—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

541 773-3373

1001 Faces, 1-25

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And Here We Are

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Day One

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Day One, Three Hundred and Sixty-Four to Go.

This is Chris, who stopped by at 5:30 in the early morning at the Artist’s Loft and Vesta and I made his photos with his dogs, Seppi and Jesco.

Chris is on his way from Grass Valley, California to Buffalo, New York, just him and the dogs. And since they don’t have driver’s licenses, he has to do all the driving himself.

We made about thirty or so photos of Chris, Seppi and Jesco and I processed them in both color and black and white. After we do this for a few more days, I’ll make a spot on our website for these albums, because I don’t want to overload FB with these photos. One a day should be plenty.

Vesta and I will be out there again, tomorrow and for three hundred and sixty-four more days, making photographs and portraits by the dawn’s early light for free. So if you’d like us to do you, come on out. It’s not that cold now, really, it’s not.

Day Two

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Day Two, Three Hundred and Sixty-Three to Go.

This is my friend Dave, who lives in SAC (that’s Sacramento for those of you who are not from the Northern Nevada/California area). He came to the Biggest Little City in the World to check out the Bio Tech program at UNR.

And he came by the Artist’s Loft on the River to have his photo taken at 5:30 in the morning. He came with his girl Amber and we made about forty photos of him, her and them and I processed them all in both black & white and color.

It’s okay, in fact Vesta and I would love it, if you brought along your significant other, your family, friends, dogs, cats, ferrets and gold fish even, for your free 5:30 in the morning photo shoot. Our only requirement is that at least one of you is a human being. Your dog can’t come alone.

Day Three

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Day Three, Three Hundred and Sixty-Two to Go.

Here is Amber, who is kind of a ringer, cuz she came out with Dave and we did her photos at the same time, but I didn’t wanna post two in the same day, for two reasons. 1.) One is enough. And 2.) what if no one came out the next day? If that happened, then I could have Amber in reserve.

But someone did come out today, so if I post them, then Amber would get left behind and maybe never get posted, so I’m posting her today and the new couple, tomorrow.

Speaking about tomorrow, Vesta and I will be out on the bridge where it crosses the Truckee River on Virginia Street, tomorrow morning at 5:30, so if you’d like a photo session done by dawn’s early light, come on out, we’d love to shoot you. You know, with a camera, not a gun.

Day Four

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Day Four, Three Hundred and Sixty-One to Go.

Our friend Mike came out this morning. He was on his way to work and only had ten minutes, but Vesta and I got off ten or so shots before he had to jump in his car and go,

Here, he is standing just to the left and below the Virginia Street Bridge, facing the Artist’s Loft with the river at his back. The only light is from the lights on Virginia and the lights in front of the Wild River Grill above.

My original intention was to make all of these photographs in black and white, but you know how it goes, intentions hardly ever prevail. I liked the green reflection on the river from the lights above and the blurry blue water. So, color it is.

We’ll be there again tomorrow at 5:30 in the morning, on the Virginia Street Bridge, right on top of the river, making photographs. Come on out and get a mini session as you’re bathed in dawn’s early light. It’s absolutely free.

Day Five

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Day Five, Three Hundred and Sixty to Go.

Same time, same light, same place, next day, different Mike. And like the Mike from yesterday, today’s Mike was in a hurry. He was on his way to do a photo shoot at the Sparks Marina and only had a minute, maybe two.

He parked on the bridge in the red, handed Vesta his keys and asked her to move his car if the cops came and we went down to the river and I took this shot. Then he dashed back to his car and was gone.

And these last two days taught me something. It’s possible to make a portrait in just a few seconds. So, if you got ‘em, a few seconds that is, and you can get up at 5:30 in the AM, come on out and Vesta and I will make your photograph.

However, you can stay longer and we’ll take more photos if you want, up to twenty or thirty. Also, please remember, these mini photo shoots by the Dawn’s Early Light are absolutely free. Just come out to the Virginia Street Bridge at 5:30 and prepare to be photographed.

Day Six

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Day Seven

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Day Eight

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Day Nine

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Day Nine, Three Hundred and Fifty-Six to Go.

