Back to school!

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!

Well it looks like we survived another Super Bowl Sunday yesterday! From the pre-game shows to football to the half-time show to the commercials, it sure makes for a long day, so hopefully you survived it as well! Jan and I had a nice quiet party with snacks and adult beverages and were able to avoid all the drunk crazy fans out and about at some of the local watering holes! The other good thing about being at home is having any kind of issues with the police who had said coming into the weekend that they were really going to crack down on DWI’s! Safe and sound is always a very good thing!

We had a very nice shoot last week with our friends over at Methodist College here in Peoria. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Methodist College, they train nursing students and they graduate with a degree in nursing. They’ve been located downtown for a number of years now and the good news for them is that they purchased the American TV store out on Route 150 here in Peoria and will be moving into it sometime this summer. Renovations are under way as we speak and it sounds like it’s going to be a heck of a facility. For this shoot, Methodist College needed to get some new photos of the students for up coming brochures and their web site and they had a big challenge for us as well. They wanted us to minimize the background in the photos to hid the current facility so that these photos could be relevant for the new facility next fall! Needless to say it takes a little bit of creativity to try and hid the background and make it as non-descript as possible! The good news for us is that we were able to come away with some great photos that we are sharing today!

Here’s a few of the images that we captured for Methodist College!

It’s time for us to get to work, so we hope that you’re going to have a great week and thanks for checking out our work!

Kev and Jan

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kmcmc7Feb16

Simulation in life

Monday morning Peoria greetings to one and all!!!

We are jumping right into the fire the next two weeks with all the different gigs that we have going on. The craziness is continuing, but we’re not complaining. Most of this past weekend has been spent getting caught up on a number of things from editing to bookwork and all things in between. When things are slow, you’re looking for anything that you can do to keep from being bored. When it’s as crazy busy as it’s been these past few weeks and as crazy busy as it’s going to be the next few weeks, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get caught up! The good thing about a weekend like this one was being able to get pretty well caught up on all those things that really do need to get done before starting a new work week. We’ll start rocking this morning with a clean slate and that’s a very good thing!

We are sharing a photo from one of our friends that we’ve been shooting with for a number of years. Simformotion is a local Peoria company that makes simulators for clients like Caterpillar. These simulators are great for training new equipment operators and help companies save a lot of money and that’s sure important in today’s world!

Here’s one of our many shots from our day spent with Simformotion.

It’s time for us to get busy, so we hope that you have a great week and thanks for checking out our work!!!

Kev and Jan

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kmcsim16aug15

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

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

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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

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kmcrave1june15

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

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kmcbest20apr15

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

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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

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kmcevm16mar15

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

Riding the trails

Monday morning greetings to one and all!!!!

We might have had the last nice weekend for 2014 here in Central Illinois. We’re going to get rocked with a nice Arctic blast coming out of Canada on Tuesday and it’s going to be down right nippy for the rest of the week!!!! We knew that summer and the warmer weather couldn’t last forever, so we’ll all just have to suck it up and bundle up!!!! 🙁

Here’s another one of my photos for the ongoing project for the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to highlight all the things to do for the visitors that come to our area! One of the fun newer things that a lot of us don’t know about is the great new trails out at Wildlife Prairie Park to do mountain biking. It’s probably something that you didn’t know about unless you’re into trail riding in our area. I think it’s been around for a couple of years now and it opens up new trails for people in Central Illinois to ride at. I love to go trail riding, but have yet to make it over to ride at Wildlife Prairie Park. I’ll have to work on that next year!!!!!

Here’s a few of my snaps from the shoot and this is the kind of photography that I really like to do. It’s showing motion in something like riding the trails instead of just freezing the action with a fast shutter speed. To me I always want to show the illusion of speed, so I use a few of my photo tricks to make that happen durning a shoot like this!

I hope that you’re going to have a wonderful week and thanks for checking out my snaps as always!!!!!

Kev

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kmc2pamba9nov14