Our Story

 

Red Tusk LLC is the proud manufacturer of the Kobra Flash Modifier line of products. 

In 2017, Paul McKelvey and Brian Hayes came together to research, develop and create a series of products to improve the lives of photographers everywhere. The birth of Red Tusk LLC resulted in the successful launch of the Kobra Flash Modifier through Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and now the retail marketplace.

Professional photographer Paul McKelvey conceived the idea for Kobra through his disappointment in the current market. McKelvey said, “I have used all the ‘on camera flash’ modifiers that are available and have been unsatisfied with the results. I decided to stop complaining and make my own.”

With a lifetime of experience as an engineer, Brian Hayes worked with Paul to bring the Kobra line of products to life. After working tirelessly building and testing numerous prototypes, the team found the perfect solution: the Kobra Flash Modifier.

The Kobra was designed to give photographers an effective modified flash solution that is lightweight, flexible and with a sleek design. It’s molded from a high-grade, flexible, light diffusing clear silicone that is not affected by high or low temperatures. The flexible silicone allows the diffuser to bounce back to its originally molded shape after being folded from storing in your camera bag. The patented built-in reflector bounces the light forward through the clear silicone, acting as a second layer of diffusion, giving the photographer the ability to "paint with light, not spray."

Red Tusk LLC is dedicated to designing products meant to seamlessly integrate into your lifestyle, and to keep you powered on the go. We develop all of our product concepts from the ground up. Materials selection is core to fulfilling our product promise of true portability, so we select the lightest, thinnest, strongest materials to suit our designs.

Paul McKelvey | Photographer

Paul, who believes in storytelling through photography, has been a commercial and event photographer for over 30 years. Growing up in Northern Ireland, his love for photography began at home through the influence of his father, John, and older brother, Aiden, who built a darkroom in their family home.

His own career began in London working for a large screen-printing company as a camera operator. Following this, he backpacked throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., where he shot stock images for Tony Stone Inc. -- now Getty Images. 

In the early 90s, he continued to expand his experience as a photographer signing on with a cruise ship, learning about fill flash and color film processing. With his green card in hand, California was calling. He got his first taste of “red carpet events” when he spent a year working in Hollywood as an event photographer. 

In 1994, he worked at a high-school portrait photography studio, where he helped bring the company into the digital age of processing and printing. It is also here where he met his wife, Sarah, with whom he has two beautiful daughters, Laura and Maggie.

In 1996, he started his own event and wedding photography company, which evolved into the successful Vero Image with Mario Romero. Events covered for clients include Hewlett-Packard, Rock & Republic, Pandora, Renegade Wheels, Real Simple Magazine, MAC Cosmetics, Billboard Awards, Clio Awards, Rubicon Project, Spotify, Clinique, Diesel, Reebok, GQ Magazine, L.A. Dodgers, Global Cuisine and Orbis Flying Eye Hospital.

Brian Hayes | Engineer

Brian has been working in design and manufacturing for almost all of his adult life, wearing many hats over the years. 

For more than 20 years, he has been a Tooling Designer, a Process Engineer, and a Production Manager for various precision metal stamping, fine blanking, and mold companies. Brian is an expert in designing complete manufacturing cells and the specialized automation equipment required to reliably and efficiently produce statically controlled high volume production.

In the early 2000s, he began doing freelance product design in the motorcycle industry. Some of this work has been proudly featured on the Discovery Channel, and other major media outlets. This work led to a five year ground-up custom motorcycle project with the team from a high profile client. It was during this time that Paul and Brian met and began a long-term business partnership.

After dedicating his career to launching many ambitious products for other companies, Brian decided it was time to launch a product for a company of his own.