In this day and age when almost everything is instantaneous, it makes you wonder if patience is still considered a virtue. It seems that most of us just can’t wait—we are programmed to function with a touch of a button, and a minor technical glitch is enough to trigger wild mood swings and pointless tantrums.
Back in the day, people waited for a handwritten letter to arrive and for pictures to develop. Now, all it takes is a swipe and a tap of a finger, and presto! Your message is sent, your image saved.
But for 25-year-old Erin Emocling, who has had an ongoing love affair with film photography since mid-2008, waiting is “a challenge that entails fulfillment and happiness once you get what you solely hoped for.” She decided to start an analog project, which required contributors to write, take pictures, and wait—for one whole year.
Tell us more about your analog project, “Whilst We Wait.”
“Whilst We Wait” is a collective, Philippine-based photo project, presented by Lomography Manila, which aims to visualize the future through an analog, heterogeneous mixture of film photographs and handwritten letters, highlighting the virtues of anticipation, perspective and waiting.
Our waiting process started April of 2010. Every month for a year, all participants (including myself) take a photograph or two. Nothing gets developed until after a year. During the waiting period, we express what we hope to have captured on film through handwritten letters.
What do you think is the advantage of analog over digital photography?
Analog photography is fascinating. It’s full of surprises—and even disappointments. The process it undergoes may be slow-paced and tedious compared to digital, but once you see the images you are aiming for, the feeling is rewarding and the agonizing excitement is so worth the wait.
What inspired you to create “Whilst We Wait?”
“Whilst We Wait” was inspired by Jeff Nachtigall’s “The Art of Waiting.” The concept seemed promising and I was enthused to create a similar venture, which would exclusively involve my fellow Filipino film photographers. I wanted to wake and liven up the hibernating (and sometimes underrated) analog photographic scene in Manila.
Pros and cons of this project?
Waiting for an hour or two to have a roll of film developed at a photo laboratory is already quite time-consuming—what more if you have to wait for an entire year before you can see what you have on film? To others, waiting requires too much effort and patience and is probably just a waste of time. But some things are worth the wait. This is why we are willing to wait.