Pat Trotter

born in the bronx

about pat trotter

Anchored to Long Beach Island, N.J.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
Dorothea Lange

Born in the Bronx and the daughter of an Air Force officer Pat spent much of her life moving from place to place. As an adult, she spent 30 years living in Lexington, Kentucky and working in marketing and television for the Thoroughbred industry and later, education policy for the state. But there was one place that always anchored her, Long Beach Island, New Jersey where her family built a beach house in 1955 and where she spent her summers. In 2016 she moved permanently to this small island where she feels grounded and completely at home. Its proximity to New York City she feels is a bonus as she frequently is at the opera, seeing a show on Broadway or visiting a museum – and of course, doing some street photography.

Pat has always been drawn to photographing the human condition through environmental portraits and a personal connection to people she photographs. Her inspiration has come from Dorothea LangeGregory Heisler, Dawoud Bey, Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen MarkStephen Shore and others. She has attended workshops by some of the best modern photographers such as Kurt Markus, Norman Mauskopf, Joe McNally, Raina Matar, Aline Smithson and David Turner. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. and studied photojournalism at Syracuse University. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kentucky.

She has always had a sense of adventure and enjoys travel and photographing the essence of people and places she visits. In Africa that meant photographing wildlife as well as people – especially the elephants with whom she feels a special connection. Her  2020 trip to Cuba focused on the tobacco farmers in the Vinales Valley and their way of life. Her recent trip to Indian Country in the Dakotas and Colorado focused on learning about the centuries of injustice perpetrated upon our native peoples. Visiting sites such as Wounded Knee and Standing Rock Reservation gave her a sense of the spirits whose stories are finally being told.

Toward the end of 2020 Pat began photographing the commercial fishing industry in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. This is an ongoing project and the next phase will include the commercial fishing boats of Cape May.   Pat is also the official photographer for the second year for the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven, New Jersey and one of the official photographers for the Lighthouse International Film Festival.

You don’t necessarily have to know what’s happening to recognize a great picture.
Mary Ellen Mark

She recently returned from Scotland and is working on several narratives including  historic sites, the whisky industry on the island of Islay, Campbelltown, rewilding projects, and the Scottish Highlands and Outer Hebrides. Read about her journey in the  journal on this website. Her next photo adventure will be a workshop with Joe McNally on Ellis Island.