—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

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Beach People, 26-50

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Beach People, Day 26.

Here are Alexandra and Robert, who we met at Huntington Beach yesterday. And, yes if you can’t tell, they’re engaged. Actually, this is an outtake from their engagement shoot. I’m using this photo, because Vesta and I figured out we can’t be in two places at once and we didn’t like the two other options we had.

One, we could just skip a day when we have work in the evening. We’ve done that a couple times and we don’t like it. Especially me, I hate having a project, then skipping a day or two. The other option would be for us to photograph two people or couples the day before a workday, then on the day we’re working, just post the extra photo. And we’ve done that, but I’m not fond of that either.

So, if we’re photographing someone at a beach for work, we’re just gonna use him, her or them for our beach photo, because after all, we are photographing them at the beach.

And now a brief update on Ricky. I haven’t talked to him again, but I’ve seen him talking with another homeless person and apparently the word’s gone out that someone burned up his makeshift tent and all of his stuff, because it seems that other homeless people are helping him out.

He’s got a tarp now that he wraps around himself when he sleeps. He’s got some clothes and I’m betting that soon he’ll erect another little shelter. He’s a nice man, but he seems proud, despite his disabilities, or maybe because of them.

People who know me, know that I’m against guns, but if I were him I’d get one and I’d try to sleep with one eye open, incase the arsonist comes back.

And on another note, I’ve just saved fifty dollars a month. That’s $600 a year or if you add it up, $6000 over ten years, so I was thinking I should be able to go out and buy a couple three thousand dollar lenses. But Vesta said, “Over your dead body!” And if you think she got the saying wrong, she didn’t. She meant my dead body, not hers.

And here’s how I saved that money. Neil Young left Spotify. So, so did I. There’s fifteen dollars of it. And Rachel’s gone from MSNBC, so I left them too, and I got her show on Sling, so there’s the other thirty-five dollars.

And I really thought that might could get me a couple expensive lenses.

Foolish me.

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Beach People, Day 27.

Here are Vanessa and Wallance, who Vesta and I met yesterday evening in Huntington Beach. We’d set Duke’s Restaurant by the pier as a meeting place, which is usually a good spot to meet people, but I suppose because it was Super Bowl weekend or maybe just because it was a hot evening in February, the pier, the beach and even Duke’s was packed to capacity.

“How are we going to find them in this crowd?” I said.

“I hope it’s them.” Vesta pointed to two girls wearing surgical masks.

“Me too,” I said, because other than me and Vesta, I don’t think anyone in the throng of beachgoers and revelers was wearing a mask. It was like this evening, for reasons I don’t know why, Covid didn’t exist anymore.

And as fortune would have it, it was them. What are the odds?

When we got down to the water, we saw that there was a surfing competition going on and that was still another reason there were so many people, but despite the happy, fun loving mob it was safe there for us to make their photos.

And actually, we were outside and it was a bit breezy, so we would have been safe maskless even up on the pier among the crowd, but still, we’re kinda used to wearing them now. It’s sort of like they’re a part of our clothes. Plus, I don’t have to shave every morning anymore. How cool is that?

Vesta posed them for a shot and I knew straightaway we were going to take more pictures than we usually do, because they were very animated, so I had to shoot fast, because I didn’t want to miss anything.

Vesta said they posed like models and Vanessa said they’d been practicing and I said, “It shows.” And it did. They’d give me a look and a pose, then change quicker than I can get a spoon to my mouth when I’m eating rocky road ice cream.

As for today, Vesta and I are gonna find a ferris wheel somewhere and get on it.

PS. As for masks, people seem to pretty okay with me walking around wearing one and I’ve said here before that I like doing it, because it seems like there are cameras everywhere tracking our every movement, especially if we’re in a place called “Downtown Anywhere.”

And I’ve learned that I can wear a black mask with dark sunglasses and nobody thinks twice about it. And I don’t think there’s anyway a camera can pick me out of a crowd, no matter how good the software, with my face disguised like that.

But sometimes it’s too dark for sunglasses, so I was wondering, could I wear a black mask covering the top part of my face, like the Lone Ranger did, and a black N95 below it. Would that get me in trouble?

Guess what I’m gonna order on Amazon today.

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Beach People, Day 28. Part One.

Here are Nini and Edward. They were the only people in what yesterday evening at least, was a lonely section of the beach, just as the sun kissed the Earth as it slipped on by the horizon.

Edward makes his living finding good wholesale deals and reselling the stuff he finds on Amazon, which I thought was pretty cool, because after we sold our boat, we came back to America for a short visit, not knowing Devon was on the way. We fully intended to go back to Curaçao for a couple years, before deciding what we were going to do with our lives.

