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Today’s blog post is written by our guest Tony Patterson.  Tony is a formally trained award-winning commercial / fine art photographer.  His work has been on display in the Tennessee State Museum, featured in print publications, utilized in website editorials, and displayed in various exhibits.  Most recently his work was on display at the Nashville International Airport.

Recently I was perusing his website, Boiler Room Imagewerks and I clicked on the tab Struggle.  As I began reading I became mesmerized by the depth of his words as I imagined the emotion and soul-searching struggle that had gone before them.

Tony has generously agreed to share his writing, photos, and website with us today.  Be sure and stop by his website at – where emotion meets film!


Often we find ourselves in the midst of struggle. Life is hard. We kick and scream against the daily onslaught of the demands that life throws our way. We step in the ring and engage in a fight that can be at times overwhelming. Our opponent is big. Our opponent is relentless. Our opponent is far more powerful than we could ever hope to be. Before long, we find ourselves on the canvas and trying to find a way to get back up and on our feet. We have no choice. Fight we must.

However, if we pay close attention, in the midst of the struggle is when our vision becomes clear. Things start to move in slow motion. We begin to focus on the things that keep us alive and make us who we are. Inner peace often finds a way to part the raging sea of chaos or calm the turbulent sea of affliction.

This is where my vision stems from. Life swung hard and down I went. Repeatedly. At some points, I wanted to throw in the towel and simply stop. However, I chose to reach for the ropes and pull myself to my feet. I chose to compose myself and swing back.

The camera has become my sacred ground for healing. Through the viewfinder or ground glass, I can see things in a different way. The world stops spinning and for a moment, my moment, I’m able to stop time with the click of the shutter. What I capture is what my heart was seeing at that moment. Some images reflect a good day. Some images reflect a difficult one.

One of my favorite things about using a view camera or film camera is the way that it invokes a forced meditation into my life at that given moment. I move slower. I focus intently on composition.  I run calculations through my mind regarding exposure and any needed compensation. In the end, my troubles become lost and melt away. When the final image is captured, I notice that I am breathing slower. My heart isn’t racing. My mind is clearer. Most importantly, love returns to a heart that was growing cold. Love embraces the hurt and pain and slowly helps calm the soul.

Let love reign.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”   — Aaron Siskind

~Tony Patterson

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