8 Wonders Of Kansas Guidebook

Besides pulling the occasional calf, spending long days on the combine, holding Kitty just the right way, and being my wonderful husband, Harland is a freelance photographer. Over the years, he has done assignments for many companies and magazines.  Some of his work has appeared in books, but never has he been given a book assignment where all the images were his alone.

But then last spring he was hired by Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation to be the sole photographer of 216 subjects throughout Kansas for a book showcasing Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, History, and People of Kansas. He started work in May of last year, and finished up in November. He drove a total of 15,752 miles (equal to 5 trips from Maine to California).  He photographed the state capital, enough restaurant food to feed a small army, buffalo on the tallgrass prairie, and the widest main street in America. He shot pics from planes, bucket trucks, fire ladders, hanging out of a helicopter, and many other places throughout the state.

His days began before sunrise and usually ended at 11pm.  Marci, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation arranged all the appointments and logistics for each of the 216 subjects.  She and Harland were in constant phone contact throughout each day coordinating the next stop on the journey.

At the end of shooting in November he had compiled 59,700 images. He spent weeks editing the images and ultimately sent 8000 to the photo editor, Liz King, who then narrowed it down to the 800+ that appear in the book. Meanwhile, Marci researched each of the 216 subjects to compile background information, locations, hours, and websites to ensure the book is not only a beautiful coffee table book, but can be taken on the road and used as a guidebook.

Finally, this past Saturday a reception and booksigning attended by over 350 people was held at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene to debut the “8 Wonders Of Kansas Guidebook”. Many people lined up to purchase books and have them signed by Marci and Harland.

Harland and I had never even attended a booksigning. We didn’t know what to expect or how many people would be there. But we were humbled by the overwhelming response and enthusiasm of our fellow Kansans.

A job well done.

For more information about the book, or to purchase a copy, click here.


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