April 2016

Ken and Hanna

April 1, 2016: And people wonder why I’m so strange.

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Here are Shannon and Katlin, mugging for the camera.

There is this white wall in a hallway, leading from the parking garage to the building where Shannon’s Oncologist has her office. Opposite the wall there is a huge north facing window and in the afternoon, the light thrown on that wall is better than perfect for portraits.

And that’s where these two lovely young ladies are in this photo.

As I’m looking at this photo, I’m trying to come up with the words for the next chapter in Shannon’s Journey and I’m not going to have them till tomorrow. Some I have, but others I’m still trying to figure out.

But, even though I don’t have a link with this photo to the next chapter in her journey, I wanted to post this photo now, because I like it so much.

PS. And Now, here is the link: Shannon’s Journey, Chapter 17.

Harley and Roarke

April 2, 2016: Here are Harley and Roarke and they are smiling so wide, cuz they have wedding bells in their future. That’s right, they’re getting married soon. And just the thought of a beautiful white wedding dress will put a big smile on any girl’s face. And Roarke, he must be thinking about seeing his bride come up the aisle, while he’s waiting, a handsom groom, in his tux.

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Meet Shelby and Arek, who made me and Vesta laugh a lot today. I don’t think they did it on purpose and I don’t think they can help it. Just being around ‘em sorta brings it out. Soon they’re gonna be married and Shelby’s gonna be a beautiful bride on her wedding day, can’t you just tell?

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April 4, 2016: Here is Shannon. Strong and beautiful.

If you’d like to read the latest chapter in her journey toward recovery, please click on this link: http://www.kendouglas.org/shannons-journey/17.html 

Amanda in her wedding dress 704

There is just something about Amanda“I’m going to shoot on three. One, two—”

Amanda in Her Wedding Dress 701

There is just something about Amanda,. “Three.” 

Amanda in her wedding dress 706

April 4, 2016: In the Land of Enchantment there is only one princess. 

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Vesta took this photograph yesterday while we were on our two mile walk through San Rafael Park. Another beautiful day and it’s Vesta’s 91st Non Human Photograph of 2016.


Writing the “Novel in the Works, 250 Words a Day with Pictures” project has gotten me into writing fiction again. And although I made a lotta mistakes—you know, like somebody’s got green eyes in chapter one, but blue ones in chapter three—I found that I haven’t lost the ability to make stuff up on paper.

It had just been dormant. Four years dormant.

But I kinda got it back. We’ll see if I have it for real in about four months, when my new novel is finished.

In the past, when I’d written a work of fiction, I would just start and see where it led me. I wasn’t worried about covers, cuz my agent and the publishers were gonna take care of that.

But they didn’t. My agent wasn’t able to sell the wonderful work that I produced. So I decided to be a publisher and I started Bootleg Press. And I signed three writers right off the bat. Ken Douglas, me. Jack Stewart, also me. And Jack Priest, also me.

Yep, I wrote all the books.

But before I could put ‘em out, I had to learn how to format a book and how to design covers. So for me it was a seven step process. Write the book. Format the book. Design the cover. Send it off to the printer. Get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books a Million, then sit back and watch the money roll in.

But the money didn’t roll in. So it was a good thing Vesta and had our photography business, otherwise we’d a been poor.

Discouraged, I gave up on novel writing.


However, this time, since I know I’ll probably have to design the cover myself, I decided to do that first. Kinda bass ackwards I know, but it’s what I did.

So here it is. I want to thank Amanda Strong for letting me use her likeness on the cover and I’d like to thank Lee Murphy in advance, for the quote I’m going to ask him to write above my name after I finish the book. Right now I got an old one, by Captain Katie in the example.

Anyway, finger’s crossed, I’ll be finished Sometime in August. Wish me luck.

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Vesta says, "Only walked two miles and he looks tired."

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Vesta took this photograph high above Herman’s Pond in San Rafael Park, in San Rafael Park.

Hayley's Engagement Photo

April 9, 2016: This is what love is all about.

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Vesta took this photograph at Bowers Mansion in New Washoe City, which is barely a speck on the map south of Reno. It's a beautiful place.


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It’s sibling day and here is Vesta with her brother Jerry, her sister’s Cathie and Janice and her neice Daily, who is replacing her mother darling Gina, who is no longer with us.

