Be Inspired | Meet the Filmmaker - Allison Redmon Photography
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm a Texas girl living as an expat in Saudi Arabia with my husband, our b/g twins who are 3 and 5 year old daughter. We have been in Saudi Arabia for 7 years now and really love it! Being an expat actually is in my blood as I was born in Malaysia and lived there until I was 11. My family then moved to the USA just as I was entering Middle School and I spent the rest of my years there as an active musician, playing the flute, eventually going to University where I majored in Music Education and continued on with a Masters in Music Education. I was a High School Band Director in Texas and Kentucky prior to moving to Saudi Arabia and there are days when I still miss teaching and connecting with those students through music.
Tell us about the kind of photography & films you create (style/genre/pro or hobby)
These days I work full time making family films for families in the Middle East as well as around the United States (and other areas of the world!). When I'm in Saudi, I also do the occasional Lifestyle family outdoor sessions and even the occasional Senior portrait session. We live in a very remote area and there aren't a lot of photographers around which means my non-family film work is pretty diverse. That said, my heart is with Family Films. I adore making them for clients as well as of my own crew.
How did you first get started in photography?
Photography has always been a hobby, I remember taking photos in elementary school with my Dad's nice camera. In my Senior year of High School I was Editor of our High School yearbook and grew to love photography even more. As I got older, I never had as much time to devote to the hobby as I was so busy as a High School Band Director. But when we moved to Saudi I found myself out of a job with a whole lot of time on my hands and no children (yet). That's when I started to get more serious about making great photos.
What made you decide to learn video? What was your motivation?
I had seen family videos posted online and they completely enthralled me. About 8 months after the twins were born and I was emerging from the harder stages of life with twins and a toddler, I started to pick up my camera and realize I needed to have their little voices and movements preserved in video. Those initial videos I made weren't perfect, but oh my how special they are to us now as a family. The difficulties of having newborn twins didn't hit me initially like it does for many twin parents. For me, the reality of how hard those initial months with twins were really struck me when the twins were a year old. Making videos of them was a way to remember the funny and beautiful moments, a way for me to cope with how overwhelmed I was with how hard the first year of their lives had really been. I still feel like I'm processing those early days, even today. Filmmaking was and is, a creative therapy for me. Making a business out of it was never my initial intent. I just needed a creative way to process how hard life had been and to show the beauty despite the difficulties.
What was your biggest challenge when you first started learning video and how did you overcome it?
I had taken a beginning video workshop initially and was making films and they were decent. But they were lacking a certain "something," and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. Then I discovered Courtney Holmes and decided to take her "Filming Life Workshop". Best. Decision. EVER. I actually had the opportunity to learn from her in person at a retreat she hosted in the USA and there I learned the value of storytelling and artistry in family filmmaking. My films after taking Courtney's workshop were completely different and I'll always be grateful to her for pushing me creatively. She has since become one of my closest friends and I'm so glad that she's in my life, despite the large distance between us!
Did you find it a challenge to educate clients on the value of films, how were they first received by clients?
I didn't find it challenging. I was making films of my own family, posting them, and people began asking about them. When a client would hire me for a Day in the Life photo shoot, I would then ask if it was okay to stay an extra hour to get some film clips as well, no one objected. Those initial client films are certainly not my best work, but that was how I broke into the family film market and I haven't looked back!
Tell us about your favourite film and why it's special to you
I really love the film of my twins taking a sink bath in our new house in Saudi that we moved to a few months ago. There is something so sweet about a set of twins and their relationship with each other. The way they chatter away and the other one completely understands them even if I don't... how their voices sound, their little hands and curls of hair and chubby feet. It's only a minute long but it completely melts my heart each time I watch it.
What is your best piece of advice for those just getting started with films?
Keep making films. Whether it's for your own family or for clients, just keep producing work and you'll start to grab people's attention and they will want films made of their own memories.
Tell us a bit about your Masterclass and what students can expect to learn
Ah! I'm so excited about my Masterclass! It's called "Discover the Power of Music & Audio" for family films and it really is all my music knowledge and filmmaking knowledge combined in an incredibly practical course that will take the students' editing and music "hearing" abilities to the next level. Music in films.... it's pretty crucial, isn't it? Choosing the right song, choosing it quickly, using that song as a guide to edit footage in a way that creates those powerful goosebumps moments, it's all covered in my class.
I know there are a lot of people out there that have a hard time hearing the melody or the beats in their songs, this class will help them with that and their films will be distinguishably better as a result of their ability to hear those important moments in their songs. I'm so thrilled about the content, and especially the LIVE editing videos that show me working on actual client films in the moment. Lastly, my Masterclass is now available to all members of the FilmingLife Academy as apart of their subscription... which is crazy exciting!