This is painter Angelina Christina, who painted that awesome woman on the side of the parking structure. You know, the really small woman in that cherry picker in front of the giant painting in progress that I posted yesterday.

Vesta and I were out there this morning and it’s finished and it’s gorgeous. If you’re coming up Virginia from the south, you can’t miss it, it’s just to the right of the Reno sign. It’s a beautiful addition to downtown.

Vesta's having mouth surgery in about an hour, but that’s not going to stop her. She swears, she’ll be right there with me at 5:30 tomorrow morning, no matter how drugged up she has to be, because she takes about half of these portraits by the Dawn’s Early Light that I post.

So, if you’d like a mini session, which consists of maybe fifteen to twenty photos, or if you just want you’re portrait made by or on this historic bridge, which will be no more in a couple weeks, come on out, it’s absolutely free.

Oh, yeah, one more time, you gotta come out at 5:30 in the AM, but it’s not that hard. Really, it’s not. Be there or be square.
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Day Ten

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Day Ten, Three Hundred and Fifty-Five to Go.

This is Nikki. She’s an artist and a painter. What she paints, I don’t know, cuz right after I took this shot, her pocket chimed and she had to answer her phone.

There are a lotta people walking the streets today, who don’t remember life before cellphones. I’m not one of them. I don’t wanna say I’m not a phone fan, cuz I had one in my pocket too. Usually, I don’t, but Vesta was home alone and I was worried about her recovery.

She had mouth surgery yesterday and right now she looks like Marge Simpson and she has a big black eye to boot. We knew there’d be swelling, but we didn’t count on the black eye. And maybe there’s more swelling then we bargained for. So that’s why I had my phone and I’ll probably be using it to call the doctor in an hour or so to ask about that black eye, but I’m sure she’s fine.

She’s not too worried though, cuz she’s got drugs. She may look pretty bad, but she’s feeling no pain.

She wanted to come out with me this morning, but once she saw herself in the mirror, drugs notwithstanding, she decided I’d be going out alone. Then there’s the fact that she can’t walk too straight right now.

Anyway, she may be down for the count right now, but she says, “Hi.”

Day Eleven

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Day Eleven, Three Hundred and Fifty-Four to Go.

This is Richard, who is obviously a proud man. I was walking by the river at 5:45, when he stopped me to say hello and I took a couple photos.

Contrary to what you might think, there are a lotta people out and about when the sun rises.

I’ve always been an early morning person, ever since I was a kid and delivered newspapers. The L.A. Times truck would drop ‘em on our front porch at 4:00 in the morning and my brother and I would get up and fold ’em and band 'em and put ‘em in our official L.A. Times bags, which hung from our handle bars, and head out for our respective routes.

And then I’d be alone, winging along on my Schwinn, tossing papers onto porches. Schwinning along, I’d see the various milkmen and I’d wave. The trash guys too, once a week, I’d see them. And sometimes I’d see the cops and I’d wave. And I’d invariably see the same people pull out of their driveways, headed off to work, to where so early, I didn’t have a clue.

And there was the Winchell’s donut man, who worked the donut shop on Woodruff and South Street. I’d bike thru the drive thru every morning, cuz I always had two papers left. One for him, which I’d trade for two donuts. A piping hot glazed and devil’s food chocolate with nuts.

I’d eat those donuts, while I was biking home, then after I got home, I’d read that last paper before I went to school, cuz we didn’t have the internet then.

And, I guess, the reason why I wrote the above, is because Richard, who probably doesn’t have a home, kinda reminded me of that Winchell’s donut man.

Day Twelve

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Day Twelve, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three to Go.

This is Ofelia. I know my face lit up when I saw her on the bridge this morning, cuz she’s got such a romantic story attached to her. I think so anyway.

A couple years ago, she struck up a long distance chat relationship with a young man named Trond, who lived in Norway. Their online romance grew. She went to Norway to visit him. He came to America and visited her. She went back and he came back, but he stayed this last time and Vesta and I got to do their wedding photos.

How cool is that?

Just think, they lived half a world away from each other and now they’re together, thanks to the internet. My early morning stories don’t get any better than this.

Day Thirteen

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Day Thirteen, Three Hundred and Fifty-Two to Go.

