Journal

Making Photos for Feelings

The image was a beautiful moment in the ceremony, deep within the photo, taken by a guest in the wedding party. The groom is a photographer friend, and I know so well the axiom that “the shoemaker’s kids have no shoes,”

and how a photographer may sometimes never own any decent photos of their own important life events sometimes.

I saw another moment within the image – to be ‘brought out’ and brightened, so that it can be seen – and felt.

The difference between retouching and my creative ‘digital caress’ is that I use a quieter, more intuitive eye to see the newer photograph inside the original one. I wrote another post about the technique in a June 6, 2020 post, Finding A Something More.

So happily honored to see that the bride posts this as her profile photo online.

I wish Daphne and Jeff Happy Anniversary, and many dances together to come!


Dorothy Perry is a Chicago portrait photographer specializing in custom family portraits, modern headshots, & personal branding for women and executives.

 Contact her for commissioned work here. Thank you.

The Digital “Caress”

The post was from someone I have enjoyed reading and communicating with: Sophie has devoted her life to creating innovative products that aid with spiritual growth and development.

In this post she published an image of her younger self, an open smile under the flat yellow-sepia tone of film photographs of our past.

I don’t usually correct people’s images when I see them online in media – it is my observation that people upload what they choose to, and adjusting them is sometimes a second thought.

Some of these images have degraded badly with fading, water marks, scratches and dust specks, but others think it makes them look authentic, look past the damage, or put the restoration project in the overloaded file of ‘Things That Need To Be Done – Someday.’

But I really like seeing the joy of people who have good images of their loved ones. Like an art restorer uncovering years of age and grime, I love to see the sparkle that’s been there all the time.

I really like the intimacy of looking at faces closely, and bringing the details back into awareness. Like a remastered record from your past, you can finally enjoy these images with refreshed beauty and memory.

I don’t consider it only restoring. It is a loving ‘digital ‘caress’ from someone who loves photos, really loves portraits, and is aware of the positive energy a good portrait of a loved one can have.

My family has several beloved prints of my parents that have cracks in them so severe that the surface has disappeared and it will have to be reconstructed. I look forward to creating a renewed set of these favorite photos for my sisters and family to enjoy again.

I sent Sophie the new image, with the apology of taking the liberty of changing it. And I am honored to say that she loves it!

Do you have older and damaged images? My digital ‘caress’ can take old family and favorite images and make them bright and beautiful again. Contact me here to look to see what I can do for yours!


Dorothy Perry is a Chicago lifestyle photographer making personal stories of intimacy and connection.

 Contact her for commissioned work here. 

Eleven-Eleven Alice


The art of photography is the continual practice of observing things with a unique vision. But expanding and refining that vision is a creative challenge as well.

We go about daily life distracted by our phones and internal chatter, and mental filters created by our pre-conceived ideas of reality and what should be in it.

Our eyes function with the help of a sensing device called a reticular activator: it picks out the things that we have chosen (or have allowed ourselves) to see.

We all have had the feeling of suddenly noticing things that have been around us all the time – when we allow ourselves to see it, then we can. Instruct your reticular activator to pick out yellow trucks, and they will seem to be everywhere. Rare or uniquely colored objects might take longer, but then your eyes will ‘pick them out’ in advertisements, signs, and packaging.

It also excels with misplaced objects, giving hot/cold feelings or images that guide you to the location. Instead of saying that you ‘lost’ something, say “I’ll find it’ instead. The confidence within this statement allows your sensing energy to locate the object that much faster.

And in some cases, it can actually set in motion and create what you desire.

My favorite memory of using this creator skill was the decision that I wanted to own a specific type of car – a vintage Volvo 240 DL. It happened so rapidly, that the process of seeing to owning that exact type of Volvo took 48 hours, start to finish: a perfect storm of coincidences and circumstances.

  • I walked out of the Brown Line train station at the moment that this very type of car drove past.
  • It had a “For Sale” sign visible in the side window.
  • The driver stopped to get gas at a station across the street.
  • The price was an amount I had available in the bank.
  • I got to witness this cascade of coincidences in action, and had a great car by that evening.

Creativity energy creates the space and circumstances for success to happen. And to keep my inner eyes working, I use different types of perceptive techniques regularly so I have a neutral state of mind that can exist for creative focus, letting go, or just enjoying that pause of meditative ‘no mind’ itself.

