1001 Days of Faces

Vesta and I came up with this 365 Days of Faces in the Dawn’s Early Light idea as we were coming home from an early morning walk. We lived in Midtown, Reno’s up and coming trendy district. It was summer and we usually left the house for Downtown right around five or so, because we liked shooting at sunrise.

And one day, as we were on our way home, we spied this security mirror and right as we were taking a selfie, it came to me. We’re out every morning. We like the early light. We like making photographs of people. If we combine all of the above and make a yearly project out of it, we’ll keep walking every morning and that’ll be good for us. Plus, we’ll meet new people.


We lived about a mile from Downtown, so that was two miles by foot before 7:00 every morning. What a healthy way to start a day.

Ken, Vesta and Devon all Aglow

And Devon was spending the summer with us, so it was a fun thing we could all do together. And it was and is fun. But it was and is a learning experience too. Not just for Devon, but for me and Vesta as well.

We’ve photographed a lot of people, but mostly they come to us, wanting their picture taken and we give them direction and take their portraits.

Then, of course, there’s the club work we’ve done and wedding receptions, where everybody’s happy and showing their pearly whites through their wide smiles.

But this was and is different. We’re walking up to total strangers, who didn’t leave home expecting to be photographed. They’re not at a club or party or a wedding reception having a great time and smiling for the photographers when they point their cameras at 'em. They’re on their way to work or at work or trying to find work or they’re coming home from work.

They’re police officers. They’re homeless. They’re accountants and lawyers. They’re bartenders and hookers. They’re tourists and everything else you can imagine. And they all have dignity. They all manage to put on their best face just before I snap the shutter.

And then they’re gone. Sometimes we’re only with them a minute or so. Sometimes longer, but I always make their photograph in the first fifteen or twenty seconds, always before we talk to them. And in that very short time, they always give me a look that says, “I’m somebody. I have value.” Their dignity always shines through.

Zombie Ken and Vesta

And even though sometimes, mostly in the winter, we might feel like we’re off our meds. We still get up at 4:30. We still go to our bridge. And cold as it can be. As lousy as we might feel, cuz we mighta had a hard night or maybe one of us might be sick, once we find someone and make their photograph, we feel wonderful. What a great way to start out days.

Below, you can see our faces to date and you’ll see what I’ve been talking about, just click on any one and you’ll see I’ve been telling you true. And, if you want, you can click on this Facebook link to my Facebook page, where you can see and maybe like your photo. And you can friend me if you’d like to see our daily photos on your Facebook feed.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529