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April 10, 2016: I dreamt about this guy last night. And when I woke up, I hoped to meet him in the mirror. But alas, he wasn’t there.

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Here is the ever lovely JiWan, who, once again, came all the way from China to have her photograph taken. And, of course, to get a Wolf Pack hat, cuz who doesn’t love the Pack.

Okay, okay, hands up, I admit it, maybe she had other reasons for coming back to America, but she did come by and have us make her photo and that’s good enough for me and Vesta.

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One evening, Bob and I were hanging around Saturn Records on Pico Boulevard in L.A., drinking Schlitz, which is a beer my dad really liked. I lived in a place called Lakewood, which was about twenty miles south, partly on the most traveled road on Earth, the Santa Monica Freeway.

I knew I’d had too much to drive, so I decided to spend the night on the couch my dad had in his office. I was just about to call Vesta to tell her I wasn’t gonna make it home, when Bob said. “I can drive.”

“No shit?” I said.

“Really, I can.”

“Well then, let’s go.” I swear, when you drink, your brain shrinks and you forget how to think, cuz Bob had had just as much as me. But, heck, I took my rat sized brain out to the street and got in his roadster.

That was some car, Bob’s Roadster. It looked just like the word sounds, ROADSTER. And it went, like a thousand miles an hour. When you were riding with him and he had his foot to the floor, you were scared.

“I’ll have you home in no time.” Bob buckled up. Under sober circumstances, those words might have frightened me, just a little, maybe.

We hit the Santa Monica Freeway at about 8:30, the traffic was gone, Bob let her scream and I puckered up, hoping I was gonna arrive alive. We covered the ten miles or so to the Long Beach Freeway in about a half a second, only to find it with plenty of cars on it, average speed about sixty-five.

“Let’s have some fun,” Bob said.

“Okay.” Bob was always fun.

“You drive.” Now you might think it’s not possible for the passenger to drive, you know, cuz he doesn’t have a steering wheel. No foot peddles either. But it can kinda be done.

I reached over and took the wheel with my left hand and Bob let go. I held it by the bottom so no one could see. And Bob kept a steady foot on the floor. Then he rolled down his window and stuck his head and hands out, waving to people as we passed them.

You should’ve seen the looks on folks faces. And looking back, I supposed it’s a miracle we didn’t cause an accident or get in one ourselves. But I arrived home alive and I told Bob he should spend the night, but he said he preferred to spend it on the road and he left.

That’s one of my favorite memories of my friend Bob, who somehow, I don’t know how, became a member of our family. He passed away yesterday and the world is diminished on account of it.

Ken and Vesta in the Mirror

Vesta says, "Ken took this photograph this morning, through a store window into a mirror. Kinda cute."

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This is our New Virginia Street Bridge in the cold, rainy, early morning light. It opens on Tuesday with a parade, covered wagons, lots of old cars and the last car will be the new, latest and greatest Tesla.

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April 11, 2016: The prettiest girl in the Caribbean.


I decided to listen to Bob Marley as I worked today, so I clicked on this playlist with Kaya, Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration in it.

And a couple hours later, as I’m working away and minding my own business, this powerful female voice comes outta my speakers. For sure not Bob Marley and not what I was expecting, but I listened anyway, wondering how she got into my playlist.

She sounded a lot like Bonnie Tyler, someone I like a lot, but it wasn’t Bonnie. I got a lotta music on my computer, some I’ve never heard, like this record called “Dreaming” by Celine Dion. How it got into this Bob Marley playlist, I don’t know.

But what I do know is, she’s awful gosh darned good. And to top it off, she sings in French too. Who knew?

I’ll be downloading everything Celine Dion. Can’t help it, she’s wonderful in two languages.


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Good evening. It’s Monday, just after sundown, and tonight I have the honor of presenting Xander and Aspen.

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Vesta took this photograph this morning of our beautiful Truckee River.

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Here is the Virginia Street Bridge yesterday morning, full of people, who came out to see the ribbon cutting and to enjoy a day in the sun.

Vesta and I are happy, happy, happy the construction is over and we’re overjoyed it looks as good as it does.

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Here are Vesta and George captured by the bright sun and me this morning.

