Alys Tomlinson – 19th October 2018

Alys Tomlinson - The Shot I Never Forgot - 'The Family, Coney Island 1998' Black and white photograph of a family walking past ferris wheel in Coney Island

Alys Tomlinson – The Shot I Never Forgot – ‘The Family, Coney Island 1998’ (image of original print)


‘The Family, Coney Island 1998’

I was 22 and living in New York, finding my feet as a photographer. I would often take the F train down to Coney Island where I’d wander up and down the Boardwalk, too scared to approach anyone but happy to observe what was going on around me. I had my Dad’s old Pentax 35mm and got through roll after roll of b/w film. I could have picked many images from that year in NYC. I was sent all over the place to take photographs for the Time Out Guide to New York. A dream job for an aspiring photographer just starting out. There were many memorable moments – photographing a crazy gay club in Chelsea, spending hours trying to track down an Italian fruit and veg seller in the Bronx, an evening in a smoky Latino jazz club…but this image always stayed with me. Although I loved being in the darkroom, I’ve never been a great printer and I remember getting frustrated trying to print this well. It reminds me of a specific time in my life when I was discovering the joy of photography. When I look at it, I see the innocence of the kids’ expression, the fact that there’s no Mum, just a Dad with his family on a day out, dressed in the Hasidic Jewish way with the Wonder Wheel in the background.

> You can see more of Alys’s work at

> Alys’s new book ‘Ex-Voto’ is to be published by GOST in Spring 2009, if you would like to support this wonderful new work (and get your hands on a copy of the book first), please visit:

John Spinks – 14 September 2018

John Spinks - The Shot I Never Forgot - photographic enlarger covered by dust sheet

John Spinks – The Shot I Never Forgot

My interest in photography started at secondary school.
There was a cleaners cupboard that had been converted into a darkroom, a darkroom that didn’t work.
There was no paper and the chemicals were rotten, years out of date.
The wonderful thing about this place however was that it meant that I could hide, that I could spend an hour every day, in those last few months of school away from everyone else.
without the least exaggeration, that tiny room was my salvation.
Because of this when I started at the local technical college the following September I opted to do a photography course.
This picture is one of the enlargers I used in those first few months of learning all about photography.
I made this picture around eight or nine years ago, I went back to the technical college, back to that darkroom just before they tore it down.

i spent countless hours in that room, it was the place where I started becoming me.