1. What’s in your wallet right now?
Spending cash, photo ID, ATM cards, Starbucks card, and who to contact if I get lost.
2. What do you wish your parents taught you about money?
Where to put it. Not just in the sweater drawer. And how to invest it - wisely. My mom was a dancer who lived without a net. She worked too “hard for the money.” Through her struggles & frugal wisdom, I learned the value of money – what it does and doesn’t buy. My dad, on the other hand, the “sensible” one – the lawyer with a good job - mostly complained of having “no money.” Ultimately though, he had a handle on planning for the future by acquiring a portfolio of savings accounts and insurance policies … but who knew?
3. What is your worst habit around finances?
Denial. Spending what I don’t have. Having great credit but using it as cash. Putting unexpected expenses on a card. Buying a hot stock at the wrong time. Going to Vegas with “play money.” My Starbucks habit.
4. What makes you happy?
Having a loving relationship. Time with my pets. Walking the dog. Doing the right thing. Sharing what I’ve learned. Buying presents. Paying more than the minimum payment. Connecting with kindred spirits. Sharing great music. Learning new technology. Feeling inspired. Completing creative projects. Accepting the fact that I can’t “do it all.” One of my favorite quotes is “Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having it all at once.”
5. Personal philosophy around money?
Money buys freedom. Freedom allows you to be who you are. Freedom alleviates stress and opens the doors to living a creative life. When you have financial freedom, you have the choice of contributing more time, money and energy to the world outside of your own.
6. Where does money come from?
The mailman, of course! (Doesn’t it???)
7. What would you do with a million dollars?
Pay off the mortgage. Relax. Employ my out-of-work or in-transition friends and pay them well to do fun things. Travel without a schedule. Visit long distance friends. Make politically correct investments. Provide a good education for the cats.
8. What is your most prized possession?
My cats! Oh no, they own ME. OK then, my house … my guitars, my cars (Maxwell and Sparky).
9. Who is your role model?
My mom, for her creativity, perseverance, and genuine interest in other people. She never considered the limitations that were put on women back in her day. She had her first & only child (me) in her mid-40’s and danced, sang, & wrote music, living a holistic lifestyle into her mid-80’s.
10. What is your greatest achievement?
As a photographer, I’d have to say photographing Janis Joplin onstage, Joni Mitchell recording Court & Spark, and Nina Simone in my home studio for an album cover shoot. Oh yes, and buying my house.
11. How did you you get started in photography, and where did Cat Tricks come into the picture?
As a child, I followed my black and white cat around relentlessly with my turquoise blue Brownie box camera. As a teenager, I attended the High School of Performing Arts in NYC, majoring in classical guitar by day & “moonlighting” at night, photographing musicians in clubs and cafes as the underground press of the late 60s/early 70s began to develop. My first actual “assignment” was an exclusive shoot of Ike & Tina Turner. As fate would have it, Tina slept through the entire session and the story was bumped to a later date. So instead, my very first published photo was of my Bassett hound - and my B&W cat.
12. What contributions to society do you want to make?
I try to practice personal politics in my daily life … separating the recycling, cleaning the cat box, buying organic litter, etc. Seriously though, outside of my own little world, I want to do work that “makes a difference.” I’ve always wanted to create photographs that could transport the viewer to places of great beauty without having to actually be there. I still do … and am just beginning to have some of these images published. Eventually, my music photography archive, representing 30+ years of pop culture & live performance, will hopefully stand the test of time as a visual soundtrack.
13. If you could buy one thing right now what would it be?
A cabin in the woods.
14. Favorite activity that doesn’t cost a dime?
15. How do you indulge yourself?
Hot tubs, sushi, driving my convertible, a long massage, boogie boarding, a daily latte, blackjack & poker. Not necessarily all at the same time!
Sherry Rayn Barnett is a photographer/guitarist/entrepreneur, or as she sometimes describes herself, "a guitographer.” Her music photography has been widely published. Over the last three decades, Sherry has captured hundreds of live performances, from Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to Sting and David Bowie.
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