But Devon’s arrival changed that and that’s another story, however the part where we were going to go back was a problem, because our money was there, waiting for our lives to join it. And if we brought it here, which we eventually did, we’d be admitting that we weren’t going back

Then one evening, while I was reading the ‘The Last Six Million Seconds,” by John Burdett, a book Vesta saw it at the Goodwill and thought I might like to read, she told me to start reading faster, because she just sold the book on Amazon for forty bucks and that was a pretty good deal, because she bought if for fifty cents.

John Burdett had written a great story about a homicide detective in Hong Kong trying to solve a murder before Hong Kong was returned to China, because the bad guy was a big muckety muck in the Chinese government and our hero only had, you guessed it, six million seconds before the hand over.

She was able to sell the book on Amazon, because we had an account there selling my three horror stories, so she just listed it and sold in in about an hour. And that’s how we became online used booksellers. We did that for a couple years and we did well. So, I can appreciate Edward’s occupation. A lotta people don’t like Amazon, but I do. And we still have that seller’s account, because who knows, maybe someday, we might need it, you know, if I ever get the rewritten versions of my books, plus the two completed new ones back online.

Not for the new copies, because Amazon takes care of that. However, the couple hundred copies I have on hand of my older books are wanting new homes and Vesta thinks, and she’s probably right, that I should help them find good parents.
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Beach People, Day 28, Part Two.

Here again are Nini and Edward, who Vesta and I met on the beach. I’m doing a two parter today, because today I have to make an Instagram account. I didn’t and don’t want to do it, but Vesta’s put her foot down. So, I guess I’m stuck.

Instagram was what we were talking about when we met this couple, so after we talked for a bit and we’d given them our card, which says we’re wedding photographers, I brought up the subject with them and they were both very positive about it. “Instagram,” Nini said, “is definitely the place where you need to be.

And I guess she’s right. And I guess Vesta’s right too. We’re not in the Biggest Little City in the world anymore. We’re in a huge as city, cuz we’re counting all of LA and Orange Counties as our area now. And every single photographer here is on Instagram. So we gotta go there too.

So, after Nini put the nail in my Instagram coffin, we said goodbye and Nini’s last words to us as we started down the beach were, “You should think about TikTok too.

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Beach People, Day 29. Part One.

Vesta and I took two, two mile beach walks yesterday, one in the early morning and one in the early evening, so I targeted two people today with my camera. The first and subject of this post is Cuervo Lives.

First of, you might think Cuervo has an unconventional name, but this is America and we still have the right to be called anything we want. They haven’t taken that away from us yet, but the way we’re all being tracked, I wouldn’t be surprised if they take all of our names away and give us numbers, you know, like they do our cars.

Anyway enough of that.

When we came across Cuervo, I though he was a traveler, because he didn’t look like most of the homeless people we’ve met. In fact, he looked like a traveler, because travelers travel with everything they need on their backs, sort of like Cuervo does.

Guys like Cuervo and travelers too, were just born a century and half too late, because they’d’ve made perfect cowboys, the kind who rode from town to town in the old west with everything they need in their saddle bags or bed roll, righting wrongs, vanquishing bad guys and sometimes even saving damsels in distress.

From Cuervo, we learned that there is sort of an unofficial homeless government here on the beach and probably everywhere else there are homeless. Cuervo knows the community and I think he’s kind of in charge of it.

I asked him if he knew about Ricky being burned out and he said he did and that he’d just talked to him. He also told us that when somebody new shows up on the beach, he talks to them and for the most part, he tells them they have to move on and they do. It’s like he and the others who call this beach home are keeping it safe for themselves and for us too. And when I say us, I mean those of us who live in homes.

We talked to this young man, and I can call him that, cuz to me he’s young, for about fifteen minutes and during our conversation I got the impression that he was a vet. But maybe he wasn’t, but it seemed like he was.

Vesta and I have met so many young homeless vets over the years and we just ask ourselves, why? One would think if you helped out your country, your country could help out you back if you needed it. You know, sort of a thank you for your service.

I don’t know Cuervo’s situation. But I know he’s bright. I know he gives a shit and that’s hard to find in people today. And also know that it’s a good thing that he’s chosen our beach to live on.

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Beach People, Day 29. Part 2.

Here are Jonathon and Tasha, Vesta and I met a little after sundown. We were on our way home, as we’d just finished our two miles and we’d already photographed a beach person for the day. But they just looked so romantic as they hugged each other like nobody was watching, that I couldn’t resist.

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Beach People, Day 30.

Here is Lizeth, who Vesta and I met in Long Beach’s Bluff Park, overlooking our beach. We were on a brisk walk as it was breezy and cold. There was hardly anyone out, but Lizeth was and we were grateful.

She stages picnic parties for a living and I’m thinking if you have a business and you want to have a fun time with your employees or coworkers, you might wanna give her a call. You can find her on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/picnicaestheticss
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