Here are Raull and Ahdriana, who came out together at 5:30 in the morning. So, I’m posting them together. At first I thought I could post them one at a time, but then they came as a couple, so I thought it best to post them as a couple.

I did several photos of them, both individually and as a couple in this spot, which is right below the Virginia Street Bridge.

It’ll be sad to see that bridge go, but I suppose it’d be a lot sadder if it collapsed with cars on it. True, they wouldn’t have too far to fall, it’s not the Golden Gate, after all. And if the bridge went, you wouldn’t sink into the water, cuz the river’s only about six inches deep here. But then, you wouldn’t have the water to cushion your fall either.

Still, we’ll miss taking our by the Dawn’s Early Light photos by this bridge. Vesta and I are gonna have to move our act somewhere else. The Sierra Street Bridge maybe. Or maybe right by the Reno Sign. That might be cool, the Sign, cuz it throws off some great light. Maybe we’ll do that.

However, till the bridge comes down, Vesta and I will be there every morning at 5:30. making our by the Dawn’s Early Light photos for absolutely free.

Day Fourteen

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Day Fourteen, Three Hundred and Fifty-One to Go.

This is Mary, at 5:00 in the morning, on the Virginia Street Bridge. It was a little chilly and seeing Mary in this light, I was reminded of another early morning with similar light, when Vesta and I drove thru the Brandenburg Gate, coming from the East back into the West, a few days after the Berlin Wall came down.

So I took a few shots, till I got her with what I thought was an apprehensive smile, cuz I wanted her to look a little frightened, to match the lighting. And failing that, a little tension on her face, and failing that, maybe apprehension. I wanted her to look like an East German, just minutes away from her freedom.

A lotta people looked like Mary looks here, back then. They’d grown up in the East. They hated it. They were afraid of their government. They wanted to be free, but they were afraid of that too, but they knew it was better. So they were apprehensive.

That wasn’t everybody though. The young people were jubilant. Driving through the East in a Western car was really something. The kids cheered us as we drove by, like Vesta and I were conquering heroes, and all we did was rent a Mercedes and drive thru roads full of Trabants.

Still, we enjoyed the hell out of it. We stayed in hotels that were twenty-five or thirty dollars a night. That would all change very soon. And when we got to the Western side of the Wall, we stayed in a hotel that cost $407 dollars, because I can’t read or speak a lick of German and I mistook the room number for the price and vice versa.

As soon as we got into the room and saw it’s splendor, I knew I screwed up. But I was too embarrassed to fix it. So we only stayed one night, instead of the four we’d planned on.

Day Fifteen

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Day Fifteen, Three Hundred and Fifty to Go.

Here is Dominic at 5:30 in the morning on the Virginia Street Bridge, smiling for the camera. And hopefully, they won’t demo the bridge before we have one last chance to do a By the Dawn’s Early Light portrait by it or on it

Yeah, sadly, tomorrow, according to the city’s plan, the bridge is coming down. And for a year, maybe longer, northern traffic will be redirected to Center and southern traffic will be detoured to Sierra.

How shitty is that?

A year to build a new and ugly bridge. What, they only got a couple guys in their bridge building crew?

And I say ugly, cuz I’ve seen the artist’s rendering of the new bridge and though they try to make it look modern and maybe a little decoish, it’s ugly. But then, you know what they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So, I suppose for some, it’s not as ugly as it is for me.

Day Sixteen

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Day Sixteen, Three Hundred and Forty-Nine to Go.

Here are Kelley and Mark, who came out on what was supposed to be the last day of the Virginia Street Bridge’s life in Reno, but the Bridge has a been granted a six day reprieve.

I know this, because yesterday the city placed signs on all the roads leading toward the bridge, saying that the work starts on the 26th.

So, I guess that means, you still have six days to come on out and get your By the Dawn’s Early Light portrait made by or on the Virginia Street Bridge, for absolutely free. Then, I’m thinking, we’ll move our show on over to the Sierra Street Bridge.

Day Seventeen

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Day Seventeen, Three Hundred and Forty-Eight to Go.

This is Timothy Paul Metcalf, otherwise known as Paul the Bluesman or just Blue. And as you can probably guess, he plays the blues. And like Vesta and me, he can sometimes by found out and about in Reno very early in the morning.

