s not any lava that’s flowing into the Pacific Ocean, but there was just a couple of months ago! It’s really hit or miss that you’ll see it! Needless to say, we still had a great time hiking around the park and shooting lots of photos as we always do! We’re planing another visit over to Kīlauea and the other side of the island once again to shoot more photos while we are here!

Here’s a couple of our snaps from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and you can see that there is color and beauty in the land of lava!

We hope that you’re having a wonderful Christmas today and holiday week to come! Thanks as always for taking the time to check out our work!!!

Aloha!

Kev and Jan

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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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