353. Gifts that Keep Giving: Portraits by Thomas Balsamo, a True Family Treasure

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Now that December has arrived, it’s that time of year when we take a look at some of the special holiday gifts that can be found right here in the Barrington area.  But this year, we’re giving our list a new twist.  We’re specifically focusing our 2015 series on Gifts that Keep Giving.  You know, those presents that either give back in some way or help the recipient feel like they’re receiving the gift over and over again, over time?

We’re kicking things off today with one of our most treasured local resources for fine art portraiture. When clients sit down in front of his camera, Thomas Balsamo of Portraits by Thomas works his magic. Thomas photographed our children two years ago and, somehow, this portrait feels even more special to me today. I can only imagine how much we’ll cherish this memory when our kids are heading off to college.


And Thomas has exciting news to share! Not only has he just moved his studio to a brand new creative space at 403 Fox Glen Court in Barrington. He has also found a partner in his son, Wade Balsamo. Wade is a filmmaker who inherited his father’s passion for creating fine art.

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“Wade understands the heart connection and the value of portraiture and that’s what it’s all about,” Thomas says.  “It’s about capturing the essence of people which is a glimpse of their soul through their eyes.  But it really has to do with their heart as well. It’s about connecting with who they really are as an individual and being able to capture that and preserve it and put it out there in a piece of art.”

“I’m thankful for the best teacher I could have ever asked for in my dad,” Wade says.  “He’s showing me how to develop my own style, how to develop art and create portraits that capture, not just what someone looks like, but the true essence of a human being.”

To me, the best part about Thomas’ interpretative portraiture is that it’s timeless. “You can keep it on display for your whole life and never get tired of it because it brings you back to a particular place and time in your life,” Thomas says.  “People who have built collections over the years tell me how valuable it is to look at the progression of their portrait collection.”

Thomas and Wade’s new studio offers ample space to expand on collaborative projects. “We’re going to continue creating portraiture and we’re also creating films together for our company, World Touch Productions,” Thomas says.  “We created a film called Paracosm that we have sent out to film festivals and now we’re working on a full length documentary on autism.”  This follows the great success of Balsamo’s 2003 book titled Souls: Beneath & Beyond Autism.

They are also now offering a new option called Living Portraits, which are filmed interviews combined with beautiful portraiture to create a personal record of life stories to be cherished for generations.

“Our Living Portraits allow us to tell the deeper stories of individuals who want to leave a legacy,” Thomas says. “We create an environment where they can be comfortable and open, while sharing their experiences, memories, life lessons, passions, wisdom and the intimate, personal and profound stories of a lifetime.”

If you would like to give the gift of Portraits by Thomas this holiday season, he still has openings on his schedule.  You can also purchase a session with Thomas for someone you love to unwrap this year for a gift that will never stop giving.

To reach Thomas, give him a call at 847.487.7710. For more information, click here to find Thomas’ Facebook page or visit his website at PortraitsByThomasBalsamo.com.


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