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

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Getting caught up

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

Wow, it was a crazy week last week with a bit of travel and flight delays! That’s always fun to be thinking of plan B, C, D, E, and even F when things aren’t going the way that they are scheduled! Fortunately for us, everything came together and we were able to get our shoots done and that was a very good thing!

I spent this past entire weekend trying to get caught up on a ton of work that was piling up on my desk. Everything from bookwork, to billing to Photoshop. It can be amazing how much stuff like that is left undone while you’re on the road and then when you back back home and it’s still there and waiting for you! Anyone that travels for business knows what I’m talking about! I look at this as a good thing because it means that I’m busy and working and that’s always a very good thing! This week isn’t as crazy and I’ll still be working on a bunch of computer projects in my spare time between shoots!!!

One of the gigs that I was doing last week was shooting at a couple of mines in Kentucky (Coal) and Colorado (Gold). One of the most enjoyable things for me on a gig like this or any other gig is the people that you meet and get to talk too. It’s always a diverse group of people and some of them can be real characters and that’s what can make it fun. You get to hear their stories and they tell you what they do and I really enjoy that part of any shoot!!!!

Here’s one of my snaps from last week in Cripple Creek, Colorado with one of the machine operators from the mine!

I have a feeling that by next Monday’s promo, a lot of you might be having some time off with Christmas being just ten days away. I hope that you enjoy the time off and the week will be a good one!

Thanks as always for checking out my work and have a great week!!!!

Kev

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Bellefontaine

Monday morning greetings from Owensboro, Kentucky!

We’ll I’ve got one more crazy week of shoots and then it looks like things will be slowing down for the Christmas holiday season as it always does! I’ll push through this week and then from there it will be time to catch up with all the things that I’ve needed to get done and haven’t had time for these past five months! There’s a lot of little things that take a lot of time like burning discs of the jobs that I’ve been doing of late. It’s probably something that will take a number of days since I’ll be burning off about three terabytes of images 25 gigabytes at a time!!!! There’s a number of other things that I need to get done before we start with 2015 in about three weeks!!! Fun, fun, fun!!!! 🙂

On a recent trip down to St. Louis, we were able to get over to the Bellefontaine Cemetery to shoot a little personal photography. It’s not like visiting cemeteries is something that I do often, but when you come across a historic one like Bellefontaine, it’s worth a visit! As a photographer, some of the things that excite me are seeing the architecture and also the design elements at a place like this. There’s lots of old school influences and history going on and some of the things that you’ll see that aren’t done that way anymore. I’m a detail person, so when I see little details in how something was done or presented, it makes for a lot of great photos!

Here’s a few of my snaps from an afternoon spent at the Bellefontaine Cemetery!

Thanks as always for checking out my work and I hope that you have a great week to come!!!! 🙂

Kev

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It’s time to get back to work!

Monday morning greetings from Omaha, Nebraska!

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is over and it’s time to get back to work! I’m heading back from a nice week off of work and being able to spend time with my folks! It was also nice to be able to spend time in some warmer weather from what’s been back home in Peoria at this time of the year!!!!

Here’s one of my shots from one of my favorite places in New Mexico, White Sands National Monument. White Sands is just west of Alamardgo, NM and it’s shifting sands are heaven to me! At this time of the year with the shorter days, the sun is going down in the 5:00pm range and that makes for some great photos. In the summer time, you can get these same photos, but you’ll have to be out at the park till 9:00pm or 10:00pm and we all know that’s way past my bedtime!!!! 🙂

Well it’s 24 days before Christmas, so I guess that it’s time to get busy and make that final push to the end of the year!!!! I hope that you’re going to have a great week and thanks as always for checking out my work!!!!!

Thanks again!!!!

Kev

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Thanksgiving

Monday morning New Mexico greetings to one and all!!!

It’s Thanksgiving week for my friends here in the USA and traditionally that can be a very slow work week for some of us! There aren’t too many big projects being started and for the most part we all just get through the first couple of days of the week and depending on what you’re doing and where you might be going, you’ll leave a day or two (or more) early! For the last number of years I come down here to Las Cruces, New Mexico to spend the Thanksgiving week with my folks and it’s always a very wonderful time. The weather is always nice and this year with the temperature in the 60’s all week and loads of sun, it should be really great! It’s always a nice break for me as well to get out and shoot some nature photography and that’s always something that I enjoy doing! I’ll get in a number of hikes this week and hopefully lots of great photos will happen too!

Thanksgiving can be a time of reflection and getting together with family and friends. I know that I’m very blessed and thankful for all the people that I have in my life and how they enrich it and make it the best that it can be!

Here’s one of my shots from today of the Organ Mountains in Las Cruces, NM. Not to shabby of a view I’d say!!!!

If you’re traveling this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, make it a safe one and enjoy the company of those that you are sharing it will!!!

Thanks as always for checking out my work and have a safe and wonderful week!!!!

Kev

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Hard work

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

Things are still crazy busy this past week and even this weekend with shoots on Saturday and Sunday as well! I guess when it does rain, it pours! That’s ok and I’ll take it!!!! I’ve got one more week of shoots before taking off next week for Thanksgiving and a visit to see my folks in New Mexico!

I was out shooting last week for Patten Cat, the Northern Illinois Caterpillar dealership. We were on a whirlwind adventure shooting photos at the four branch facilities in Illinois and Indiana and then at the main facility in Elmhurst, Il. I’m always fascinated with the manufacturing process at the factories and then to be out seeing the machinery serviced and repaired is also great! Lots and lots of hard work, but I also see a lot of pride and satisfaction in what these men and women do to keep their customers equipment running and working.

