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Meet Emily Alben

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Alben.

Emily, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I studied photography and film history in college, drawing aesthetic inspiration from Italian Cinema, 70s Hollywood, the Czech New Wave and photographers like William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, and Stephen Shore. I created a body of work called “Where, Were” exploring places that seemed out of time, in a more fine art photography context.

The first summer I spent in Los Angeles in 2012, I worked for a vintage boutique called The Loved One, where I started shooting lookbooks that combined my nostalgic aesthetic with vintage clothing. From there, I continued studying photography at Cal Arts as well as photographing lookbooks for independent female designers and vintage stores.

Since graduating, I’ve vacillated between having a day job and building my own brand with photography, content creation, and now modeling. I feel like working in the fashion industry combines all my interests into one, so I’m currently trying to learn more about what that entails from a creative direction/design perspective.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been extremely lucky and truly privileged to have such a strong community and group of friends and family that give me unequivocal support, which makes the bumps in the road more bearable. But being creative, at least in my experience, means that there’s inherently more ambiguity and twists and turns along the way, with no one clear path.

From my experience, and what I’ve gleaned from almost every other creative person I’ve encountered, having your worth and needs as a creative met is exceedingly rare. You often have to compromise to the point where you end up asking yourself if it’s even worth continuing pursuing your passion, but then you’ll work on a project that does meet those needs, where the client trusts your vision and gives you the tools and support to execute it, which in my opinion is where the best work comes out of, and the effort becomes more than worth it.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m a freelance photographer, model, content creator, and social media manager. What sets me apart is that I shoot film as often as possible for my photographic work, which I prefer to digital. I model, but I’m petite and curvy, and I prefer creating organic and adventurous content vs. forcing moments in an unnatural setting.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
We spent our summers when I was around 8 or 9 years old as a family on Whidbey Island, part of the San Juan Islands in Washington. We had a cabin where there was no tv or internet, so we’d have to keep ourselves entertained by playing on the beach, digging for geoducks, collecting shells, kayaking, and climbing sandy cliffs where a rare Wooly Mammoth tusk was rumored to be found.

We’d pick wild blackberries for scones and pies, and my dad would attempt to fish for our dinner. At night we’d play board games like Candyland or Monopoly (I’d cheat at Candyland to get the Queen Frostine card), and we’d listen to this 80’s hits cd that I still know all the words to.

Contact Info:

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  • Instagram: coffeeandcherrypie

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