And if you can’t recognize him, cuz you forgot what he looks like, just look for the guy with the cool hat, a guitar case in one hand and the converted car horn in the other.

PS: Only five more days till the Bridge comes down, so if you’d like your portrait made by the bridge for absolutely free, we will be there at 5:30 in the morning to do just that, By the Dawn’s Early Light.

Day Eighteen

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Day Eighteen, Three Hundred and Forty-Seven to Go.

This is Tim. He came out to photograph the bridge this morning. Tim is a photographer. Well, if you’re reading this from one of the Reno Photo groups, you already know this. But if you’re reading it from my Facebook page or website, you might not.

You see all kinds of people, when you’re out wandering around before the sun comes up. Rickshaw girls, early morning joggers, delivery men, street workers, street walkers and even photographers.

As for these early morning photos Vesta and I are doing, they are evolving. At first, I imagined we’d mostly be doing portraits of people we’ve photographed before or of people who can’t afford us under ordinary circumstances, but 5:30 does come early and there are mornings when nobody can make it out.

So, we’ve taken to photographing the street people and people who are just passing though and the occasional tourist who’s been up all night and we find we like it. We are rapidly getting to be on a first name basis with the downtown folk who sleep in the rough and surprisingly enough, most of them really like having their picture taken.

Of course, we don’t charge them and if you’d like your portrait or a mini session made by the Dawn’s Early Light, we won’t charge you either.

Day Nineteen

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Day Nineteen, Three Hundred and Forty-Six to Go.

This is Emory, who is a Reno based photographer and videographer. He’s the guy, if you don’t already know, who did the great drone flyover video of the construction of the new Tesla plant here.

As you can see, there’s a lot of light out. Sunrise is coming earlier and earlier, which gives these, by the Dawn’s Early Light photos of Vesta’s and mine kind of a different look.

Don’t get me wrong, the light is very wonderful at 5:30 now, there’s just more of it, which is kinda cool. It’s just that we’ve grown used to taking photos at that time just as the dark gives way to the light, where we still have to depend on the streetlights to give us enough light to make a photo.

But that’s okay, we’ll roll with the better lit photos for the next couple months or so, then it’ll be darker again at 5:30. However, then I’ll probably whine about how we’ve lost the brighter light we will now be losing at our favorite early morning hour.

That’s how it goes, I suppose, the grass is always greener.

Day Twenty

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Day Twenty, Three Hundred and Forty-Five to Go.

This is Accent. Yep, that’s his name, Accent. Vesta and I met him as he was crossing Center, twirling a pair of those sticks, like a baton twirler. He’s pretty good with ‘em.

You meet all kinds of people out in the Dawn’s Early Light. Young, old and in between people, who most don’t ever get to meet or see or talk too. It’s kinda nice, actually, meeting these people. They’ve all been super cool to me and Vesta.

And, as I said a few days ago, almost everybody we see out at 5:30 in the morning, is more than happy to have their photo taken.

However, we met this one interesting couple on the bridge this morning. They looked like happy, dressed nice, with a bounce in their step. Like they were out on a date or something.

I asked could I take their picture and they said they’d rather not.

“Thanks anyway,” I said.

“You wouldn’t wanna buy a Galaxy S5.” The girl pulled a white Galaxy from her purse. She looked like she was in her mid twenties.

“I got one.” I pulled mine outta my pocket. “Why you selling it?”

“We’re really broke,” she said.

“You don’t look broke,” I said.

“Come on,” the guy said. “We gotta go.” He took her by the arm and hustled her away. And then, slow as I can be, I figured it out. They’d stolen the phone. Probably some tourist in a casino turned her back on it.

No wonder they didn’t want their picture taken.

Day Twenty-One

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Day Twenty-One, Three Hundred and Forty-Four to Go.

This is Playboy and here he’s pictured, almost on the playa, in downtown Reno. I say almost, cuz there’s this fence, which he was on the other side of, you know, the river side. They put that fence there so people won’t fall in.

He was out there this morning, watching the sun come up as he charged his iPhone. The light posts by the river got sockets in ‘em, so you can do that, charge your phone, while you enjoy the sunrise.

