Sherry Rayn Barnett is a widely published music photographer, specializing in live performances. She began her career in NYC shooting for the underground press, focusing on the folk, jazz, and rock musicians of the early ‘70s.
Her work has been seen in countless music magazines over the decades, including Rolling Stone, Creem, Guitar Player, Crawdaddy, Goldmine, Acoustic Guitar, Forbes, W Magazine, and Fretboard Journal. Recent music biographies feature her photos, including “Little Girl Blue – The Karen Carpenter Story,” “Joni Mitchell, In Her Own Words,” Etta James’ “Rage To Live,” and Nina Simone’s “I Put A Spell on You.”
Clients have included C.F. Martin Guitars, Sony, Verve/Polygram, Warner Bros., and the famed UK-based TV show, “Top of the Pops.” Iconic artists such as Charlie Haden, Nina Simone, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Etta James, and The Manhattan Transfer have used her photography for promotion, CDs, documentaries, and books.
Sherry’s archives span 40+ years, documenting a “who’s who” of pop music from legends like Janis Joplin, BB King, and Tina Turner to contemporary favorites in rock, folk, jazz, blues and country. Currently based in L.A., she can be found shooting music festivals and concert series, while licensing her archival work for books, magazines, documentaries, electronic media, and private collections.
Sherry’s folk music archives are also prominently featured in the “Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation” music documentary (Netflix) and in “Troubadours” (the music of Carole King, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell).
The famed Forum rock arena in L.A. and The C.F. Martin Guitar Museum in Nazareth, PA have permanent display panels of her images, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame used one of Sherry’s classic photos of Chuck Berry to close out their induction ceremony tribute to the rock ’n’ roll legend. Her early Prince images can be seen in the pages of Rolling Stone’s Prince special tribute, being reissued again in 2020.
This year, her archival photographs have been seen in three major music documentary releases—“Linda Ronstadt, The Sound of My Voice,” “The Go-Go’s,” and “Laurel Canyon.” The newly Emmy nominated television series “Little Fires Everywhere” and Apple TV’s “Little Voice” have used her iconic Nina Simone images. In January, James Taylor personally chose several rare photographs of Sherry’s to be included in his very first Audible.com memoir, “Break Shot.”
Sherry resides in the L.A. area and is still shooting the pictures that have contributed to the visual history of our lives.