I believe you won’t find George by his usual fishing spot in front of the movie theater anymore, cuz he went over to the new place the city had built down by the river, when they had the new bridge built. The public was allowed down there for the first time this morning and it appears that Pappy George likes it just fine.

If you don’t believe me, check out his photo in what I think will be his new official fishing spot  below.

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They’ve officially opened the Virginia Street Bridge this morning and if you’ve been following our posts, Vesta’s and mine, you know that’s a big thing for us, cuz we started our 365 Days of Faces project on that bridge and now we’re going to be able to finish it there.

We stayed out there this morning all the way to around noon walking on the bridge, talking to people and we even stayed for part of the ceremony. And while we were out there, we met a bunch of people and we photographed more people than we usually do.

Usually, we put up one face a day. A few times we’ve done two and once we did three. However, today, well tonight, cuz it’s already tonight, I’m going to post nine more faces and a few photos.

I suppose I could just stick ‘em all in an album and be done with it, but I want each of the nine people we didn’t put up this morning to have their own story, so for the next few hours, I’m going to be writing about the folks we met this morning and I’m going to post them as I finish ‘em, which will probably take me till midnight.

April 2016 071

Here is Vesta and our friend Enrique in front of the brand spanking new Virginia Street Bridge this morning. Like us, Enrique is a photographer and like us, he was out making pictures of this historic event.

Well, historic for people like us. But if you live in Ohio, or France, or China, or Texas—maybe not so historic.

But it’s a big deal for us Biggest Little City in the World people.

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And lastly, for today, here is Vesta in my thirteenth post. That’s an awful lot for me, for anybody, actually.

And it’s another day that I’m skipping my story. But I’ll catch up tomorrow morning, promise.

Also, I did take a couple photos of the new bridge, but they’re gonna have to wait till tomorrow too, cuz my eyes are bleeding and they need a break from looking at my monitors.

Good night.

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April 13, 2016: Sunrise over the Virginia Street Bridge in Downtown Reno.

Vesta on the Virginia Street Bridge

Is this girl excited about the New Virginia Street Bridge or what?

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Vesta took this photograph from the top of the Cal Neva Casino. Like me, she likes black and white. We actually process a lot of our wedding photographs in black and white, becasue we think black and white really makes a bride in her wedding dress really stand out. Heck, the groom looks good too.

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Vesta took this photograph of the lights on the southwest side of the New Virginia Street bridge at 6:15 in the morning. These were the lights from the old bridge, the city saved ‘em to add a touch of class and history to the new bridge.

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April 17, 1916: Vesta took this photograph of me doing a family photo shoot up at Lake Tahoe’s gorgeous Sand Harbor. I don’t know if I like it when she sneaks up on me and takes a picture, but we’ve been photographers for almost as long as we’ve been married and she’s been doing it ever since I can remember, so I suppose I should be used to it by now. But I’m not. I wonder why?

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Here is another photograph Vesta took from the top of the Cal Neva Casino. She’s in love with both the new and the old Reno signs. In this photograph, you can see the old one on Lake Street.

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April 18, 2016: Here is a photo of Felicia on her wedding day. Is there ever anyone prettier than a girl on her special day.

Felicia married the man of her dreams at the chapel in the Circus Circus Casino in Downtown Reno. And even though she came from California to get married in our beautiful city, the chapel was packed, because a whole heck of a lot of her California friends and family came along for the wedding.

So, even though it was a small affair, it sorta seemed like a larger wedding, because there were so many people.

And, of course, Vesta and I were there, because, well because we’re wedding photographers and that’s what we do, we photograph weddings.

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Aprl 21, 2016: Here are Sheila, Jim and their family from a family photo shoot Vesta and I did with them up at Lake Tahoe. We photographed their wedding and like with a lot of our brides and grooms, we became and stayed friends.

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Vesta photographed these purple flowers on our evening walk along the river.

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Reno’s Virginia Street Bridge, imagined as the Gotham River Bridge in Gotham City.

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Vesta took this photograph last night as we were walking a trail in Spanish Springs, looking for wild mustangs.

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Vesta photographed this wild mustangs last night in Spanish Springs. Which is just east of Reno’s International Airport.

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Happy, happy anniversary, Shere'e and Clay. I know I’m a couple days late and I’m very, very, sorry about that. You were on my mind, but I forgot to post. So once again, Happy, happy anniversary. 

