95. ‘Express Yourself’ at Photo Exhibit’s Opening Night

Home Newsroom 95. ‘Express Yourself’ at Photo Exhibit’s Opening Night

What would you picture if you were asked to photograph something that makes you laugh, cry, something you love, something beautiful or something you can’t live without?  Your images would undoubtedly speak volumes about your values, your personality and the people who matter to you most. Barrington portrait photographer, Thomas Balsamo, recently posed that challenge to 28 area special needs children in a contest called Express Yourself. With the help of special needs advocacy group, Barrington Area Special Voices, this project is the latest way Thomas has used his lens to both enlighten and empower.

“Express Yourself” Photo Contest, Courtesy of Thomas Balsamo

For the Express Yourself Photo Contest, Thomas armed contestants with cameras, confidence and a few tricks of his trade.  He paired them with local photography experts, encouraged them to explore and inspired them to share their feelings creatively.

Express Yourself Artists in Action, Courtesy of Thomas Balsamo

He rewarded their work with prizes and praise.  The project became the focus of his latest book and a brand new photography exhibit debuting in Barrington this week.  And now here’s where we come in…

“Express Yourself” Artists, Courtesy of Thomas Balsamo

During the official exhibit opening this Friday night, January 13, Express Yourself photographers will be standing proudly by their works on display at the Barrington Area Library.  We’re all invited to meet the young photographers, hear their stories, appreciate their art, request their autographs and shake hands with their mentor, Thomas Balsamo. With over four decades of experience behind the camera, he has a rare gift for capturing magnetic portraits that pull you closer and make you say, simply, “Wow!”

Barrington Photographer, Thomas Balsamo, in his Home Office

“I had great expectations from the beginning that they would deliver images that would surprise people.  I know their capabilities and how intelligent they are and I knew they would come up with things that would be incredible.  The images are amazing.”  Without giving too much away, in this exhibit you’ll find photographic portrayals of siblings and pets, patriotism and nature, music and humor. Even produce takes center stage in one of my favorite photos depicting things that ‘make you cry’. “These kids are pretty intelligent. They see things from a different perspective than some of us and have so much to offer society. They just communicate different from the rest of us and, if you give them a chance, maybe you can learn something from them. You probably will.”

It’s a conviction Thomas holds so strongly, he made the kids’ exhibit the focus of his most recent book, Express Yourself, The World Through Their Eyes. It’s the latest in his series of published works for his media company, Books that Touch. “I studied my whole life to create images that are valuable and the valuable ones are the ones that create an impression on people’s hearts and minds.  If I can hook my images up with a cause and if I can help a group of people then I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”  Express Yourself is the second book for Balsamo, a Barrington High School graduate with three sons of his own.  In 2003, he published his first book of portraits, Souls, Beneath and Beyond Autism, a beautiful collection of images portraying individuals with autism along with the writings of Sharon Rosenbloom, a speech and language pathologist and parent of an autistic child.

Of both books, Thomas says,  “I believe in the power of the image.  And I believe I have a big responsibility to use it for doing good things….Express Yourself was my opportunity to inspire special people to begin the discovery process of finding and using their gifts, passions and talents to enhance their lives and the lives of others.”  Thomas will be on hand to sign copies of Express Yourself, The World Through Their Eyes at this Friday’s exhibit opening, book signing and artists’ reception.  It’s happening from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Barrington Area Library, 505 N. Northwest Highway.  For more information, call the library at 847-382-1300 or visit their website at BarringtonAreaLibrary.org.  You can read more about Thomas Balsamo’s projects at BooksThatTouch.com.  You’ll find his photography website at PortraitsbyThomas.com.  You’ll find a great local resource for kids with special needs on the Barrington Area Special Voices website at BASV.info.  And to witness how Thomas Balsamo’s images stir emotion, you need look no further than this slideshow he created to become a true believer.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Barrington Today

365Barrington Partners

From the Community

Cook County entered Tier 1 of COVID-19 Mitigations on Saturday which allows for the return of limited indoor dining ✔️ This does not include Lake County at this time. More information, including detailed guidelines, available at coronavirus.illinois.gov #BarringtonForward #BarringtonIL ...

2 1

Adding some bold flavors to our menu with our NEW Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich, available for a limited tome. Stop by today to try it out! 🔥 🤩 #chickfila #cfakildeer #365barrington #60010 #60047 #spicy #spicysandwich ...

7 0

I LOVE a fresh canvas!!! This lovely lady has had no prior aesthetic work. We have a stepwise plan. Phase one, recreate the heart shape face with some Voluma at the cheek area!!! A little sprinkling of toxin never hurts either!! She’s thrilled and so I am to be part of her journey. 💕🥰💕🥰💕 #artandscience #bemycanvas #mindfulmakeover #improveyourselfie #treatyourself #befabulous #volumacheeks #mindfulmedispa #hoffmanestates #invernesslife #southbarrington #365barrington ☎️ 224.634.1500 ...

11 1

Luby Group Listings

113 S Cook Street Barrington, IL 60010
Commercial For Sale
- Active

Retail storefront in prime pedestrian location in downtown Barrington surrounded by Village shopping, restaurants, and steps to the Metra train station. Great opportunity to own a high visibility space, currently vacant, ready for you to move in and

New Listing - 6 days online
677 Bent Ridge Lane Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active Under Contract

The instant you walk thru the front door of this 3,778 sf colonial style home, you feel the warmth of it's modern updates! The foyer is welcoming with fresh paint, white trim, wainscoting that surrounds you and cascades up the staircase with a beauti

New Listing - 2 weeks online
109 Hillshire Drive Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

NOW A BRAND NEW HOUSE! ALMOST NOTHING UNTOUCHED! FRESHLY PAINTED THROUGHOUT, AND NOW WITH BEAUTIFUL WHITE TRIM! And that's not all....New carpet, newly refinished hardwood floors, brand new appliances, and freshly painted beautiful white kitchen cabi

New Listing - 2 weeks online
250 Florence Avenue Inverness, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Pending

Welcome to 250 Florence Avenue in beautiful Inverness. Situated on approximately 3/4-acre corner lot, this lovingly maintained home is a sprawling 4-bedroom, 2.1 bathroom with an attached 4 car garage, and an immaculate unfinished basement. An abunda