Summer jobs are an adolescent rite of passage — a ginger step into the working world and a chance to earn some money while retaining the fleeting nonchalance of youth. The work may not always build the resume, but it's probably building some character.
Brian Campagna, game guy. | (Dorothy Edwards)
In 2013, Dorothy Edwards — now a staff photographer at the Naples Daily News — was working her own summer job as an intern at The Virginian-Pilot. As a Florida native, Edwards was new to the area and it was her goal, before the summer was out, to produce a visual project that could encapsulate the place.
"Being that I was living next door to Virginia Beach, something exploring the funky summer jobs teens get into sounded like a fun way to spend my down time," she said in an email interview. "Also, it was an excuse to just photograph in super visual environments, which is always a treat."
Carter Bernhardt, surf instructor. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Her project Summer Work presents a charming collection of visual stories of teens working notorious beachside tourist traps on the boardwalk, at the amusement park, on the beach, and out on the water. Most of the teenagers were locals, saving up for college. But it wasn't just about the money, the summer employees, many still just kids themselves, seemed to genuinely enjoy and have fun with the work.
Looking at the surf instructor, Carter Bernhardt, for example, who was just 14 at the time, Edwards said, "you could see the pride in his eyes when one of his surf students rode a wave without falling off the board."
Hales Parcells, a 19-year-old spending her third summer as a kids' entertainer on an adventure cruise ship, also stood out: "She clearly just loved hanging out with kids and making sure they had the time of their lives," Edwards said.
Feeling nostalgic? Head to the beach with Edwards' infectious series about the kids who make summer run.
Hales Parcells, pirate. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Kyle Sawyer, fishing boat mate. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Kyle Sawyer. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Noemi Espana, contortionist. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Noemi Espana. | (Dorothy Edwards)
Stuart Lyster, lifeguard. | (Dorothy Edwards)