Featured: Corey Danieli - "Family Fun: The Seaside Boardwalk"

This weeks contribution is by Corey Danieli featuring his project "Family Fun: The Seaside Boardwalk". Without further ado, let's jump right into it.

 

"Artist Statement:

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.

 

Personal Relation:

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.

 

Personal Statement:

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.

  1. 'The worst photograph is the one you never take.'
  2. 'It never hurts to ask!'
  3. '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.

Park and Ride, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao This photograph was the 3rd photograph I took for this entire project. It was right in December before I went back to school and started really getting this project rolling. This image anchors the entire symbolic meaning of the project. The kids’ playground covered in snow with the bright sunny sign behind it. The entry of the boardwalk inviting you in with the telephone pole splitting the entire image. The North end of the boardwalk being re-built. The dunes pushed up to boardwalk in the background from the hurricane. The handy cap symbol foreshadowing the state of the boardwalk.

Park and Ride, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao

This photograph was the 3rd photograph I took for this entire project. It was right in December before I went back to school and started really getting this project rolling. This image anchors the entire symbolic meaning of the project. The kids’ playground covered in snow with the bright sunny sign behind it. The entry of the boardwalk inviting you in with the telephone pole splitting the entire image. The North end of the boardwalk being re-built. The dunes pushed up to boardwalk in the background from the hurricane. The handy cap symbol foreshadowing the state of the boardwalk.

Gyros, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao. This capture simply shows the work that lies ahead. This photo gives a more detailed perspective of the destruction. I also loved the light on the sign which was casted from the sun.

Gyros, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao.

This capture simply shows the work that lies ahead. This photo gives a more detailed perspective of the destruction. I also loved the light on the sign which was casted from the sun.

Crane, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao This image shows the start of the rebuild of Casino Pier where the famous Jet Star Roller coaster was dropped into the ocean.

Crane, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Negative Shen-Hao

This image shows the start of the rebuild of Casino Pier where the famous Jet Star Roller coaster was dropped into the ocean.

Re-Building the Boardwalk, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao. On September 13th, 2013, this is the point of the boardwalk that was split by a fire officials in an effort to stop the fire from spreading. The fire devastatingly destroyed more than 50 businesses and Funtown Pier. Officials determined the fire was caused by floodwaters to an electrical panel under the boardwalk.

Re-Building the Boardwalk, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao.

On September 13th, 2013, this is the point of the boardwalk that was split by a fire officials in an effort to stop the fire from spreading. The fire devastatingly destroyed more than 50 businesses and Funtown Pier. Officials determined the fire was caused by floodwaters to an electrical panel under the boardwalk.

Barry, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao, A Seaside native, Barry, has been a center point in my documentation of Seaside. Barry was the guy to know in Seaside, as he knew everyone and everything about the boardwalk. As soon as I connected with Barry, people took notice and became more comfortable with my project. Being so invested in the boardwalk, Barry quickly took interested in my project and helped me as much as he could. During one of our conversations, Barry mentioned his mom always wanted a photograph of him on his second home, the boardwalk. Without hesitation, I asked if I could take his picture. Barry asked me what he should do in the photo, and I told him to just be himself. He grabbed a hold of the fence while I was framing the picture under the dark cloth and it was just perfect. When I returned the next month I printed his mother this photo.

Barry, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao,

A Seaside native, Barry, has been a center point in my documentation of Seaside. Barry was the guy to know in Seaside, as he knew everyone and everything about the boardwalk. As soon as I connected with Barry, people took notice and became more comfortable with my project. Being so invested in the boardwalk, Barry quickly took interested in my project and helped me as much as he could. During one of our conversations, Barry mentioned his mom always wanted a photograph of him on his second home, the boardwalk. Without hesitation, I asked if I could take his picture. Barry asked me what he should do in the photo, and I told him to just be himself. He grabbed a hold of the fence while I was framing the picture under the dark cloth and it was just perfect. When I returned the next month I printed his mother this photo.

Chairs, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao, This is part of the SkyRide. Which is a chair lift that takes you from Casino that takes you from Casino Pier to the northern part of the boardwalk- a fun lift for those who do not want to walk. It spans about .3 miles from end to end.

Chairs, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen-Hao,

This is part of the SkyRide. Which is a chair lift that takes you from Casino that takes you from Casino Pier to the northern part of the boardwalk- a fun lift for those who do not want to walk. It spans about .3 miles from end to end.

Body Piercing, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen Hao It was a bright sunny cold day as I was walking down the boardwalk with my 4x5 camera on my shoulder. I said hello and the man at the shop took interest in my camera. After talking and he told me he had interest in photography so I showed him how the camera worked. He eventually asked me what I was doing, so I explained and asked if he would mind standing for a portrait. He was hesitant at first so I pulled back and tried to capture the whole place along with him so he would feel more comfortable. I actually never caught his name. Nice Kid.

Body Piercing, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen Hao

It was a bright sunny cold day as I was walking down the boardwalk with my 4x5 camera on my shoulder. I said hello and the man at the shop took interest in my camera. After talking and he told me he had interest in photography so I showed him how the camera worked. He eventually asked me what I was doing, so I explained and asked if he would mind standing for a portrait. He was hesitant at first so I pulled back and tried to capture the whole place along with him so he would feel more comfortable. I actually never caught his name. Nice Kid.

Hot Fudge, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen Hao Here where some of the rides are stored at the Casino Pier during the off-season.

Hot Fudge, Seaside, NJ. 2014. 4x5 Shen Hao

Here where some of the rides are stored at the Casino Pier during the off-season.