I can’t get over how wonderful you look in this photograph. Just seeing this picture makes being a wedding photographer all worth while, cuz we get to make photos like this, on the happiest day of people’s lives. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing prettier then a girl on her wedding day with the man of her dreams by her side.


Two of my friends, Gordon Gruener and Baer Charlton have recently challenged me to do seven days straight of nature photos and I sort of ignored the challenge, because, well, because I’m not very good at that kind of photography.

But, after giving it considerable thought, I’m gonna try it. Next week Vesta and I are gonna spend three or four days with our friend, John Michael Green, our cameras, some wine and some wild mustangs. And in all that time, the wine notwithstanding, I outta be able to get seven acceptable horsey photos.

I’m gonna try anyway.


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Here are Jameson and Rachel, smiling the way people in love are supposed to smile. There are wedding bells in their future. And a handsomer groom or prettier bride, you’d have to look far and wide to see.

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Here are Dalton and his sister Maria, looking to the future. Maria, cuz she’s gonna be a senior next year and Dalton, cuz in less than a month, he’s gonna ride the waves and see the world, courtesy of the United States Navy.

Oh yeah, he’s gonna defend his country while he’s at it.

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This is Vesta's second signature quilt. She made my first one twenty years ago. This one is going to have all the signatures from our Texas family in it, including hers, Tiffany and, of course, you know who.

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April 22, 2016: Here they are, the coolest people in Portugal. 

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Here are Shannon and her oncologist, Dr. Sowjanya Reganti, smiling in a photograph taken Tuesday last. And I know I shoulda posted this back on the day I took it. And I woulda, if I coulda reported that Shannon’s doing fine.

But if Id’a said that, Id’a been lying. The truth is, she’s not doing fine. She’s depressed. She aches all over. Her fingertips hurt. Her fingernails are rippling and may come of. Her red blood count is so low that she’s most likely gonna need a transfusion Monday. Her food all tastes awful. And she’s always tired. And she’s got another round of chemo to go, so it’s gonna get worse.

With all that though, I did manage to get a very nice photo of her, but I’m gonna wait a day or two to post it with the next chapter of her journey, cuz I need the words to go with it and I don’t have ‘em right now and if I tried to fake it, I’d just be boring and I really don’t wanna be boring.

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April 24, 2016: John and Paul were right, "Love is All You Need.” And Hillary and Cody are surly in love and what a handsome couple they’ll be on their wedding day.

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Vesta took this photograph early this morning on our bridge.

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Here she is once again, the Prettiest Girl in California. 

Sheila, Rachel and Maria

If you were riding down the Abilene Trail and came across these three sirens in the rocks and you got any wrong ideas, you’d best wonder why they each got a hand outta sight. Cuz if they weren’t waiting for you, you could be in a whole mess of trouble. 

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Here are Sheila and Jim, two of the nicest people Vesta and I have ever had the pleasure to know. Even if— Wait, there are no even ifs. And we were lucky enough to be able to photograph their wedding awhile back. How cool is that?

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Here is Jameson, who Vesta and I first met at his dad’s wedding a couple years ago, then again at Sand Harbor, which is one of Nevada’s natural wonders.

We don’t know for sure if Jim named him after the greatest Irish whiskey money can buy or if Jameson is a family name, but it’s a great name, nonetheless.

Barbed Wire

April 25, 2016: Vesta made this photograph in San Rafel Park today and she calls it, “Just Some Old Barbed Wire."

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Here is Shannon smiling for the camera. And that’s one of the things Vestaand I love about her. No matter how bad she’s feeling, no matter how hard the chemo is taking her down, when I ask her to smile, she does it and she looks like she means it.

If you would like to see the 18th installment of her Journey toward Recovery, please click on this link: http://www.kendouglas.org/shannons-journey/18.html.

April 2016 100

Rosella—who Vesta and I photographed on day two hundred and sixty-two of our year long project—passed away on February 5th, just two weeks after we made her photograph, She was a hundred and three years old.

We’re only here for a short time and with most of us, it seems just when we’re starting to figure it all out, it’s time to go. Rosella, by the grace of God, was here longer than most. I hope she knew what it was all about. From my short time with her, I’m betting she did.

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Here is Jacob, who has his whole life ahead. Oh how wonderful that is.

