What Makes a Getty Images Photographer?

the westholm hotel

As a registered photographer for Getty Images, Thomas Slatin has a wide-ranging array of both color and black & white stock images available for sale on iStockPhoto. He has been sharing his beautiful photography since 1998 on his personal website, TomSlatin.com. Thomas is an expert at both film photography and digital photography, the latter which he currently takes with his Canon 5DSR. 

Recently, I spoke to Thomas about his passion for photography. Like many young photographers, Thomas began with film photography, using a Canon 35mm from the 1970’s. His tutelage started under his late father, the multi-talented Dr. Harvey L. Slatin. From his father, he also learned about taking photos using other format cameras, such as the 4-by-5 large format camera and more.

Slatin is best known for taking urban exploration photography, as well as photos of natural landscapes and locomotives. He has never been one to be content to stay still or pigeonhole himself into one category of photography. When it comes to urban exploration, however, there is certainly an additional factor in play. Often known as “urbex” by adventure photography enthusiasts, urban exploration photos also serve as a way to preserve the history of buildings before they are lost to time.

Thomas has a passion for historical building photography, as these photos help to preserve the history of many small towns in America. In fact, at times, these photos actually help to preserve the buildings themselves. Sometimes, the exposure that the photos bring the property brings along an interesting buyer who is willing to restore the property to its original state. This is why Thomas makes himself available to property owners in the Northeast United States who are currently restoring historical properties. He’s also available to those looking to restore old locomotives for historical purposes.

One of Thomas Slatin’s best-known urbex photoshoots was of the historical Westholm Motel. A photograph from the shoot was featured on the front page of Oneonta, New York’s Daily Star newspaper. He’d been eyeing this property for years, and when he finally did get the chance to photograph it, he was ready to produce award-winning work.

On his website, TomSlatin.com, Slatin also curates a gallery of obscure curiosities from his own personal collection. These items are not going to ever be for sale, but they can be enjoyed by all online. All of these items have a historical or personal significance to Thomas. He continues to seek out these sorts of artifacts, as well as keeping an eye out for more opportunities to preserve history.

Of course, not only are these photos available to view on Thomas’s website, but many of them are available to purchase for use, as well. Anyone interested in Thomas’s crisp, creative photos for use, including business owners and entrepreneurs interested in them to enhance their own storytelling, can find his photos not only in his iStockPhoto gallery, but also on Canva. In fact, even more of his stock images are available on the popular online graphic design website. You can find Thomas Slatin’s Canva image portfolio here.

Now residing in Vermont, Thomas Slatin is broadening his horizons far beyond New York State, moving into New Hampshire, Maine, and beyond. He’s still available for hire on a freelance basis as a master photographer. Thomas is a passionate lifelong learner who’s open to new challenges and considers projects that may be out of his comfort zone in order to grow as both a photographer and a human being.

After all, what makes a Getty Images master photographer goes beyond simply the experience and skills coming from decades of taking photographs. There’s also the human element of photography, sharing stories that educate, bring awareness, and preserve valuable culture elements of our communities. Slatin’s photos also stress the value and importance of the structures and people around us, teaching us all about the common threads that connect all of us. 

Even as a master photographer, Thomas continues to be a public servant through his work, just as he was for nearly two decades as an EMT and firefighter. He continues to tap into the same compassion, courage, and empathy that served him in those former roles now as a creative. He works to not only pursue his own dreams of capturing special moments that will never come again, but also to help others realize their own dreams through the beautiful and versatile art that is photography.

~ Amelia “Phoenix” Desertsong

Photograph used by permission

Writing words, spreading love <3

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