Saying Goodbye

Magazine Photographer’s Loss Felt Keenly

On March 18, Linda Irie, Cleveland County Lifestyle photographer and co-owner of Crimsy Photography, was on a mission: to purchase a lamb for upcoming Easter photos. She never made it; Linda, along with two of her beloved grandchildren, were killed in a tragic accident on the Turner Turnpike.

For her family, as well as her large circle of friends and business clients, and even those whose lives had only been briefly touched by this extraordinarily gifted woman, the news came as a tremendous shock, the reality of which is only now beginning to sink in.

Although I had only known Linda a little over a year, beginning just prior to the launch of this magazine in February 2016, I felt as if we shared a lifetime bond–a sentiment shared by several others who remarked on Linda’s talent for bonding immediately with people.

Publisher Jimmy Darden credits Linda’s awesome photos with much of the magazine’s success. Though wedding photography was her forte, she was equally adept at capturing still photos of food and drink for the Hot Spot column and various advertisements as she was with taking “people” pictures for the stories featured on the cover and inside pages.

“Our community suffered a tremendous loss last month when my friend, Linda Irie, and her two grandchildren were killed in a car accident. Not only was Linda one of the greatest human beings you could ever know, she was our photography partner and a major part of our success,” Darden said. “Please pray for her husband, Shawn, and their entire family as they cope with this tragedy. There are no words to describe this loss to our community. I thank God that He allowed me know Linda!”

Tiffany Tatum, co-owner of Pure Barre, Norman, recalled Linda as a perfectionist when it came to her work. “I always enjoyed getting to work with Linda,” she said. “She was not only a great photographer, she was a wonderful person! She was so passionate about what she did! I remember for one shoot, we spent about two hours trying to perfect the ultimate jumping picture.”

She added, “Linda always had a smile on her, and made everyone around her feel like family. I feel very blessed to have met her. I was extremely saddened when I learned of the unexpected and untimely death of my former friend and creative colleague. In the short time I knew her, she stood apart as someone special.”

Gia Rose, gallery manager at Designer’s Market, recalled, “I first met Linda when she was assigned to me as an ad photographer for our company. With a camera around her neck and a bubbly personality, she introduced herself, and I immediately felt a connection as both mothers, wives, artists, professionals and women.

“Over time, she became more than a colleague; she was a friend and mentor, too. I was simply in awe of her cover photography and her in my design abilities​. She instantly picked up on my interest in photography and, during our short visits, would take time to explain the technique and technical processes. She introduced me to a new world of artistry, and showed me a new format in which to express it. For that I cannot thank her enough. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have known her and been one of the many inspired by her. She will be greatly missed.”

We will all miss Linda’s contagious laughter, warm, inclusive smile; positive outlook on life; and, of course, her amazing photography skills.

The family has established a gofundme account to help pay for funeral expenses. To contribute, visit 
gofundme.com/linda-danette-smith-irie.