Leading Lady : Linda McCartney

“If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.”

Linda McCartney never received any formal training in photography. She developed an interest after attending an evening photography course with a friend, and while she never returned to the class, it inspired her to take photos as a hobby. While working for Town and Country magazine in the mid-Sixties, she acquired a press-pass to a promotional shoot for The Rolling Stones. By a stroke of luck, Linda was the only unofficial photographer permitted. The photographs she took of The Rolling Stones helped launch her career as a professional photographer.

Linda's informal style of shooting combined with her love for music resulted in iconic images that elevated the genre of rock photography. She captured intimate portraits of legendary musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding. Linda was the first female to have a photograph featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and later appeared on the cover with husband, Paul McCartney.

Linda met Paul McCartney at a club in London while on a photo assignment, and they married two years later. After the dissolution of The Beatles, Paul encouraged her to learn the keyboard for a new band called Wings. The band afforded the McCartneys the opportunity to tour together with their children. Despite the criticism Linda received of her musical abilities, Wings experienced much success. The group won many awards, including a Grammy, and every album released made the top 10 charts in either the US or UK.

Linda was also an animal rights activist and pioneer in vegetarian cuisine. She published several cookbooks aimed at omnivores to prove that vegetarian cooking can be simple, healthy, and delicious. She developed a line of frozen meals to make vegetarian food even more accessible. Linda died from breast cancer in 1998, but her family remains involved in her food company and is committed to ensuring her accomplishments in photography live on.
- Kelly Longhurst


Photo Credit : Linda McCartney self portrait