We recently connected with Allie Nelson and have shared our conversation below.
Allie, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Can you talk to us about how you learned to do what you do?
I got started with photography when I was 13 years old. My father worked as a wedding photographer all my life growing up. Once digital cameras became mainstream, I was able to tag along with him and try my hand at photography. My father quickly saw that I had a decent eye for photography and soon got me my first camera—a Nikon D5000. I was so excited to try all new kinds of photography with a camera of my own. He assigned me weekly themes for me to try and capture: light, shadow, nature, etc. I loved the challenge and he taught me how to shoot on manual. I craved the knowledge and that helped me learn quickly.
There were a few skills I found essential, the first being practice, practice, practice. Many of my early images were out of focus or too dark, but with time I learned how to properly compose an image. While practicing, I also learned the skill of having a creative eye. This was something my father saw I had naturally early on. When I’ve taught others about photography, I’ve always told them about the rules. However, I emphasized it was only important to know the rules so you would know when and how to break them.
Eventually, I felt as though I wanted even more knowledge—especially with video. Video was something my father knew very little about. We soon realized attending film classes would be a great way for me to explore the passion of video. I attended school at Pasadena City College where I received a certificate in film production, and then later I transferred to The University of Texas at Austin where I received a Bachelor’s in Radio, TV, and Film.
Allie, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a wedding photographer and videographer based in Austin, TX. In addition to running my own business, I also freelance in the film industry as a production and art assistant with the goal of becoming a producer.
In December of 2021, I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Radio, TV, Film, and Corporate Communications. During my time in school, I worked on growing my film and photography business. I photographed weddings, birthday parties and worked on set for various professional shoots.
In 2022, I have started offering hybrid photo and video packages to clients for weddings and events. That means when I capture an event I do both photo and video at the same time with no second shooter. I found many clients wanting video of their wedding, but not desiring all the bells and whistles. I saw there was a need for something in-between. I now offer coverage options that include all the typical photography coverage AND a 2-5 minute highlight reel of their event all in one easy package.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
My goal and mission with all the work that I do is to tell meaningful stories. If my work has a lasting effect on others then I know I did my job. Whether it be wedding photos that are treasured and hung on the wall, or getting to work on set of a commercial that makes people laugh, I want my work to hold meaning for others and be impactful. When I receive a reply back from a client saying my work brought them tears of joy, I am so happy because I achieved my goal of telling meaningful stories through photo and video.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
The most rewarding aspect of being a creative is getting to do what I love every day. It has always amused me that when I get asked what I do for fun, my answer is always photography and filmmaking. I love getting to learn new ways of using my equipment or testing out a new technique. I also adore creating my own schedule. Having the flexibility to spend time with friends and family without requesting time off has been invaluable.