I work aboard the F/V Johnny B as a deckhand, and not as the boat photographer (as I’m sure it seems). Filling that role must be my first priority. That being said, I’m super fortunate to work with a crew that allows me some leeway to step back and take photos—which may or may not have to do with the fact that they’re mostly my immediate family. It’s an interesting dynamic, and can sometimes be quite the circus.
The captain would be my brother, Kenny. He’s practically a genius, and was just inches away from heading to med school when he dropped everything to pursue his deep-rooted passion for working on the water. My dad, Ken, shares the role as captain of the boat. He is a lifelong fisherman of all kinds. Now as he deals with early onset Parkinson’s disease, we are faced with some unique challenges. Nick, our deckhand, is a wildcard. Completely unrelated to the family, the Boston native ended up on our boat (never fishing in his life) by chance.
When I began photographing on the fishing boat, my awareness was heightened immensely. I began to see the job in a profound way. It awakened me to the lessons that laboring on the water had to offer- lessons of strength and exhaustion, camaraderie and solitude, pride and humility. It revealed to me the deep connection we have with nature and the endurance required to pull a living from her hands. Beyond that, there is a desire to document a way of life that is (paradoxically) both timeless and finite. It feels urgent to capture, and important to share.
Stay in the loop with Tyler via his Instagram (@tylermurgo) and see more of his work over on his website.