Mike Vuocolo’s 15 Favorite Photos Of 2019 Presented By WRV

January 13, 2020 • Local Photographers, Photo Portfolio, Photos

Fourth in a series, photo captions by Mike Vuocolo:

One of New Jersey’s – and the East Coast’s – veteran surf photographers, Mike Vuocolo presents his favorite images snapped in 2019 between his duties keeping things running smooth along Jenkinson’s Beach mile long stretch of sand on the south side of the Manasquan Inlet during summer and some offseason escapes to his newly acquired winter retreat a few miles North of Sebastian Inlet. It’s the best of shooting worlds indeed for Mike V. at two of the Right Coasts most talent rich line-up’s. And be sure to check more of Mike’s work on his Instagram feed @mikesshoreshots – Mez –

Scott Duerr scored two days of perfection thanks to Hurricane Jerry last September that had The Peak at Manasquan Inlet going off like a ghost from Jersey’s jetty notching / pre-beach replenishments past.

A paddle out was held last June in memory Manasquan Legend Chris Rooney. My first money surf photo was of Chris carving at cutback at Manasquan Inlet published in the June 1980 issue of SURFER MAGAZINE. Rooney was one of the Inlet’s best EVER, but how unexpected is it to come up with a shot of a somber looking Carl Danish leading the way for 250 others in celebration of his life. 

Bonus Image: In special tribute to Chris we pulled Mikes 1980 Surfer Mag debut photo of him carving his trademark cutback for all to pause and take a minute to think about how fleeting our time on earth is and, that if you ever see somebody struggling with life, to put your arms around them and do your best to help lift them up.

American Oystercatchers chased the tourists from a section of Point Pleasant Beach this summer and extended the invite to scores of nesting Terns and five dozen Black Skimmers hatching chicks as well. Caught my eye from day one. Here a female Oystercatcher shows two of her chicks their first steps while waiting for the final one to hatch.

Christian Amato gets barreled so often at Jenk’s he must lose count some days.

After one of the flattest summers ever remembered at the Jersey Shore, tropical systems sent lines so long and so clean to Monmouth County late Summer and Fall that it was almost worth the wait for this picture perfect day at ‘Squans Deadman’s Beach.

To me a big part of Surfing has always been about the friends and memories you make. Does not matter if you made them when you were a kid or today. Just be sure to keep them. Peak moment of brotherhood captured in Manasquan here when Mike “Bates” Baytoff was inducted to the NJ Surfing Hall of fame. From left: Brian Heritage, Bruce Beach, Bates, Skip Miller, Tom “The Bomb” Matthews and Jersey born and bred Mavericks Hellman, Steve Dwyer.

The lineup can look completely different every day at Mansquan. Tropically induced peaceful, gentile perfection welcomes on this late summer morning.

Light, cameras, action! Everyone is a photographer today. Caroline Marks putting the exclamation point on her second Florida Pro win last January at Sebastian Inlet. There are a million shots out there of her backhanding that snap but no one else has this perspective.

 

Most likely, one of my all-time favorites is surfing’s present and future in one frame. From left, Gavin Mitchell, Finn Holloway and Chris Jordan stoked as ever during an ESA Contest in Belmar last May. These guys could be poster boys for the ESA. Rip, Tear and Percolate! (sorry, just fit it well).

Good waves, great light and top level surfing should just about guarantee perfect surf photographs. Izzy Gomes making everything work at Sebastian Inlet’s 2019 Florida Pro.

You never know what you might end up shooting at my hometown break of Jenkinson’s which at times seems like a four ring circus. Sam Hammer is the Ringmaster who has seen and done it all at the wave he’s dominated for the past two decades but always providing unusual moves for me to capture. No harm, no foul here and everybody went home intact both boards and bodies

Carl Danish and Bobby “Q” Howell at the 2019 New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Fame induction where Carl rolled up in his classic, Army issue Jeep Willys he’s had for decades to give his old Manasquan Peak mate a hearty hug.

The obvious crowd favorite at the Florida Pro the past two years, home grown ripper Caroline Marks is fun to watch and shoot as she powers her backside through the heats. Now she is a certified member of Team USA Surfing in the 2020 Japan Summer Olympics. Getting to shoot and hang out the East Coast’s infamous “Other Inlet” is one of the perks my wife Joanie and I have since buying a place a few miles north of the East Coasts “Other Inlet during our winter get-a-ways from Jersey.

An Autumn November cold front races toward the Point Pleasant Beach commercial fishing docks just before that sun sets on an epic day of waves while my mind races about heading down to my second home in Florida after the family Holiday season is over and the winter begins in earnest. ( Ed. note: please follow Mike’s Instagram feed @mikesshoreshots for epic imagery! )