Park, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao. Parked here one day and saw this cool view of the back of the boardwalk with this giant American flag.

Park, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao.

Parked here one day and saw this cool view of the back of the boardwalk with this giant American flag.

Doc, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao. This is Doc. Yes, Doc looks like the owner of Jurassic Park. And yes he impersonated him when my girlfriend and I mentioned it. He was a super funny, nice guy who was nice enough to let me photograph him. Told me how he was excited for retirement soon. I am upset with myself that I cut out his feet, but to see the entire space made sense. So the feet went.

Doc, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao.

This is Doc. Yes, Doc looks like the owner of Jurassic Park. And yes he impersonated him when my girlfriend and I mentioned it. He was a super funny, nice guy who was nice enough to let me photograph him. Told me how he was excited for retirement soon. I am upset with myself that I cut out his feet, but to see the entire space made sense. So the feet went.

Greetings, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao. This image helps transition into the actual season starting and people starting to visit the shore again from March till Labor Day.

Greetings, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao.

This image helps transition into the actual season starting and people starting to visit the shore again from March till Labor Day.

Anthony, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao. Anthony was super nice kid. I was walking around again with my 4x5 on my shoulder when he jumped out to see what my camera was. We started talking and I showed him how my camera works. I also showed him the stand in the ground glass of the 4x5 and he asked if I would photograph him and his business. I said, “Of course!” I mailed him a print later on that month cause he wanted them so bad. Nice guy.

Anthony, Seaside, NJ 2014 4x5 Shen Hao.

Anthony was super nice kid. I was walking around again with my 4x5 on my shoulder when he jumped out to see what my camera was. We started talking and I showed him how my camera works. I also showed him the stand in the ground glass of the 4x5 and he asked if I would photograph him and his business. I said, “Of course!” I mailed him a print later on that month cause he wanted them so bad. Nice guy.

Choice, Seaside, NJ 2014 120 Mamiya RZ67. This is part of one of Anthony’s stand, and the prizes you can win if you pop balloons with some darts.

Choice, Seaside, NJ 2014 120 Mamiya RZ67.

This is part of one of Anthony’s stand, and the prizes you can win if you pop balloons with some darts.

Chris, Seaside, NJ 2014 120 Mamiya RZ67. I asked Barry if he knew anyone who would let me photograph them because I felt like I did not have enough portraits of the people that make the boardwalk run. He introduced me to Chris who let me photograph him while he was running the stand where you break a bottle with a baseball. Its way harder then it looks. He asked me what to do and I told him to just put his hands on the basket of balls and look into the lens. Thanks!

Chris, Seaside, NJ 2014 120 Mamiya RZ67.

I asked Barry if he knew anyone who would let me photograph them because I felt like I did not have enough portraits of the people that make the boardwalk run. He introduced me to Chris who let me photograph him while he was running the stand where you break a bottle with a baseball. Its way harder then it looks. He asked me what to do and I told him to just put his hands on the basket of balls and look into the lens. Thanks!

Shake Shoppe Arcade #2, Seaside, NJ. 2014. Mamiya RZ67.

Shake Shoppe Arcade #2, Seaside, NJ. 2014. Mamiya RZ67.

Prizes, Seaside, NJ. 2014. Mamiya RZ67. Just some of the prizes you can win at the boardwalk.

Prizes, Seaside, NJ. 2014. Mamiya RZ67.

Just some of the prizes you can win at the boardwalk.

Whaca, Seaside,  NJ. 2012 4x5 Shen Hao. This is one of the first of two photographs I took that made this project take shape. I put it this far down the series because the boardwalk itself takes a different life at night. The nighttime is where the boardwalk becomes a new being. And has a new feeling to it. This feeling reminds me of staying out late, eating fried food while riding rides and winning prizes when I was a kid.

Whaca, Seaside,  NJ. 2012 4x5 Shen Hao.

This is one of the first of two photographs I took that made this project take shape. I put it this far down the series because the boardwalk itself takes a different life at night. The nighttime is where the boardwalk becomes a new being. And has a new feeling to it. This feeling reminds me of staying out late, eating fried food while riding rides and winning prizes when I was a kid.

Frozen Yogurt, Seaside, NJ. 2015. Bronica ETRS. A little salt water taffy, candy apples, and frozen yogurt stand late night on the boardwalk.

Frozen Yogurt, Seaside, NJ. 2015. Bronica ETRS.

A little salt water taffy, candy apples, and frozen yogurt stand late night on the boardwalk.

Midway, Seaside,  NJ. 2012. 4x5 Shen Hao. This is the photograph that started the whole project. I love this photograph. The sunset light fading combined with the lights and glowing signs along with the crane showing the rebuilding in the background make this one of my favorite images. Also, the cheese steaks and sausage sandwiches are pretty fantastic.

Midway, Seaside,  NJ. 2012. 4x5 Shen Hao.

This is the photograph that started the whole project. I love this photograph. The sunset light fading combined with the lights and glowing signs along with the crane showing the rebuilding in the background make this one of my favorite images. Also, the cheese steaks and sausage sandwiches are pretty fantastic.

Est. 1953, Seaside, NJ. 2015. Bronica ETRS. Lucky Leo’s is one the biggest arcades on the boardwalk."

Est. 1953, Seaside, NJ. 2015. Bronica ETRS.

Lucky Leo’s is one the biggest arcades on the boardwalk."

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 info@wasteoffilm.com with a selection of the most representative images, as well as a short description of the work itself. Thank you for your submissions.