INTERVIEW: EMILY ALBEN

Emily Alben

Emily Alben

Emily Alben is a photographer currently living in Los Angeles (though she will soon call New Orleans home). A frequent creative collaborator to bratty, Emily is both muse and artist, endlessly embodying inspiration whether she's in front or behind the camera.

Emily made her directorial debut in 2015 with "Sad", the First music video from Pouty. The pair have once again collaborated for Pouty's newest release, Saint Mary of the Moods, out 7/14/17 on Born Losers Records

 

Filmed in the palm desert area, the video is a hazy, mojave desert kaleidoscope of 35mm goodness. This short 'visual album' allows listeners to get a beautiful look into Pouty’s own intimate world.

 

Bratty had the chance to ask Emily a few questions. 

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Bratty Official: Any specific places that you go to feel inspired?

Emily Alben: Sometimes I feel like my favorite thing about LA is leaving it! I love going to Joshua Tree, Ojai, Los Alamos, Redlands, and Big Sur. Anytime I can escape to nature I feel inspired. 

Taken by Emily Alben 

Taken by Emily Alben 

Mukta from the portal motel series, shot by emily alben. 

Mukta from the portal motel series, shot by emily alben. 

 

Do you have any special self care rituals or daily creative routines? 

Going to the Korean Spa! It's my favorite escape in LA. I'll get an itch every few months and I don't know why, but it's the most relaxing thing in the world to get scrubbed down by a Korean woman in black lingerie and eat Korean food in a robe. 

 

What are some of your best-loved lyrics that have acted as a mantra to you?

"See the number on the matchbook is old and faded" Operator, Jim Croce

"My love is a pine tree, that's the only tree that's true" The Pine Tree, June Carter and Johnny Cash

"Baby, I can see the blue moon in your eyes, and when you cry, stars fall from the sky" I'll be Loving You, King Khan

"When we're out in the moonlight, looking up at stars above, feels so good when I'm near you, holding hands and making love, oh oh baby, yes oh baby" Baby, Donnie & Joe Emerson

"Loving eyes can't ever see" When A Man Loves a Woman, Otis Redding

 

List some of your must see spots to visit in the Palm Desert area.

Shields Date Garden for Date Shakes, Elvis' Honeymoon Hideaway, Bootlegger Tiki, The Ace Hotel photo booth.

 

Favorite tarot card and/or deck:

Marcella Kroll's Sacred Symbols Oracle Deck and a very very old Spanish deck I found at a flea market. 

Rachel with emily's Spanish tarot deck, on the set of "Saint Mary of the moods". 

Rachel with emily's Spanish tarot deck, on the set of "Saint Mary of the moods"

 

Favorite tarot experience:

It was pretty spooky, but when Rachel and I were filming the visual album we drove out to Giant Rock in Landers, CA and I had my tarot cards for Rachel to use for the final shot. We got out there and it felt like Mars, it was so so quiet and eery. I had Rachel sit at the base of the rock, the largest freestanding boulder in the world, and had her deal the cards. No matter how many times we shuffled, the death card kept coming up! And my camera died immediately even though I'd had it fully charged. After getting out of there we looked up the history of Giant Rock and read that someone had been living under the rock in the 1940s and was killed there by the government for squatting and his involvement with the Integratron. 

 

Which clothing brands do you prefer to wear while you are shooting photos, traveling, and taking adventures?

I mostly wear vintage, and one of my favorite things is finding a thrifted dress or outfit while I'm traveling and then that piece becomes connected to the memory of the trip when I wear it. But I do love independent female designers like Hannah Metz and Samantha Pleet who tell beautiful stories through their clothes. 

Emily wearing the Lucy in Italy dress, available via Hannah Metz. 

Emily wearing the Lucy in Italy dress, available via Hannah Metz

 

Who are your favorite women photographers/directors that you've been inspired by?

Nan Goldin, Autumn de Wilde, Agnes Varda, Maya Deren, Zoe Lawrence, Hana Haley, and Rocio Mesa.

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

What are your go-to travel essentials? 

Camera (35 mm and polaroid), Film, my Suburu that has the best star gazing moon roof, swimsuit for hot springs or other bodies of water, and a travel buddy to experience the journey with! 

 

Rachel Gagliardi