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Having a smoke with the prettiest girl in Jamaica.

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Vesta says, "While I was out early this morning, I looked over toward the City Hall building and saw this big yellow face looking back at me. Kinda creepy."

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As always, when we have lunch with Lee and Marianne, we had a great time today.

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Vesta says, "Come on warm weather, my tomato plants are itching to get into the ground."

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April 27, 2016: Here are again Hillary and Cody up at Sugar Pine Point on the California side of Lake Tahoe. If not for the snow covered mountains in the background, they could be in the Caribbean, the water is so clear.

Actually, they were standing on a snow covered pier when I took this photo. I wanted to ask them to sit with their feet dangling in the water, but, you know, they’d’ve been sitting in the snow and they’d’ve gotten wet and so I didn’t.

Woulda been a nice picture though.

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And here are Hillary and Cody one more time this evening. I wanted to post this one too, so you could see I wasn’t joshing about the snow.

Also, for reasons I don’t know why, it kinda looks like they’re way up high, like on the top of a tall building. To me, anyway it does. Maybe it’s cuz of the way the sun is hitting the water.

Lythia Park 003

April 28, 2016: Vesta made this photograph in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon this afternoon. She never, never ever goes anywhere without a camera in her hand. It’s like glued there. She’s a photographer by trade and photography is her hobby. Go figure.

Ken Douglas in Black and White

When we were younger, before we landed in Reno, Vesta and I used to drive around America a lot and we spent a lotta time on and off Highway 10, which goes from Southern California all the way to Florida. Oftentimes, we’d get off the highway and take backroads, just to see where they went.

And a lotta times they’d end up in a small town somewhere most people had never heard of. And most of those small towns had diners. And we’d pop in and the locals would look at us and smile and maybe shake their heads a little.

And we took a lotta pictures along the way. A whole lotta pictures. But where most photographers would be photographing the vast and gorgeous landscapes and the many and varied faces we have in America, we mostly just photographed each other.

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Here is Vesta on our bridge this morning, out in the Dawn’s Early Light. 

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Here’s Anna at work. Vesta and I first met her when we did Nichole and Adam’s engagement session. She came along with them and because it was a bright day, she wound up being the umbrella girl. You know, the person who makes the shade so the bright sunlight doesn’t splash all over the photographee’s faces.

Talking to her, we learned that she has Ireland in her future. And if there was ever a place where you dreamed of going or being, you’d have to look far and wide to find a better place than Ireland. Heaven maybe, that might be better. I don’t know, it’d be close.

We met her again at Nicole and Adam’s wedding, as she was one of Nichole’s bridesmaids. And we ran into her still again yesterday, when we went to meet Shannon at the blood infusion place at Renown Medical Center. She was the girl who checked Shannon in.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Vesta and I can’t go anywhere in Reno, without running into somebody we know. Reno, it really is the Biggest Little City in the World.

As for running into Anna, I hope the next time we meet it’s in a Dublin pub. They got great pubs there.

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Here is Shannon yesterday at Renown Medical Center, where she’s getting her blood infused and I’m happy to say, she was, at least yesterday she was, feeling better. She’s not feeling well enough to run a marathon, mind you. But she’s feeling better than she was when she got her last chemo session.

I’ll be writing the 19th chapter in her journey this evening and unlike the last chapter, I’m looking forward to it.

She’s not better. She’s gonna feel worse again. But she’s getting better. Slowly to be sure, but she’s getting better.

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April 29, 2016: Vesta Says, "Ken and I were out shooting wild horses, with our cameras, not guns, because Ken has accepted a wildlife challenge and has to post a photo everyday for seven days. This is our horse shooting camp."

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Goofing off on the train, with the prettiest girl in France. 

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Here, once again, is Shannon. And as I said the day before yesterday, when this photo was taken. It was a good day, even though she had to spend a good part of it getting blood.

If you’d like to see the 19th chapter of her Journey Toward Recovery, you can, just by clicking on this link: http://www.kendouglas.org/shannons-journey/19.html.

Devon in Ashland

30 April, 2016: Spending the weekend with Devon in Ashland.

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Rolling thru Europe, with the prettiest girl on the Continent. And this photograph, taken in whatr seems not that long ago, closes out April 2016. And now it’s on to May.

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