No sooner had Emily McCann and her travel-weary family arrived at her sister’s doorstep did they pile back into the minivan and head to a nearby cherry orchard. It was late in the cherry-picking season outside of Portland, Oregon. Past the rows of empty trees, tucked away in the back of the orchard were deep red, sun-warmed and perfectly ripe cherries waiting to be picked and bucketed.
Emily, a Seattle photographer, limited herself to the one roll of Portra 400 film for their adventure. She had just 36 frames, her Nikon F100 and a 35mm to capture the essence of a fleeting afternoon with her kids, niece and sister.
“Shooting film is much different for me than digital. I slow down. Each click of the shutter is a conscientious decision. I’m more present in the moment, because I can’t spend time looking at the LCD screen on the back of my camera.” ~ Emily McCann
In an hour they left with twenty-five pounds of cherries, a finished roll of film and stained fingers to prove they’d worked hard and played even harder.
Unlike digital photography, film forces the photographer to be discriminating about the moments they choose to embrace forever. As importantly, the roll of film ends and insists that the photographer put the camera down and be present in the moment at hand. Time is as precious lived as it is documented. This Emily knows for sure.
“My older sister and I were not at all close growing up. We had a bit of a Beezus and Ramona thing going on as children. I was adoring, but pesky (and not nearly so interesting as Ramona). As a kid it was hard to imagine that we would ever be friends, but here we are. All grown up, children of our own, and friends to boot! Some of my most vivid and happy memories are of the countless holidays and spring breaks and summer vacations spent playing with my cousins. When you are a child looking towards the future, adulthood seems impossibly far away. When you are an adult looking back, the years compress into themselves and you realize with a jolt that the time between childhood and adulthood is not so vast as you had always thought. For me, watching my own children play with my sister’s children is that jolt.” ~ Emily McCann