SLV Steve 2019

I wanted to wait a month or so before writing about what this whole SLV Steve thing is about since getting the truck. But more importantly – I wanted to explain why I do this.

SLV Steve is Steve Kuehl (me), a dude that served a couple decades in the fire service in this county and a stint overseas, got into photography when the fire department photog before me retired in 1989…stuck with it ever since.
The fire service never left my heart, so after the store I had opened for a decade in the SLV closed, I changed the titling and headers to SLV Steve (from SLV Video) and kept a wholehearted support of the fire service through capturing moments. Five years ago, I started to store them online for others to see.
My picture habits and edits have changed through these years and people became interested in what I was doing. With over 5,000 followers accumulating on various platforms, with more threats of fires and more strains upon the emergency systems locally, and a definite need to educate the public properly in a digital age about what happens in our county, I decided to make this thing a full-time operation covering all of the agencies in the county of Santa Cruz.


I work hard to maintain a level of respect in covering these agencies that does not involve employment or money from any media, does not involve the stringer or nightcrawler mentality (as both are the battle I fight daily from those who are still learning they can trust me – and that I am not THAT guy). Unfortunately, there is one photog like that in Santa Cruz that creates so much heartache for the emergency services with his pictures and attitude…so even in this small county there is always a thorn in my profession.

Meanwhile, CalFire signed me on as a photographer for this ranger unit, the local school district cleared me for shooting any/all of their campuses and events, and the local law agencies chiefs have seen that I am genuine in wanting to help them with my work (I believe most fire groups already knew that).

I have a great many plans and ideas for how this thing will help, benefit and serve our agencies and our communities. And this truck was a big part of that. All of these pics were taken at various incidents while I was shooting. Plenty more to follow – but I wanted to start the conversation…

Something Lost from My Past

World Discoverer

 

I once spent a few months of my life on this ship that helped shape who I became for more years than I can count…sad to see how some things turn out in life…as I once wrote about years ago; I am glad my parents don’t know this outcome for a once beautiful ship…

Great read of who has influenced my pic work…

https://www.cake.co/conversations/0MfTrry/the-fascinating-history-of-bay-photo-and-its-founder-larry-abitbol/dB5bFgQ

Showing Your Children a Beloved Story

(post removed..)..All of the posts containing her name(s) or ways of identification have been removed at request from the last 7 years…as much as it hurts and makes me so sad…I still always do what a beloved asks…I hope someday to be enough to someone – together or not – that relishes in the story and shares in those times openly because I may actually be worth it..

Local Media Writing About Me..

That whole month was so surreal…

Between the First Friday gallery at the BC Brewery Outpost and this article being front page…I felt so blessed to have had so much support during such trying personal times…I wish I could thank those behind the scenes that have been so loving to me – that unfortunately won’t be acknowledged…

Hope my pics helped with some part of this story…

A few of my pics that helped record a beautiful story…

A worthy read that hits a great deal of how I feel..

The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer

A Reminder of Why I Take the Pics I do

Some of my public pics this year…

I wish I could share all of the others – but some of the shoots I do are for those souls only – but still beautiful in so many ways. Just felt like sharing what I have left in this life that gives something to the area I live within…so much of my film work is cataloged at the firehouse…I hope should any of you wish to see those pics that you can go to the BCFD office and ask to be able to look through the albums in there..anything from the early 1990s through 2005 was typically taken by me…Leo Kuhnlein before that time frame…

Two Generations of Fire Service (of the four that exist in our family)

I have no reminisce of anniversary or cause of date for this post – other than to share with others what two people tried to give to others here in our valley…my dad gave so eloquently upon the taxpayers of BCFPD thru financial skill and eloquent leadership – me to the people that called for help and needed a hand to pull them from their temporary moments of hell…

Four Generations: (My great-grandfather served in Michigan as a firefighter in Wolverine, my grandfather in Lake Havasu City as a founding member and leader – and then Dad from the 1960s up to the 2010s)…and then I thru various years)

We both left that department we loved unwillingly – his thru death and mine thru the narrow-minded actions of others…but somehow we will talk again someday of this department and town…like we did thru the years that so many could never understand or know about because of internal or external conflict that could affect the betterment of others…

Moments lost in time…

How Jenna Sue’s Is Like a Visitor Center

I know we have our new visitor center open at the north end of downtown, but there is an unofficial one that has had their doors open for almost a decade.

It doesn’t take more than a visit or two for any regular patron at Jenna Sue’s (where my gallery is lovingly on display) to witness/participate in group conversations with out-of-towners. A nice couple from Long Island sat down at the bar and became the center of attention from staff and patrons as they were offered great food, directions to some county sights-to-see, and within short order were partaking in sharing photos of family and places.

Several other things happened behind the scenes though that when they do happen, my sensitive emotions can be affected. A fellow patron sitting across the room saw my camera and walked over to tell me some beautiful things about my work and what she thinks of my pictures. It was the second time in half an hour that someone either wanted to hold my camera or offered beautiful words about what they saw in my work. Admittedly I got a little wispy. But attention immediately turned to Lori as she offered some chocolate-dipped strawberry samples to the visitors…

As the couple got to hear from other patrons about where to go and what to eat (which once I received my astronaut plate – the lady immediately said we are getting that!) my conversation naturally turned to the fire service, of which this gentleman had been on FDNY during 9/11. As with every single fire personnel or resident of NY that was there on that day, physical health is an issue. I sometimes feel there is not enough stated in the world about the long-term health effects of everyone in the city that week.

But here in Boulder, two tourists were given some short and long term trip ideas nearby before they leave to go back east – and I was reminded how amazing our home is as the enthusiasm being worn by all of us bullet-pointing an endless list of what’s here that is beautiful, was clear.

Couldn’t pass up on showing the latest little addition to the bar; probably one of the best card holders one will see adorning a local counter. And thank you to the amazing ladies that work there for doing all that you do.