Greater Kind by Londen Wheeler

When I tell y’all that I have some extremely talented friends, I really mean it.  This past Thursday at the Holocene in Southeast Portland, my friends Charlie Brown, Cory Limuaco and Samuel Eisen-Meyers headlined a show.  Their band is called Greater Kind for anyone curious or wanting to check them out when you visit Portland (highly recommend). 

I met Charlie and Cory at Thy Kingdom Come International Church my very first Sunday in Portland.  At one point, we were playing together every week at church and it was such a blast being around a group of musicians who played at such a high caliber.  I met Samuel at another music event and ended up photographing one of his shows at Mississippi Studios back in June!  Samuel is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever met and I have sense gone to a few other shows where he’s played at to support him! 

Anyway, I saw that the fellas were playing at the Holocene and I was going to go anyway to support them.  So, I told Cory that I’ll be there, camera strapped.  The venue was one that I had never been to before.  The sound was superb, the vibes were even better.  I even saw Charlie sing for the first time! That was an experience all in itself.  We’re going to have to give Charlie a mic at church from now on! 

I’m extremely pleased with how well these photos turned out.  The way the photos looked had me shook!  The back lighting was literally what that made this shoot so nice.  There was little to almost no lighting coming from the front of the stage so it added to this super moody look.   

Also, I'm available to answer any questions you all have about how I do this, what my settings are, how I edit, and even making connections to get you into venues like this.  I feel like I'm starting to really get a grasp on my networking and would love to spread that knowledge to anybody looking to do what I do!

Lastly, please do me a favor and follow these guys on Instagram (the images below are clickable)! Keep up with the latest gigs, see their posts, find out what they’re doing! These guys go on tour in Europe, they play all around the country, the play locally, they play everywhere! Support musicians any chance you get! It means a lot to them and it means a lot me when you share my posts and engage with me!

Orlando by Londen Wheeler

I must say, I have been out of the state and traveling a ton the past 9 months.  I'm impressed and very happy with how often I've been on the move.  This time the family and I took a trip to Orlando for a mini vacation.  We didn't take a plane to get to our destination, but we took a drive from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and then into Florida.  I would've loved to stop in all the states longer than to just get gas.  All of the places that we drove through seemed to be some pretty cool places to take photos.

Anyway, we were in Orlando for a Mother's Day get-a-way.  No, we didn't go to Disney this time but had a good time exploring Downtown Orlando, driving out to Cocoa Beach, walking around the resort.  Shoot, I even went to a local barbershop and got my beard trimmed up.  I felt like a local and not a tourist this time around and I certainly love having that local experience while traveling to different cities.  Not only did we get to celebrate Mother's Day, but we got to celebrate Nana's birthday, and Aunt Rita's send off to Afghanistan.

I'm ready to go to another city soon.  I really want to go to Austin because why not?  It's only 4 hours away, but working Saturdays sucks because I can never just take a weekend trip anywhere without having to take time off.  *yawn*  Adulting at its finest.

Honestly, I think my next trip will just be to travel around Dallas a bit more.  I still haven't gone to the Cowboys stadium to do a tour of their facility.  Can you believe that?!  I've been to Deep Ellum a few times, but hasn't experience the nightlife there at all.  I'm really missing out on things to do and experience in my own backyard!  So I guess I'll do that first!

Happy Late Valentine's Day?? by Londen Wheeler

First thing's first... DID YOU GUYS SEE BLACK PANTHER YET?!  It's a must see if you haven't seen it yet!  #WakandaForever

Alright, back to the business at hand!  How's this for being different?!  This is my first time doing a shoot like this and I'm sure it won't be my last!  This shoot made me take a step out of my comfort zone.  Being that most of my shoots have been outdoors the past couple of years, this was also good practice for working with light that's available me.  For some of the shoot, I used my ring light and a backdrop.  Towards the end of the shoot, I challenged challenged myself to find the best available lighting in the house.  You know when old folks haven't done something for a long time, then they go do that thing and end up doing it well.  Yeah, that was me during this shoot and it's safe to say, that I still got it!

Not only was it a fun shoot, but it was certainly a lot better when Alex comes in and just completely slays!  This late Valentine's Day shoot was one to remember.  I'm super satisfied with how well everything went and is ready to do another shoot since I don't have much time to pull my camera out.  I almost want to buy some strobes because I miss doing studio work but at this point in my life, I'd rather spend money on traveling!  Because who doesn't love a good trip, right?

Speaking of trips...  Get ready for some super awesome photos coming in the next blog post.  It'll be a trip that I've been trying to make for a while and now I am finally getting a chance to go!  I haven't seen some of friends in years so it'll be good to see them as well!  Anyway, have a great rest of the week guys!

New Year, Same Start by Londen Wheeler

Happy New Year, everyone!  Man, I tell ya.  What a start to the New Year!  This year started off exactly like it did last year.  James Madison University (JMU) came down to compete in this year's NCAA DI FCS Football Championship game against North Dakota State University (NDSU).  But before I talk about this crazy game, let's talk about an event that transpired the day before the game!

My good friend, Scott came down to photograph the game so you know we had to get together and hit the road.  Thursday night, Scott asked me if I wanted to go to Waco and visit Magnolia.  You know Magnolia!  The Magnolia from HGTV?  Yes, Magnolia!  I had no idea what Magnolia was and HGTV wasn't my first choice when it comes to watching tv.  I happily agreed to take the trip down since I have never been to this Magnolia.  Come to find out, last year when I photographed JMU softball at Baylor, I stayed in a hotel right down the street from Magnolia and still had no idea where or what it was.  Seeing this place was pretty neat.  I posted to my Snapchat and within 2 minutes of posting, I had several friends send me a message saying how jealous they were of me being there. 

Scott and I walked around the store so that he could pick up something for his wife and while we did that, I was taking in the ambience of this place.  It was certainly a place I would want to visit the next time I go to Baylor.  Maybe even take a friend or two and do a photoshoot there?

So Saturday was the big day and probably one of the most exciting events to add to my list of crazy things to happen in 2018.  JMU, looking for a back-to-back win, while NDSU was fighting to reclaim their title.  A nail-biting game to say the least.  I was shooting and trying to keep my emotion out of the game but could find myself actually getting stressed at almost every point in the game.  I didn't go to JMU, never taken a class there, but I am a self-proclaimed, die-hard JMU Dukes fan!  Don't @ me.

Ok, so not only was the game super exciting to shoot, I also got to photograph Terrell Owens!  Like, the Terrell Owens.  You know, T.O.  It was a pretty good day, other than the loss.  Lots of excitement, lots of photos, and even getting to spend some time with the FCS's best photo team!  Big thanks to Cathy for getting the squad back together for another year of photos, laughs, and love.