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)

ALYS TOMLINSON – THE SHOT I NEVER FORGOT

‘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 www.alystomlinson.co.uk

> 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:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/996033668/ex-voto-a-photobook-by-alys-tomlinson

Stuart Pilkington - 3 October 2018