I am a bold, heart-centered Independent Filmmaker and Director of Photography. With my partner Mike, I co-founded of Evergrain Studios, an intentional creative studio harnessing the power of character-driven stories and immersive experiences to bridge perspectives and create impact. Our current projects in development include stories centered on disability, women’s rights, mental performance, and local portraits of our community in Virginia.

My work has been licensed by Netflix and Delta Airlines and utilized in campaigns for Google, Major League Baseball, Toyota, Spaulding Rehab Hospital, the Basketball Hall of Fame, Per4max, the National Wheelchair Softball Association, Heroic Voice Academy, among others. I am most proud of the impact our projects have on real humans.

Serving as the Director, DP, and Editor for our first independent film THE REBOUND, our team received 8 awards among 20+ film festivals including the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award, Best Documentary, Audience Choice Award, Best Cinematography, Best Directing, and more. It has been enjoyed at over 120+ U.S. and international screenings, premiered on NETFLIX (2019), is being utilized as a tool in academic research studies at James Madison University, and is currently featured on Delta Airlines (2020).

I’m a proud Duke – graduating cum laude from James Madison University with a degree in Media Arts & Design with a Digital Video & Cinema focus and minors in Film Studies and Anthropology.

Outside of the projects that I spearhead at Evergrain Studios, I am available for collaborations in Virginia, DC and domestically primarily focused on Director of Photography and Camera operator roles.

How can we work together?

Independent Filmmakers & Small Production Teams

I love to work with good humans creating projects that align with my values. If I am on your team, I am fully dedicated and go above and beyond to do justice to the story we are telling together. I have experience doing solo-productions, but thrive working side-by-side with a Director or small team.

Production Companies & Studios

My strengths on larger productions include: being a team player, hard worker, having a positive outlook and creative problem-solving. I am available for all camera-department related positions and am seeking opportunities to grow into roles on larger, collaborative sets.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, folks with personal brands

If you are building your brand’s content library for current and future creation or want to just start capturing your story – let’s connect. I would love to learn more about your vision and how I can help serve you. 

Don’t fit into these categories?

I am a creative person with lots of interests! Who knows, your idea may be perfect for where I am right now. Tell me more about what you do, who you are, and the collaboration idea you have in the Contact Form below.

Testimonial from Peabody-award winning Director Hilary Linder

Shaina served as the Director of Photography for Superminority, a documentary series I directed in North Carolina in 2018.  Shaina was a joy to work with and I can’t recommend her services enough.  She has a true passion for shooting and is constantly looking to capture the story in the most beautiful and effective way possible.  In addition to her commitment to her craft, her positive attitude was a huge contributor to the success of the project.

Superminority follows first-time, female candidates for the N.C. House of Representatives and required a dynamic and ever-changing shooting environment.  During our three months together in North Carolina, seemingly nothing could dampen Shaina’s enthusiasm for and commitment to this project, not even our grueling shooting schedule, a hurricane, extremely hot and humid weather, or bedbugs.  Some days involved 15+ hours of practically non-stop verite shooting, where Shaina performed tirelessly and flawlessly.  On days where we could take the time to capture establishing shots and b-roll, Shaina was an endless source of creativity and shooting ideas.  She was always game to try new things and more than willing to spend her little time off researching equipment or shooting techniques that could enhance the project.  While Shaina takes direction extremely well, she also doesn’t hesitate to make shooting suggestions that she thinks would better serve the project, for which I am grateful.

Very quickly into the shoot, I felt that we had established a strong partnership and I knew I could count on her make our stories truly shine.  I am so thankful that Shaina served as DP on this project, and I am always looking for more opportunities to work with her.

Q&A with Shai

What values are most important?

An incredible leader and mentor, Anthony Lee at Heroic Voice Academy has taught our team the building blocks of using our Heroic Voices. Vision, values and vows. My core values lead me through the inevitable challenges and road blocks, they are presence, bold, community, growth, impact, and sustainability. My vision is to create a better world through stories that bridge perspectives.

What/who inspires you?

So many things, 1. Stories – they are everywhere and even the little ones have depth and nuance to explore. 2. The incredibly creative, spiritual, magical humans and mentors in my life. Some whom I haven’t met yet – looking at you Ava. 3.  Life in general – nature, the way the light falls, little moments –  isn’t it beautiful to be present and alive?

What gear do you use? 

I am able to rent/operate for different setups. Currently own: GH5S w/ metabones, Canon 24-70 mm f2.8 II, Canon 135mm f2, Canon 24mm f1.4, Monopod, Tripod, Zhiyun Crane, several Tascam dr10 lav mics, Tascam DR40x paired with the RØDE NTG3 super-cardioid shotgun microphone, and Tascam DR10x paired with Sennheiser 600 MKE.

Where are you located?

I am currently living on the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia and can work locally in Richmond and the Greater Washington, DC area. Able to travel with proper protocols.

Want to collaborate?

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No Film School

Meet the Filmmakers Who Give 'Push Through Production' a New Meaning

CREATIV Magazine

THE REBOUND with Shaina Allen & MIchael Esposito

Miami New Times

MIFF 2016: The Rebound, a Documentary About a Miami Wheelchair Basketball Team, Makes Its World Premiere

Miami Herald

The Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team takes the court in ‘The Rebound’

CREATIV Magazine

15 Women Who Wow

The Breeze

JMU alumni create documentary 'The Rebound'

Fenom Podcast

Eliza Whiteman interviews Shaina Allen

Living Adaptive

“The Rebound”

Babbitville Podcast

The Rebound: Shaina Allen and Mike Esposito

Les Sinclair on WINA

“The Rebound” at the Virginia Film Festival