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Sarah Whelden

Portland, Oregon

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About Me

Sarah Whelden’s award-winning approach to cinematography always puts the story first. It starts with asking “why” before ever considering “how.”

As a queer trans woman, Sarah has a special place in her heart for those in the shadows. She is drawn to narratives that highlight the often chaotic reality between humans and their surroundings, and to characters that are eager to find themselves but may not know where to start.

Her commercial work aims to ground brands in reality. Whether it’s finding those impossible to re-create moments in between takes, or pulling out all the stops to create the reality we all long for, Sarah is always excited by the challenges of the day.

Sarah was born and raised on the small island of Nantucket, where she honed her skills on an old VHS camera and dual deck VCR. She grew up with an affinity for odd composition, always breaking the rules before she even properly learned them.

At Hampshire College Sarah balanced her focus between film, photography, and music. She spent valuable hours learning the basics on a 16mm Bolex Camera , editing her footage on a four-plate Steenbeck flatbed editing machine, as well as further exploring her passions in 35mm photography that originally blossomed when she was ten.

Shortly after graduating, in 2007 Sarah moved west with her wife Kelly. Her arrival in Portland coincided with the dawn of the digital age of filmmaking, where she spent her first days on set watching the camera department experimenting with cable management on the RED ONE. By the time she first opped professionally, workflows had shifted to accommodate the presence of exposure-accurate image monitoring.

Today Sarah tries her best to find time for it all. She loves the short-form storytelling challenges that come with commercial production. She loves the fast-paced organic nature of shooting documentary and non-fiction content. In creating music videos, she loves trying to pack as much emotion into an image or frame as a musician is able to pack into a lyric or chord. And in scripted narrative work she loves putting it all together, to tell smaller stories that work visually with or without dialogue, and that come together perfectly to weave a longer arc. Whatever the content, Sarah loves what she does, and there is nowhere she’d rather be than on set (although a summer day on the beaches of Nantucket doesn’t sound bad either right about now).

I have been in the industry since 2010.

Sarah Whelden - Commercial Cinematography Reel
Added on 2/6/2021
A showcase of moments from commercial work and branded content over the last few years shooting for brands such as: Nike, Columbia, Hurley, and many more.

Credits

Director & Cinematographer – Trans Educational Modules

January, 2021 — January, 2021
Online – Collaborate Consulting

Director of Photography – Nike Holiday 2020 365 Training and Yoga

November, 2020 — November, 2020
Commercial – Nike / BAM Productions

Co-Director & Cinematographer – Olander Earthworks Rebranding Video

October, 2020 — November, 2020
Commercial – Olander Earthworks

Director of Photography – Nike Ability Network Spotlight

October, 2020 — October, 2020
Online – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Need It Now - Holiday 2020

September, 2020 — November, 2020
Commercial – Nike / Finishline

Director of Photography – Faces of Mt. Scott

September, 2020 — November, 2020
Online – Sproutbox Media

Co-Director & Cinematographer – The Library

August, 2020 — August, 2020
Online – Dot Gay / Two Penguins

Director of Photography – Real Sugar - Naturally Sweet

July, 2020 — July, 2020
Commercial – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the PNW

July, 2020 — July, 2020
Online – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Threshold

June, 2020 — June, 2020
Short Film – Leyenda

Director of Photography – Nike Connect App Spotlight

March, 2020 — March, 2020
Online – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Nike CIS Video Intro

February, 2020 — February, 2020
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – WCP Solutions

February, 2020 — February, 2020
Online – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Fully Desk Assembly Videos

February, 2020 — February, 2020
Other – Fully / 100 Seconds

Director of Photography – Marya Stark - "Stargazer"

January, 2020 — January, 2020
Music Video – Marya Stark

Director of Photography – Plaid Pantry Training Series

January, 2020 — January, 2020
Other – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Nike Native American Network

January, 2020 — January, 2020
Live Event – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Serena Design Crew Spotlight

December, 2019 — March, 2020
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Mat Fraser - Mocumentary

November, 2019 — November, 2019
Other – Nike / Empire Green

Director of Photography – The People We Meet (documentary)

November, 2019 — November, 2019
Feature – Big Aloha Productions

Director of Photography – XP Drainage Sales Video

November, 2019 — November, 2019
Online – Innovyze / Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Good Chemistry

November, 2019 — November, 2019
Short Film – Adventuress Films

Director of Photography – LUV CBD

October, 2019 — October, 2019
Commercial – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Hey Man (narrative)

October, 2019 — October, 2019
Short Film – Story Tank Media

Director of Photography – A to Z Wineworks (Mini Doc)

October, 2019 — October, 2019
Online – A to Z / 100 Seconds

Director of Photography – StitchFix Entrepreneur Spotlights

September, 2019 — September, 2019
Commercial – Now This / GroupNine

Director of Photography – Waldorf Plastic Surgery Center

September, 2019 — September, 2019
Online – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Agilyx

September, 2019 — September, 2019
Online – Funnelbox

Director of Photography – Nike Intern Capstone 2019

August, 2019 — August, 2019
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Again and Again (narrative)

July, 2019 — July, 2019
Short Film – Couch Film Collective

Director of Photography – Nike Digital

July, 2019 — July, 2019
Online – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Nike Xcelerate

June, 2019 — June, 2019
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Strictly For The Birds (narrative)

May, 2019 — August, 2019
Feature – Lake Productions

Director of Photography – The Home of Holly Conrad - Spotlight

May, 2019 — May, 2019
Online – Apartment Therapy / National Association of Realtors

Director of Photography – Feedback

May, 2019 — May, 2019
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Lipo Natural

March, 2019 — March, 2019
Commercial – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – Luz (narrative)

March, 2019 — March, 2019
Feature – Lake Productions

Director of Photography – Women of Nike

February, 2019 — February, 2019
Other – Nike / DNA PDX

Director of Photography – Clean Solutions - Our Story

January, 2019 — February, 2019
Commercial – Sproutbox Media

Director of Photography – 2Fold Flexible Office Space

January, 2019 — January, 2019
Online – 2Fold

Co-Director & Cinematographer – Anna Tivel - "The Question"

December, 2018 — March, 2020
Music Video – Adventuress Films / Fluff & Gravy Records

Work with Sarah Whelden

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