Portland Timbers by Londen Wheeler

I totally got to photograph my first professional sports game ever, y’all!!!! I couldn’t wait to finally cross that off of the list of things for me to accomplish as a photographer!  It was such a good time and with Portland being a city where they love their soccer, it made the experience that much better!  The crowd was rowdy, the teams played hard and I met a bunch of really cool people too. 

What really put the cherry on top was that the game was against FC Dallas!  It was like watching old home versus new home so that felt pretty good.  A couple months ago, I reached out to FC Dallas and asked if I could shoot a game or two but they denied my request because I don’t shoot for any publications.  After two months of being in Portland, I emailed the Timbers and asked if I could photograph their game against FC Dallas.  They happily accepted and allowed me to come and shoot. 

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When I got there, I do what I also do!  Get there early, walk around and network.  I ended up meeting Craig, the Timbers’ team photographer.  He was a pleasure to talk to and it was a true honor to meet him as I’ve been keeping my eye on his photos for years!  It was nice to finally put a face to the photos. 

A challenge that I faced was not having a 300mm lens to shoot the game (if anybody has $6k to spot me, that would be great!).  It was rough trying to shoot a soccer game with just a 70-200 because you miss a lot of the action because everything is just so far away.  Another challenge was missing a lot of the action because the ball would be played on the other side of the field and moving back and forth would’ve been way too much work.  It was almost like I was fishing.  Just waiting for the right moment to get a shot.  Occasionally I would move around but would still feel restricted by a 70-200 lens. 

The next professional game I want to photograph is a Portland Timbers game so maybe I’ll test the waters when basketball season rolls back around! 

Swatkins & The Positive Agenda by Londen Wheeler

For the first time in my life, I photographed a live concert!  Can y’all believe it?  I’m finally branching out of sports and portraits to try something completely out of my comfort zone.  This specific event was a special one because it was the EP release show for Swatkins and The Positive Agenda.  Since moving to Portland, I’ve been attending a bunch of live music shows and meeting a ton of amazing musicians.  One day last week, I figured I would reach out to Swatkins and ask if I could photograph his EP release show.  He agreed to let me come by and take some photos of the concert and I tell you what, it was an amazing time for me, both as a photographer and a musician!  Swatkins played nothing but funkalicious original hits and at one point in the concert, we were taken to church! 

As someone who has never photographed a concert, I have to humbly pat myself on the back because I was very pleased with how they turned out.  As always, I’m looking to learn more and perfect my craft as a photographer so if anybody knows of any bands who need a concert photographer, let me know!  I need more practice so that I can start taking this more seriously and also use this to meet a bunch of other really cool people!

See the Youtube link below to hear one of Swakins and The Positive Agenda’s songs. He is crazy good on that talk box and it is really hard for me to not go and buy one when I know I don’t need it!

In the meantime, give Swatkins (@swattykins) a follow on Instagram and as always, be sure to follow me (@londensbridge) to see the latest and greatest things that I’m doing and posting! I really appreciate everyone for the continued love and support since moving up to Portland! Y’all can expect a blog post about my move to come soon. I just have a few things to get squared away and that will finally be ready to post! Peace, love and funk to y’all!

Click here to listen to Swatkins & The Positive Agenda’s latest EP!

Nadine by Londen Wheeler

I hung out with the most extraordinary woman this past weekend and I can honestly say that it was the BEST time I’ve ever had on a shoot.  I’ve never been around someone who can light up a room with personality like Nadine does.  This shoot was at least two years overdue but we somehow managed to squeeze it into our busy schedules.  I’m not even sure if we could call this a photoshoot because she played some fire music and I found myself dancing majority of the time.  Unprofessional, I know, but when the music hits, I don’t have a choice but to cut a little rug here and there.

Before, during and after our shoot, we had a ton of conversations about what we’ve done and gone through this past year.  We even talked about our aspirations and goals for this coming year and how everything is transpiring thus far.  It was refreshing to be around someone who spoke life and new beginnings into the atmosphere.  I will say this, though.  This year will be life-changing and full of risks.

Oh!! One other thing! So, I’ve never eaten Pho before and I’m ashamed that I’ve never had any because Dallas has a million places to eat Pho and I still managed to not eat any…  Anyway, we went to I Luv Pho in Irving and she hooked me up with some really great tasting Pho and showed me the best way to eat it.  I’m a fan and I definitely can’t wait to go eat Pho again.

Also, make sure you guys go and follow Nadine (@nadine.means.hope) on Instagram!  The heat she posts is amazing!

SMU Men's Basketball vs Wichita State by Londen Wheeler

What a wild ride 2019 has been so far in terms of the opportunities that I’ve had with my photography.  I’m still trying to figure out what’s next on my journey as a photographer!  I don’t know what the rest of the journey will look like but it’s been pretty sweet thus far.  You won’t find a blog post from the second basketball game that I shot at SMU, mainly because I got caught up with doing some other stuff and didn’t have time to make a post.  So, you’ll get this one instead!

The game against Wichita State was one of the best games I’ve seen in a while.  The intensity that each team played with was beyond amazing. These guys were going at it in the first half and at one point, I was hoping that we could take the game into a double overtime, jump start my excitement for March Madness! Unfortunately, the double overtime didn’t happen but it was still a great game nonetheless.

One other cool fact about this game was that it was their senior night and the last home game of the season.  President Bush didn’t show up to the past two games so I’m really lucky that I got a few photographs of him while he was there… Well, he could’ve been there but just not courtside like he was when I saw him.  Who knows.  Anyway, the senior night was pretty cool.  It was a packed stadium, intensity was there, the crowd was excited and all four seniors got to start together.  Being an athlete my entire life, I know exactly what it feels like to be playing your last home game and feeling how you’ll never go back to play there again as an athlete.  Wild, right?

Well, that’s all for now! Stay tuned for more to come this month! Lots of things moving and manifesting right now and I’m super excited to see where things will go.  Also, if you don’t already, give me a follow on Instagram to stay in the loop with what’s going on when I’m not posting blogs!

SMU Men's Basketball vs. UCF by Londen Wheeler

Well, y’all, I somehow got another gig at SMU.  This time it was for basketball.  It’s been several years since I shot DI basketball so it was an amazing feeling to be back in the game!  This time when I applied for media credentials, it took a couple of weeks to get back to me and I was certain that after a couple of weeks of not hearing back that I wouldn’t get to photograph any games.  Well, one Wednesday afternoon, I got an email approving me for the three home games that I had applied for.  Talk about stoked?!  Remember that they don’t let you photograph their sports unless you are employed by a publication, blog, or newspaper.  I can truly say that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to continue to shoot.  I’m praying that my relationship with SMU grows so that I can continue to photograph their sports.  It’s been a while since I’ve done any lacrosse, softball and baseball so maybe I’ll apply for one of those credentials?  We’ll see!

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Also, let’s talk about seeing President George W. Bush at the game!  I knew that he showed up to games but I certainly wasn’t expecting him to be at this one!  After I got there, they announced that he is a season ticket holder so I now assume that he’ll likely be at the next two games that I’ll be at.  President Bush and I even locked eyes a few times so that was cool.  I didn’t get to talk with him like I did with President Obama at the event I photographed back in 2013.  So, now I can say that I’ve photographed two US presidents and hopefully that list will continue to grow as years come.

I’ve got nothing else going on other than this and two more basketball games.  I’ll definitely keep you in the loop if anything cool comes up. Also, I’m really itching to go on another trip so if anybody knows of some pretty cool places to visit that’s fairly cheap, please let me know!