It’s important, I think, to enjoy a sunrise every now and then, cuz the sun only comes up so many times in your lifetime and it’s always different and it’s always an experience you’ll never live again and it’s always invigorating. It’s just a great way to start a day.

Sadly, I kinda bummed him out when I told him the bridge in the background was coming down in a few days. Like me and Vesta, he’s a big fan of the bridge.

Day Twenty-Two

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Day Twenty-Two, Three Hundred and Forty-Three to Go.

This is Rebecca. She was working out on the Bridge this morning. No, she’s not one of the crew who’s going to dismantle or destroy the it. She works for KOLO TV Channel 8. I know this, cuz she got out of a truck that said so.

If you’re reading this, Rebecca, please don’t blame me for not knowing who you were. Vesta and I don’t have a TV, so we don’t know who any of the TV people in Reno are.

When you get up as early as we do, you get to meet a lot of early risers, people who get to see Ol’ Sol as he makes his debut. And, for the most part, they are all very interesting, very friendly and very willing to have their picture taken by the Dawn’s Early Light.

If you’d like to be one of those people, even if only for a day, Vesta and I are gonna be out by the Virginia Street Bridge, both the old one and the new one, all through the construction. So if you’d like your portrait or an early morning mini session for absolutely free, come out at 5:30. We’d love to make your picture.

Day Twenty-Three

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Day Twenty-Three, Three Hundred and Forty-Two to Go.

This is Mario, out on the soon to be demolished Virginia Street Bridge at 5:30 this morning. He’s from San Francisco, but he lives in Reno now.

Me: Vesta and I wanted to live there, but it costs as much to park your car for a month as we’re paying for rent here.

Mario: Heck, it costs as much for a taco in San Francisco as I pay for rent and you gotta take out a loan to buy a burrito.

And that pretty much sums up the cost of living situation in the City by the Bay.

Day Twenty-Four

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Day Twenty-Four. Three Hundred and Forty-One to Go.

Here are Heidi and Brent, who came out to the Virginia Street Bridge this morning at 5:30. I know that’s awful early, but the light is great and getting up with the sun is a wonderful way to start your day. And getting your picture taken at sunrise, how cool is that?

It is still possible to get your photos taken on the bridge or with the bridge in the background. The’ve got the barriers—you know, those concrete things you see on freeways to block off lanes—on the sidewalk, so they’ll be blocking both side of the bridge any day now.

But the bridge wrecking crew doesn’t start work till 7:00 (I know, cuz I asked the guy in charge), so at 5:30 in the AM there won’t be anybody out there to keep us from stepping over them. Of course, we won’t be able to do that once the bridge comes down, because we’d fall into the water and since it’s only about six inches deep, we’d probably break some bones.

But we can do it now, so if you’d like your photograph made by or on the Virginia Street Bridge, by the Dawn’s Early Light, for absolutely free, come on out at 5:30. Vesta and I would love to meet, greet and photograph you.

Day Twenty-Five

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Day Twenty-Five, Three Hundred and Forty Days to Go.

Here are Amanda and Xanthe, out by the Virginia Street Bridge, being photographed by the Dawn’s Early Light.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention Lily and Charlie, they’re in the photo too. So that makes this a four people photo (dogs are people too, you know).

Sometimes, with dogs and little people, really little people—it’s hard to get them to look at the camera. My trick is to ask the big people in the photo to keep looking at me, while I make stupid noises and clucking sounds, to get the children and/or pets to look at me as I click, click, click away.

And, of course, I promise ice cream to the kids. Which usually works. However, one time I had parents, who told me that don’t give their kids sugar and I shouldn’t a promised their girls the ice cream, cuz now they had to buy it for them.

“But I got a great photo,” I told them as they tried to make me wilt under their stern, we’re the parents looks. “Like you wanna make me go stand in a corner or something,” I said and they laughed like it was no big deal now.

In fact, that’s what the mom said, “It’s no big deal.”

“So, you are gonna but the kids ice cream, right?”

“Yes, we will,” she said.

I sure hope they did, but I’m thinking maybe they didn’t. And, you know what, every kid should have ice cream at least once in their life.
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