It is simply amazing what Linda Barrett can make happen in her charming, cozy, and welcoming photo studio located in downtown Cary, Illinois. So often, it is the same people who think nothing of tossing a selfie on the internet, accessible to the entire planet, who cannot fathom getting professional headshots taken in the privacy and safety of a studio. There’s a sense of insecurity, and hesitation. But Linda knows how to quickly disarm her visitors with her unassuming manner and cheerful personality.
The real magic Linda creates—beyond the Renaissance-era quality of her work—is in how she makes her subjects feel on set. She takes time to understand them, and then explains the goals of the shoot for both, getting into a few technical details about her camera. She understands how to leverage the strengths and individuality of her subjects. There’s talk about lighting, angles, and posing. She truly makes everyone feel at home, helping them to depart from who they were when they first nervously stepped into the studio. Now there is confidence, and the story begins.
“Everyone is a story—a beginning, middle, and end. Always evolving, always filled with a variety of emotions,” Linda says. “I love capturing it all. From the messy, goofy, spontaneous moments to the glamourous ones that people don’t realize they had in them.”
“Even those who are nearing the end of their life may want to have something for their family and friends to hold onto…to help remember them long after they are gone,” she says. Linda’s close friends know that she cherishes the beautiful portrait of her late mom, Mary Ann, that captured her image and essence. You can see the love that her mom has for her daughter, in Mary Ann’s sparkling eyes.
A true craftswoman, Linda studied photography at Southern Illinois University which at the time was third in the nation for its program. She minored in marketing and journalism and went on to earn an interdisciplinary master’s degree at Chicago’s Columbia College, which focused on the book and paper arts—paper making, book binding, folio boxes, letterpress, and hand-crafted books. She imports gorgeous, timeless Italian folio boxes for her clients.
Documenting the times, places, and moments of our lives goes to a whole new level when those images are repurposed as Christmas cards, charity event posters and invites, or your new look on LinkedIn. Seeing yourself and your family or organization in high-quality imagery can be a game-changer.
At Quintessential Barrington magazine, meeting Linda was a pivotal moment for our work in print. Linda knew how to help us take our editorial photography to the next level. We love it when she gets ‘bossy’ with her camera in hand. She has done most of our covers and we see a wonderful difference in our product. Her headshots of Lauren, my daughter, helped this young actor land her first cast-credited role in a feature film. We can no longer contain Linda as our best-kept secret at the QB. She creates a world of artful, colorful, and compelling images for us. Imagine what she can do for you.
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Photographer Linda M. Barrett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 815-575-4400.
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Linda M. Barrett wishes to thank her clients for allowing their photos (below) to be placed in this article.
Summer bids us to get outdoors. The nice weather fills the area with walkers, hikers, and cyclists. Getting from here to there is never easier. Horseback is an option for some, a boat is for others, but it’s the roar of a motorcycle that tells me summer is here. This ongoing symbol of freedom and independence makes me want to hop on and ride. When I see Dr. Orazio Bartolomeo, a family medicine physician in Barrington, on his special edition Harley Davidson motorcycle such a desire only grows.
He bought the motorcycle in 2003 when Harley Davidson was celebrating its 100th anniversary. “It was so beautiful,” he says of the purchase. A centennial insignia appears on the gas tank and the liquid metal effect paint scheme shines. Features most important to him are a sleek look, strong engine and the sound. “The sound of a Harley is patented,” he says. He searches for words to describe the sound and says: “It’s exhilarating.” I agree.
He doesn’t consider himself part of the motorcycle culture, but he likes the camaraderie between motorcyclists. “We wave in acknowledgement of each other,” he says. For him, every trip is fun. He rides with his wife Maria and son Bernado, who own motorcycles, and with friends. “It’s a great way to be with friends and family,” he says.
Riding is also a time just for him, his ‘me’ time. He finds riding a motorcycle to be relaxing. It’s something that connects him with the environment. “I can feel the air. I’m focused. At one with nature. I leave any worries behind and my mind doesn’t wander when riding,” he says.
“How is it different from a bicycle or a car?” I ask.
“I can ride much farther on a motorcycle than a bike. Cars confine you.”
Okay. Like every motorcyclist I talk with, Dr. Bartolomeo reminds me that it’s not about getting from here to there. It’s about the journey.
“Have you made any mistakes or misjudgments while riding?” I ask, wondering if he sees this as a dangerous activity. His answer conveys a laid-back attitude, but also cautionary.
“I stay very focused. Once I didn’t see a stop sign early enough and fishtailed but I didn’t fall. When on a motorcycle you have to be vigilant. Always be aware of what other people are doing and also lookout for animals.”
With that, he starts the engine, lets it roar, and takes off for the hills and curves of summer.
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