We had the good fortune of connecting with Alba Morera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alba, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk-taking is stepping out of my comfort zone to explore new territories and experience new perspectives, allowing for growth. It’s about the human experience and the openings that come when I embrace the unknown. As an artist, I create from that space. In life, I grow when I take risks.
Coming to the US for graduate school from Spain and adapting myself to a different culture was life-changing. I left my family, friends and homeland to pursue my dreams. With a fellowship in hand, I chose to move to a city rather divergent from my Catalan cradle. While many encouraged me to move to New York for its European flair, my gut told me to give La-La Land a shot. It offered an unfamiliar, multiethnic flavor with a vibrant film industry beyond the independent approach I was conversant with. I was yearning to broaden my horizon and develop new skills.
In order to continue leaping forward, I’m highly committed to practices and techniques that help me remain present with my inner life and the language of the heart. This applies to my writing, directing, when I shoot live music or take photographs. When I hold my camera, I listen attentively and stay open to what takes place in that unique shared moment.
Both in life and career, it means to simply get out of my own way (let go of my ego) and move past my fears so I can take the leap, trusting that I will land where I’m meant to be. The inner critic sometimes tells me otherwise but, ultimately, it is that vital energy inside that leads the way, in balance with a more rational step-by-step process I go through in order to bring an idea to fruition.
As a filmmaker and photographer, holding space with no judgement is crucial for my collaborators to take risks. By establishing trust and professional intimacy, I’m able to capture the magic of human connection. It is in this kind of supportive environment, I can push boundaries for myself, dive deeper into what moves me and also motivate others to go the extra mile.
I seek the beauty in the daily and the intimate, as well as the aliveness in women and the simple moments of contact with self, others and nature. I believe witnessing and receiving sensual embodiment through the lens with softness and compassion invites transformation on a subtle level. It’s balm to the soul.
When an opportunity to take my craft one notch further presents itself in the form of a new job or professional relationship, boldness in action and risk-taking serve me well. Instead of getting caught up in the “what ifs”, I act. I’m grateful the pandemic forced us to a halt. It thrust me from the safety of my day job to creating my business as a photographer.
Risk-taking is also tapping into my own vulnerability and dissolving my protections so my creative voice can be received directly for what just is. I’m constantly learning and exploring. It is through challenges, and ultimately risk, I am able to experience growth. This is the journey I live for, no matter what it takes to get to the truth.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I can’t help but see beauty everywhere. I’m mesmerized by this abundance of poetry and I fervently desire to share these evocative moments that move me to the core. May others also soften their heart when they receive this endless beauty through my photos. What sets me apart is my ability to capture the sensuality in just about anything – a piece of clothing, a morning yawn, a fallen leaf on asphalt or a cactus spine.
I love contrast. It is in the shades of grey where the nuances lie and I always thrive to contact that aliveness. Contrasting actions or feeling tones reveal meaning and allow this aliveness to come forward. I call it relational photography – my eyelens is curious to explore relationships and playable actions to channel feelings, using Joan Scheckle’s The Technique. Subliminal spaces and sensual embodiment is how I often describe my photography playground. My innate curiosity and sense of wonder is crucial in my approach. This is my nature, who I am.
It’s incredibly liberating when: we move from pleasure in our daily interactions, we feel the joy of authentic expression, we let go of the socially conditioned notion of pretty, we reconnect with those parts that are undeniably us. It’s heartbreaking how much separation there is in our society and the subsequent split in our bodies, how we often internalize it. It has been in my own healing journey that I’ve been able to discern the needed actions to dissolve the grip of trauma, overcome the challenges and evolve professionally. The grace in letting go of the identity I held onto for years has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt. It required to shed some layers (a death of sorts) in order for my real voice as an artist to come through. Shifting from film production to photography was not just a strategy to redefine my career, but how I’ve been able to fully honor who I am. It’s been deeply rewarding and I look forward to expanding my creative work as I continue to grow and build my business.
To me, beauty is what is natural – what is here now, uniquely so and relevant to our times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the vibrant city of Los Angeles. It is always with great joy and pleasure that I share some of its hidden gems with my friends when they visit, alongside with the more iconic places. The list is endless, but here’s a starting point:
The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.
Hike on Fryman Canyon.
Bike ride in Venice.
Beach walk in Malibu.
Malibu Creek State Park before sunset.
Day drive though Santa Monica Mountains.
Night drive on Mulholland Dr.
Gracias Madre for lunch, in the patio.
Paper or Plastik for mid afternoon snack and chat.
Urth Cafe for coffee and desserts.
Aburiya Raku for dinner, in the back patio.
Porridge and Puffs, any time really.
Quick stop at Cookbook Los Angeles to get fresh veggies and condiments.
Quick stop at Erewhon to get lunch and eat outdoors at Pan Pacific Park.
The Hollywood Bowl for picnic and concert.
Griffith Park Observatory.
Larchmont Farmers Market and walk in the neighborhood.
Chateau Marmont for drinks.
Art Gallery Opening in Culver City
and so much more!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to JOAN SCHECKEL. I’ve been studying The Technique with her and the JSFL community for years, which has been deeply transformative for me. Telling authentic stories and unpacking what this means in relation to my own truth with interconnected, practical tools has been pivotal in my career. She teaches with tremendous care and great fierceness. She has helped me pierce the core of my truth and build my stories from this emotional nugget.
RIE KATAGIRI is the creatix of Erotic Movement Arts, “a female centered, pleasure guided, sensual movement method that empowers women through awakening their female erotic energy”. Her embodied wisdom and technique is revolutionary! There was a before and an after studying with Rie. I learned to soften, drop in, let go and stay in the purity of the feeling.
My teacher NITA RUBIO has “a great passion to weave the Kaula tantra, Sri Vidya and Kashmir Shaivism traditions without diluting their potency into the classroom”. She believes it is through the opening to Shakti that true healing will begin for all our relations. I’m learning how to surrender to the subtle energies of the body and find a place of deep stillness, bliss and reverence.
My best friend KARINA GREEN. She’s a brilliant, empathetic therapist that has this incredible gift of phrasing things in a way that both challenge you and support you. She gets to the point, sharp as a sword blade and with pristine clarity. I admire her straightforwardness and curious mind.
CJ Feist Rie Katagiri Hal Masonberg Ali Taylor Joseph