The following article was written by Amelia Desertsong, and was originally published on her blog on October 12, 2020.

Have you ever heard of someone who spent eighteen years in public service as an EMT and firefighter moving into a creative field? Certainly, this is a rare feat, and Thomas Slatin has done this admirably. At the same time he began work as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) in Stamford, New York, Thomas also began his website: TomSlatin.com. Twenty-two years later, it’s alive and well featuring Thomas’s writing, photography, and web design exploits.

In addition to his tireless work as a public servant for multiple fire departments in New York State, Thomas has worked freelance as a writer, photographer, and website designer since 1998. Starting a dot-com in those days was a trendy thing to do, certainly. But, Thomas Slatin knew that individuals building up their own website platforms would become an invaluable tool in the future. Thomas mastered the idea of online user experience, today widely known as UX, before the term was even used.

Thomas Slatin, Photography and Writing Savant

Thomas began showcasing his photography work on his first website that he made back in high school. Back then, there weren’t widely available eCommerce solutions yet to sell his photography. Of course, this market gap would certainly close over time. So, Thomas used his early entry into the website development world to take advantage of the growing online photography market. 

Professional photography isn’t the only thing that drives TomSlatin.com. His personal writings are also a key part of the website. Personally mentored as a youth by the legendary Allen Ginsberg and Charles Kuralt, Thomas learned how to hang emotion and meaning on every carefully selected word. He learned how to paint word pictures that are vital, powerful, and unique to his work.

As of September 2020, Thomas is posting daily, alternating between sharing his photography, various quotes, and personal writings. His writings often let readers into the more intimate parts of his mind, ranging from subjects relating to nature to society to his career and upbringing. Thomas painstakingly crafts introductions that hook readers in immediately. 

In 2016, Thomas won DreamHost’s “Dreamist Blog of the Year” award. His site has been linked to by many major publications over the years, bringing tens of thousands of hits a day with the mass media exposure. Thomas was able to even score a WIOX interview in October 2018, which was a dream come true for him giving his work national attention to website readers and radio listeners alike.

The Present and Future of TomSlatin.Com

Today, Thomas’s website TomSlatin.com has become a platform that serves as a timeline and portfolio of his writing and photography. It also includes web design templates he’s created over the years using the WordPress developer tools. Of course, his main website is created with a custom WordPress theme, as well. Thomas continues to stay on top of web design and online user experience trends, upgrading his website in 2020 to meet today’s content-hungry audience demands.

Meanwhile, Thomas’s photography reveals his unique talent for storytelling through a single frame. His eye for the perfect shot lets viewers explore the nuanced emotions and stories each photo has to tell. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is an understatement when it comes to not only Thomas’s breathtaking nature and landscape photos, but most especially his photographs detailing urban decay and abandoned properties.

Presently, Thomas is expanding beyond his New York horizons into other parts of New England, such as Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. One day soon, he hopes to hit the road and take photos all across the United States. Along the way, through his writing, Thomas will also share his thoughts and hopes with his ever-growing audience about both his craft and dreams for the future of our uncertain world.

~ Amelia “Phoenix” Desertsong

23 thoughts on “Thomas Slatin: From Public Servant to Writing Legend

  1. IT is encouraging to read how many others appreciate you for you… your eye, your talent, and above all your big heart. which shows in everything you do. So happy for you. So proud.

  2. This is so cool of you Tom, you were eighteen years in public service as an EMT and firefighter and moving into a creative field. You have done so well for yourself.

  3. Nobody would imagine that, in fact the only one who knows what destiny is determined in our life is God, because sometimes our ideals lead us to new and unexpected directions.

  4. You forgot awesome photographer to the list ha ha. Very interesting journey with a very nice reward. I do not know you personally but I guess it is safe to say that it lead you to who you are today & to your calling…. That is not a bad spot to be.

  5. This post is so good for everyone’s consumption. God knows all that is sufficient for us as human. I really live this post.

  6. Seriously life is all about love for something. You zeal for writing makes you outstanding and we love you for you. I have always love you output

  7. Really beautiful of you from being a public servant and maybe someone controlling your time to being independent and creative. Thsts great

  8. Well, that’s absolutely true. It never occurred to me that someone who spends so much time in public service turns to the creative field. But it is also the best example in my life that anything is possible.

  9. It’s interesting how you can always choose to redirect the way you live your life and move from one thing to other. I requires courage.

  10. It couldn’t have been easy making the transition from public servant to legendary writer. That is nothing short of impressive.

  11. When you see a talented man, it wont be too hard to switch from being a public worker to a writer and photographer. You are just good and talented. I always love to see your work

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