From interviewing local bands to shooting music videos, Emily Dubin has made herself a name in the Philadelphia music scene.
As a Film and Media Arts major at Temple University, Dubin is influenced by the city of Philadelphia and all the opportunities it has given her when it comes to concert photography and working with amazing bands. With the city’s inspiration, she was able to turn a high-school hobby, “The Duby Scoop,” into a production brand.
With a few music videos under her belt, along with work in various publications, Dubin has a lot to say about her rise in the photography and music industries, as well as where she hopes to go in the future.
“When I was in high school, I created this talk show called ‘The Duby Scoop,’ which has evolved into the production brand that it is today. I would go to these shows with the camera that I had to film the interview, a little Nikon D3100, and I would stand in front of the stage kind of like, ‘I mean, I’m holding a camera…’”
“I think the first time I decided to take pictures of a band I was interviewing was when I saw Happy Body Slow Brain (now Rare Futures, fronted by Matt Fazzi, who is the nicest guy ever). It progressed into shooting lots of basement shows, then getting into venues and finally going on tour with Petal, PWR BTTM and Pity Sex as a tour photographer and merchandise manager.”
“I have a lot of photography inspiration just from people I follow on the internet. I don’t want to list them because I will definitely forget people. Namely though, Jess Flynn has been one of my biggest photo inspirations and has taught me the most. In terms of video, Kyle Thrash, who did all of the Modern Baseball videos, has been so kind in all the knowledge he’s shared with me. The opportunities I’ve had to be on his sets were very influential.”
“I love photographing women more than men when it comes to promos and anything editorial. They’re just more willing to experiment and try out cool things. Most of the guys I work with feel silly when I tell them to try something out, and they just aren’t willing to get out of their comfort zone.”
“Living in Philly has influenced me astronomically when it comes to the work I’ve produced and the interests I’ve pursued. It’s where I started going to house shows, where I started shooting venues and where I met my partner, Jeremy, and all of my music friends. It has introduced me to some of my favorite bands and has led me to working with incredible people, both bands and other creatives.”
“Oh man. Well we’re just getting out of winter, so I was listening to a lot of The Head and the Heart, The Decemberists, Andy Shauf and The Paper Kites. Shannen Moser, a local Philly artist, just released a phenomenal record called ‘Oh, My Heart.’ No matter the season, I love Modern Baseball, Microwave, Local Natives, Foxing…I make a lot of playlists and put them on shuffle.”
“[I work with] mostly music, be that photo or video, as well as live photography, promos, music videos and sessions. I also do some personal work like brand ambassador shoots and graduation photos. What I want to do is always changing, so sometimes it’s a bit of a toss-up, depending on what phase of my life I decide I’m in.”
“At this point, I’ve shot a couple videos, and the experience was different every time. My video for Weller’s ‘Record Breaker’ was the first video I fully planned out, shot and edited, compared to Broken Beak’s ‘Saint,’ which was kind of a conglomeration of tour and studio footage. The video for PWR BTTM’s ‘I Wanna Boi,’ which I worked as Director of Photography on, was a ton of fun to shoot, and we were all very much on the same page creatively because we had just toured together. We were in this giant mansion and just kind of walked around and decided which parts of the space we loved and wanted to utilize, and it turned into a beautiful product.”
“I love working with PWR BTTM. They’re just so much fun, and one of my favorite shoots I’ve done was one we did together on Coney Island before one of their amphitheater shows with The Dresden Dolls. I would love to work with Foxing on a music video (also with their usual film crew), and I would love to work with Julien Baker.”
“My most recent video for Half Waif, which will be out in March, was a completely different experience. I was directing and working with a wonderful crew who had the capability and knowledge to turn my concepts into reality, so it was interesting to be more hands-off and observe how all of the initial planning came together during production.”
“Strictly magazines, I have worked with ‘New Noise Magazine,’ ‘Decorated Youth‘ and most recently, I was made a staff photographer by ‘Local Wolves,’ which was a dream of mine. In terms of online publications, I worked with ‘Table Three Media‘ for a while, making lots of acoustic sessions, and with ‘The Alternative‘ as Director of Media and Arts.”
“If you love music, you should be involved in your local scene, because that’s where it all starts. As for how to get involved, just go to shows. Go to basement shows that are as near to you as possible, and talk to the bands when they’re upstairs drinking a beer in the kitchen. Talk to the people attending. Even if it seems intimidating, you are both there, so you both have something in common. Get involved in whatever facet you want to and however you want to. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there.”