Thomas Slatin Finds Purpose In Photography

Thomas Slatin Finds Purpose In Photography

A recent interview with writer, photographer and designer of highly customized web sites for others who also are doing work they love, Thomas W.P. Slatin shared that his "main focus when photographing is preservation, as it's often the case because the buildings I photograph, for example, are often in need of restoration and it is literally a race against time to save them."

Speaking of a historic hotel, which Slatin recently photographed after much persistence to gain access to do so, Slatin states, "I would love to see The Westholm Hotel restored as it is a historical landmark of significance to many in Stamford, New York and beyond." Continuing, "Many people from New York City would stay at this hotel in its heyday, and I know the general consensus is that restoration would be appreciated by many. The hotel has been under appreciated for far too long."

On many occasions Slatin has discussed publicly that his true passions were revealed as a young child. His father, the late Dr. Harvey Slatin gifted him his first camera around the age of eight, and many more throughout the years to encourage his son's passions and interests. Friends of his father such as Charles Kuralt saw Slatin's gifts for writing at an early age. Paraphrasing Kuralt, according to Thomas Slatin who recalled what he remembers as a child, he once told Slatin's father that "Thomas will be a well known and successful writer one day." Additionally as a child and still to this day, Thomas Slatin loves to explore. This exploration could be outdoor excursions or exploring interesting abandoned buildings, or retired locomotives.

As an established photographer, Slatin has photographed many locomotives, and on at least one instance a retired and abandoned locomotive, specifically Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) 4917 was photographed by Slatin. Thomas Slatin then published the photographs online and not long thereafter, a collector called him inquiring about the locomotive and discussed a possible restoration. According to Slatin, the train is still located at The Cooperstown Railroad, but at the very least conversation was sparked regarding its restoration. There are several concurrent themes in Slatin's work such as to document places, properties, locomotives or in some instances moments in time which resonate with Slatin. In terms of properties in need of restoration, and by way of exploring properties, many properties which have been photographed by Thomas Slatin had been left for years without anyone photographing the various properties, such as The Westholm Hotel.

Thomas Slatin remains passionate about his work. "There is always a hope within me, that perhaps my photographs will somehow preserve otherwise abandoned properties, realizing that one day perhaps the properties will be restored, whether this is a building or locomotive for example." Concluding, "This isn't always the case of course. Sometimes I realize that certain properties will most likely not be restored, nonetheless and perhaps more so, in documenting the properties, it does preserve the properties history and existence in a sense."

Slatin discussed how much happiness it brings him to photograph what he loves. Publishing his work has lead to interest from others who have discussed restoration, "that is absolute joy for me, in terms of how my photography work can lead to restoring places that may have otherwise been forgotten." This first happened for Slatin, early in his career as a photographer, writer and highly customized web site designer, when a developer contacted Slatin as a direct result of seeing his photographs online. This put the property on this person's radar in the first place, so in that case, "I truly felt as if I helped to save the property. It was developed and restored," states Slatin.

As stated by Lisa Pellegrene, TV / Film Professional, Director of Peace, Love, Unity Dance Troupe TV, writer, animal advocate, social justice advocate, journalist and publicist for Thomas W.P. Slatin, in speaking of purpose, "if one pursues their passions and true talents and can wake up each day doing work they love, this is such a huge blessing and where one finds so much happiness." Such as in Thomas Slatin's case, his true passions are writing, photography and exploring, and his love for all of this was revealed to him at a very young age." Continuing, "often at a very young age our true self and what brings us joy is revealed, it's how kids start singing or taking dance classes, or discover they can draw, or are great at math, and if this is what they love to do the most, they should pursue it throughout adulthood. It's important that one's true gifts and talents aren't pushed to the side abd referred to as so-called hobbies, because often these things are not simply hobbies, they are part of purpose and happiness, as well as inspiration. What brings us joy and happiness, therein often lies purpose and we should pursue, each of us, work that we can't wait to wake up the next day to do!" Lisa Pellegrene, concluding, "always stay true to one's authentic self in adulthood too, it's so important, and do purposeful, viable, and fulfilling work which brings happiness, joy and a sense of accomplishment. Quite frankly, we should be teaching children in schools to pursue what they love, encourage them to discover and find their gifts and innate talents. What brings one joy is often where one's gifts reveal themselves. So let's encourage that in our educational system and throughout life," states Pellegrene. Simply, "do what you love."

In speaking of Slatin's career, Slatin plans to continue to photograph properties of which he has permission to photograph from property owners of course. According to Slatin, "he hopes that those who are seeking preservation and documentation of certain abandoned properties, especially the properties of historical significance, will contact him as this is the work he loves to do and he excels at this, after spending years honing his skill level to match the profound passion he has for photography, exploration, writing. Through combining these talents through his photography work, Slatin documents, preserves and at times, assists in others becoming interested in the restoration of properties."

Thomas Slatin's photography work can be viewed a multitude of places online, to include Flickr, Canva and 500px. Slatin's Instagram is, and his Twitter account Those with inquires about his work or wanting to work with Slatin directly may contact him at Realtors and property development companies or individuals who need to document property details and overall aesthetics of various properties, are encouraged to reach out to him directly, as this is work where he merges a high level of expertise and innate talent and ability.

Slatin recalled his dad, the late Dr. Harvey L. Slatin and his dad's best friend Arthur Covert, who traveled around NYC together when Slatin was young taking photographs of what was of interest to them. Concluding, "although my father was a scientist and spent many years developing patents relating to electroplating processes, he also loved photography. He gave me my first camera and many more throughout the years. He and his best friend taught me everything I know about film photography and development."

Lisa Pellegrene added, "Most of us, perhaps all of us, want to be remembered for positive contributions that we make during the course of our lives, such as positively contributing to the lives of those around us, doing a great job in a career, being respected as a person with integrity and a kind heart, and who cares about being encouraging and helpful to others. I think it is safe to say, everyone, human and animal for that matter, wants to live a happy life, where there is contentment, compassion, safety, and love. In terms of human beings I firmly believe that a few simple things will help you find purpose in your work and your life. Realize this, you reading this right now, you of course also have a unique purpose, a unique talents and gifts. I think it's way more simple than you think to be on your way to do what you love, live a happy life and to make a positive difference. Do what makes you happy. Work hard. Treat yourself and others with love, kindness and compassion. Have empathy. Live your life with love for all. When you remember your authentic self, who you were as a child, what brought you joy, and having a pure heart, never lose the heart based wisdom and truth, as adults must always keep that. Add to that knowledge, wisdom, educating yourself and the utilization of your talents and gifts in a way to be good to yourself, doing what makes you happy and to simultaneously be good to others too of course, where your work benefits others in a positive, love based inspiring way. Therein lies your purpose or at a minimum the way to finding and living it."

Photo by Thomas Slatin, Macaw in Upstate New York

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