This weeks contribution is by Corey Danieli featuring his project "Family Fun: The Seaside Boardwalk". Without further ado, let's jump right into it.
Family Fun: The Seaside Boardwalk
All of the photos are shot on Shen Hao 4x5 with Kodak Portra, Mamiya RZ67 & Bronica ETRS 120 Kodak Portra Color Negatives, Drum Scanned or Imacon Scanned.
The state of New Jersey has come together to save Seaside Heights after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. As the town battles numerous downfalls, its history and beauty resurfaces as it is reconstructed.
Seaside Heights, New Jersey was known for its slogan 'Your home for family fun since 1913!' This tourist hot spot on the New Jersey coast was the home of countless childhood memories, including many of my own. Recently, Seaside has been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, which demolished many of its famous landmarks. In addition to taking thousands of peoples homes, the town’s famous boardwalk, which brought in tourism and families, was completely demolished. Although there were great strides made to rebuild the boardwalk, a destructive fire occurred setting back the reconstruction months.
After experiencing such a depressing natural disaster, the purpose of this project is to document the restoration of such an iconic town. As the restoration of this town is taking place, traces of its history and beauty are resurfacing, showing hope of a future for this iconic New Jersey attraction. I have attached two images as base for my project. I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you note:
I just want to say thank you to all the people who allowed me to photograph them and their spaces. Also, the people who aided me in creating this project in anyway. I am so very proud of this work I have made over the last 5 years. I hope I can continue building and expanding this project for years to come. I hope I can aid the Jersey Shore and New Jersey in anyway with these images.
Lets start with a little background of my roots in NJ and my education. I am a 3rd generation Jersey-Boy born and bred in Essex County, New Jersey. I was born the youngest of 3 boys in a small house in Nutley, NJ. (It had a pool so it wasn't so bad) Being the youngest of 3 made me always observe everything. Whether it was my older brothers and their friends getting into trouble, or my grandfather trying fix almost everything, I always learned by watching. I still observe to this day, just now I make my observations photograph. Today, many of these observations are translated through my photographs.
I eventually attended 2 different colleges before finding my passion and attending and graduating from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2014 with a BFA in Photography. During my last semester of SCAD, I spent weekends traveling to Seaside in order to document the most recent progress. I am hoping to continue this project, as well as shed light on other shore points that have been affected.
For as long as I can remember the Jersey Shore has been a place of great happiness and great memories for me. The Jersey Shore was for many years a vacation destination for my family and friends. My earliest vacation memory was my vacations with my cousins to Wildwood, NJ, which is exit 6 on the Garden State Parkway. As most kids who ventured down to Wildwood, my cousins and I were most excited for our nights on the boardwalk. I vividly remember the smell of fried Oreos, fresh Curley’s French fries, the taste of fresh squeezed lemonade and the joy filled screams from ride-goers. My cousin and I became masters of deception, stuffing napkins in our shoes so we could be tall enough to ride the roller coaster. The boardwalk was one of the first places I was given a taste of adulthood- roaming from ride to ride without supervision.
The Boardwalk has shaped many of fond memories I have of childhood, which is why I am so passionate about its revival post-Sandy. I hope to bring awareness to this amazingly unique, one of a kind place and the people I connected with while shooting this project.
Personal Photography Philosophy
This is the perfect example of the 3 rules I live by in my own photography work and Life.
- 'The worst photograph is the one you never take.'
- 'It never hurts to ask!'
- 'Always carry a camera!'
You can’t take a crappy photograph if you don't take the photograph at all- these are the words I live and die by. I will drive by something on my way to work, see something beautiful. Then keep driving and eventually I have to turn around to go back and photograph what I just saw.
I have gotten so many of my best meaningful photographs just by connecting with people. Asking people if they will allow me to photograph them or if its ok if I take a photograph of their spaces. Do I also love the run and gun, capture the moment photographs? Of Course! Bruce Davidson is my idol! But he even has posed photographs where he had to of ask someone to sit for a portrait or allow him into their lives and personal space. That's where real photographs are made. The photographs with true meaning and soul that stand the test of time.
ALWAYS CARRY A CAMERA! Refer to rule #1. I must say that the use of a 4x5 Camera was influential to the creation of this project. The respect and pure interest I gained through walking around with this camera on my shoulder was amazing. The camera itself opened so many doors for me through out this project and throughout my photography career.
What makes this project unique in my opinion is the way it shows how the place was affected by natures impact but more importantly also the people behind the businesses. Those people are the ones who have to fight the biggest battle. They rely on tourism and the resulting income and some seemingly even had to rebuild their whole existence from scratch. This project, for me personally, illustrates that even the places we believe will exist forever, aren’t permanent either. Certainly this place will never be the same again, but what remains are the memories of what it once was and also the showcase that we as people have to stand together especially in the worst of times.
I would like to thank Corey for submitting his project and a very in depth story about the whole topic. Make sure to check out his website and social media. We need your submission now too! If you have created a project / series you would like to share with us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a selection of the most representative images, as well as a short description of the work itself. Thank you for your submissions.