Here’s a few of my snaps with my friend from Patten Cat!

We are getting close to Thanksgiving, so let’s all keep our noses to the grindstone for a few more days!!! Have a great week and thanks for checking out my work as always!!!!!

Kev

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A Night for Richard

Monday evening greetings to one and all!

You’re probably thinking that you would normally get the Monday morning promo on Monday morning, but as I’ve been saying, things have been crazy busy so you’re getting it on Monday night!!!

Last night I was up way past my bed time shooting photos at the “A Night for Richard” event at the Peoria Civic Center. For those that don’t know about the project, there has been a local Peoria group that has been working on getting a statue of Richard Pryor for the city of Peoria. It’s an expensive process to make a statue and a fair amount of the money had already been raised locally. Comedian George Lopez had heard about the project and decided to put together a comedy show to try and raise the rest of the money for the statue. With the help and coordination of the Peoria Civic Center (who generously donated the arena for the evening), everything was in place for the concert last night. George Lopez asked fellow comics Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, Charlie Murphy and Mike Epps to join him for the event and they all agreed to help out!

My night started out with me shooting a VIP “Meet and Greet” before the concert with some of the guys and their fans. Of course I had to get a photo with the guys too after I was done with all of the guests. The concert ended up being over four hours long with George Lopez as the MC and the rest of the guys preforming for the almost 6,000 fans in attendance. After the show, they had asked me to come backstage and shoot a few group shots of everyone and the last shot that you’ll see is all the guys with Jennifer Lee Pryor (Richard’s widow). I can tell you that all of the guys couldn’t have been nicer and so easy to work with. To have everyone donating their time and talents for this wonderful cause was incredible and shows the love that these comics have for Richard!

Here’s a few of my snaps from the evening from ‘A Night for Richard”

Have a great rest of the week and thanks as always for checking out my work!!!!

Kev

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Back on the farm

Monday morning greetings from somewhere in Texas!

Depending on when you read this, I’m on my way back from a weekend shoot in Houston, Tx. I drove down on Thursday and Friday, did the gig on Saturday and Sunday and will be back to Peoria on Monday night! I was shooting at the 40th annual International Quilt Festival and it was impressive to say the least! The other really fun thing is that I ran into a number of former PJS Publications (Peoria based national magazines) people that I haven’t seen for a number of years! In some ways, it was like old home week and that was very fun!!!!

One of the other fun gigs that I did a week ago was being able to get back to shooting some photos down on the farm with my friends from Case-IH. We ended up shooting some of their smaller utility tractors that are great for doing work around a farm or a country house. We had a two day shoot and for most of the first day, the weather was less then favorable! It was super foggy and misty and in my world that doesn’t make for great photography (at least how I view the world). We did have one shot though that first morning that I really ended up loving and this was the shot! We had a bunch of the golden fall leaves on the ground and there was a light mist in the air, so it really gave this shot a lot of mood!

Here’s my “not normal Kevin May” photo and I hope that you like it as much as I do!

Have a great week as always and thanks again for checking out my work!!!!

Kev

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Rebuilding Hope After a Natural Disaster

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

One of the things that I’ve taken great pride is helping out those that need help here in Central Illinois! We have so many great charities that are doing a lot of incredible work and it’s been my pleasure to help them out when I can!

I got a call from Mark Burdess and Barb Massey at Burdess and Associates back in July and they were working on a project for the Heart of Illinois United Way on a book to help people dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster. The project came from the tornado that hit Central Illinois last November and was a way to try and help people effected both physically and emotionally from that disaster. Our goal as the creative team was to try and come up with photos that would convey each section of the book and help tell the different stories. Barb, Mark and I had a number of meetings to talk about what we were going to do and kicked around a number of ideas to help tell the story. The great thing about doing Pro Bono work like this is that for the most part you have unlimited creative freedom and also time to really work on a photograph and make it the best that it can be! Because of this, we were able to come away with better photos then if we had only spent a fraction of the time that we did! We really worked hard on this project and there was a tremendous amount of time making everything come together. I think that you’ll see all the effort that went into this book!!!

Here’s a great electronic version of the book, “Rebuilding Hope After a Natural Disaster

Here’s my ten photos that were used in the book and I’m very proud of what we created!

Thanks for checking out my work as always and have a great week to come!!!!!

Kev

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Salt

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

It was another rocking week of work for me with shoots in Peoria and Chicago! It’s such a nice feeling to have the phone ringing with clients calling and needing some photography and I’m doing everything that I can to get them taken care of! There’s no sign of things slowing down till Thanksgiving, so I’ll keep rocking and rolling for the next month and a half! 🙂

One of the shoots that I had last week was my on going project for the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. We have a number of things and places that we are trying to get taken care of before the end of the year. The photos will be part of the the new visitors guide for 2015 and will also be used through out the year to promote tourism in the Central Illinois area.

We had a number of stops last week and one of those being the Peoria Heights restaurant “Salt“. We stopped in during the lunch hour and were able to shoot a number of things and people. The other really good part of this shoot is that we also got to have lunch there at Salt and was a very nice treat! Everything about our experience was outstanding from the service to the food, so it’s one of those places that if you haven’t visited yet, you should!

Here’s a few of my snaps from Salt and you’ll see why I liked it so much!

I hope that you’re going to have a wonderful week and thanks for taking the time to check out my photos!!!!

Thanks again!!!!

Kev

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