New Brunswick Author Portal

Freeman  Patterson
Categories: Male AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsAuthors of Non-FictionFundy Coast

photo of author
Source: Author


Photographer, writer, teacher. Author of 12 books.

Freeman Patterson lives at Shamper's Bluff, New Brunswick, near his childhood home. He attended multi-grade (one-room) schools in Grey's Mills and Long Reach, and high school at Macdonald Consolidated School in Kingston. He graduated with a B.A. (Honours: Philosophy) from Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in 1959. His honour's thesis was The Form Of The Good in Plato's Republic. In 1962 he received a Master of Divinity degree (M. Div.) from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, New York. His master's thesis was Still Photography As A Medium Of Religious Expression. While in New York, Freeman studied photography and visual design privately with Dr. Helen Manzer.

From 1962 to 1965 Freeman was dean of religious studies at Alberta College, Edmonton, and began actively to work in photography. He moved to Toronto in 1966 to work for one year at Berkeley Studio, the United Church of Canada still photography and film production house. During this time and until the late 1970's, Freeman completed numerous assignments across Canada for the Still Photography Division of the National Film Board of Canada. He also developed a large roster of professional clients in the editorial and advertising fields. Freeman has always been a strong supporter of the amateur photography community, and is a life member and former president of The Toronto Guild for Colour Photography.

Freeman returned to New Brunswick in 1973 primarily in order to pursue his personal artistic interests and to establish a workshop of photography and visual design. Since then he has taught several week-long classes every year and, commencing in 1984, in southern Africa as well, where he co-founded the Namaqualand Photographic Workshops. He has given numerous workshops in the United States, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.

Although Freeman does much of his photographic work at home, he travels widely to photograph and to teach. Since 1973 he has frequently presented half-day and all-day seminars to large groups (50 to 4000 persons) in the visual arts, music, education, and ecology across Canada, the United States, and in other countries. Since 1977 he has written and illustrated four instructional books on photography and visual design and has co-authored a fifth, four large cloth-edition books, and co-authored and illustrated two more. In 1996 he completed a CD-ROM entitled Creating Pictures : A Visual Design Workshop and a major retrospective book of text and photographs, entitled ShadowLight : A Photographer's Life for Harper Collins of Canada which was followed in 1998 by Odysseys : Meditations and Thoughts For A Life's Journey and in 2003 by The Garden. Freeman has written for various magazines, CBC radio, and been featured on CBC television's Man Alive, Sunday Arts And Entertainment, and Adrienne Clarkson Presents.

From 1973 to 1989, Freeman was an elected trustee of New Brunswick School District #19, served for eight years as vice-president and director of Masterfile (a major stock photography agency), two years on the board of Aids Saint John, and six years as a trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He has donated his property on Shamper's Bluff to the conservancy for an ecological reserve and education area. An avid motorcyclist, he is also a member of the Saint John Harley Owners' Group.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

I was born and grew up in New Brunswick, and although I have had the good fortune to travel regularly to southern Africa and, in fact, to all six continents, everything clearly began here. If I have a second home, it is the Namaqualand region in the extreme northwest corner of South Africa, part of the great Namib desert. Both places or regions exert a profound emotional effect on me.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career is clearly all the friends I have made in NB and around the world. They challenge and support me, and keep me in a highly active learning mode.

Literary Prizes

Nomination -  Roloff Beny Photography Book Award
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of New Brunswick

Featured Publication

The Garden

Every garden and every gardener is a work in progress. And no matter how tiny or how grand, how colourful or restrained, how wild or ordered, the garden is a metaphor for the gardener. When you invite somebody into your garden, you are inviting them to meet you… Because every garden is a place of dreams and every gardener a dreamer, we should find nothing strange and much that is symbolic in our own and other gardens. Are the paths straight, or do they curve and wander? What colours appear consistently? Does the gardener worry about ripping out every last weed?

When we want to learn something important about ourselves, it’s a good idea to go into our garden. We’ll find that we’ve planted a lot of answers there.


Find this author in the New Brunswick public libraries catalogue.

Source(s): Author