This exercise I’m sharing, is called “Eleven-Eleven Alice”, because I do it at 11:11, morning or evening.

Like the classic illustration of Alice expanding in a small room, the practice uses imaginating (seeing something in such 3D, 360 degree detail that the senses believe it is real) to briefly step outside everyday life thinking.


Before the start of the exercise, sit quietly, settle down into your body, relax your lower jaw. Relax all the muscles descending down your body.


Feel the top of your head touch the ceiling: brush your hair against the ceiling. feel the texture of the trim, the coolness of the paint, the lighting. (don’t worry about fans or lights, they won’t harm you!)


At the same time, widen your upper torso so that your shoulders touch the walls. Really imagine being this big. Visualize touching the surfaces through your fingertips and skin. Feel both shoulders widening and filling up all four corners of the room. Feel the smoothness and coolness of the painted wall against your skin. If there is furniture, feel its material as you expand. You are as wide as the room and growing.

Move your vision to other rooms, your lower torso going down several floors. I imagine my feet touching the ground three floors down, my head above my building, slowly looking around.

Feel your immensity. Gaze around as though your body is gargantuan: a full buildings’ tall. Take giant breaths. In this state, be grand as you feel this gigantic self.  Then come back slowly, gently back down into your body. Stay neutral, eyes soft focused, thought-less.


This enlarged self allows you to step out of your mind and daily worries, and is something you can enter and re-enter in different circumstances. Play with it. Widen yourself when you are sitting on a bus or in a car, expand when you are in a store, be big when you are talking to someone. 

There are times I do combine it with an intention to let things go, or to send out an energy of happiness to everyone in this surrounding vicinity. But I practice this to experience an imaginative and more creative state of mind – and 11:11 happens two times every day.


I look forward to hearing if ‘Eleven-Eleven Alice’ becomes your favorite time of day as well.

Portraits That Do You Justice

To do justice: to treat or show (something or someone) in a way that is as good as it should be.


When we are active in our busy lives every day,

we don’t think about the photographs that ‘live’ after us.

But consider: what photos will family remember you by?

Blurry snapshots? Selfies? Stiffly frozen portraits?

Meet someone that values and captures your personality.

Have portraits with vitality and energy to choose from.



Amateur photos and selfies don’t always do us justice.

My images of families and dynamic couples are calming, inspiring,

and beautifully displayed in elegant albums and framed art.

An amazing energetic now, for valued memory later.

Let’s make inspired images of you, your loved ones, or your life’s passion.

Images to do you justice, by Dorothy Perry Portrait .

Talk to Dorothy herself at (872) 208-7659.


Pleased to Meeting You!

As a Chicago photographer, I see people working together to provide the best experiences their own businesses can offer. All the time. This good feeling image, taken during a meeting of the Northside Networking Group, is the type of image I always seek to bring back to those who hire me.

My business event photography loves seeing the good moments of interactions, networking, and outreach in our lively communities throughout the city.

My special skill is in capturing the brief, but beautiful moments of interactions, outreach, networking and personal celebrations with better than normal portraits with the leaders and participants of your distinctive event.

Inquire here, too if your firm or organization needs branding and portrait images for social media or professional needs.

Contact Dorothy Perry Portrait at 872 208 7659 to arrange meeting and social networking photographs that show your event in its best energy.


Dorothy Perry is a Chicago portrait photographer specializing in custom family portraits, modern headshots, & personal branding for women and executives.

 Contact her studio for commissioned work here.

Loving the ‘Lovey-Dovey’


I had a mom and dad who loved each other,

and through their 50+ marriage

were joking and affectionate with each other all their lives.

But there is no evidence of their lively personalities

in the traditional poses and portraits they had taken of them.

These photos are all we had to recall the vital, real people they were.


See if you can find the two lively, lovely people in this picture!

So, in my portrait sessions, I use techniques that encourage a couple

to express their “lovey dovey” feelings for each other.

This opportunity to be affectionate lightens the mood and creates terrific images.

How great for a couple to have images specifically about their relationship.

What a great way for children to see and remember their parents as real people.

My pleasure, profession, and mission as a portraitist

is to envision the feelings of love in a lasting way

especially for later.


Dorothy Perry is a Chicago portrait photographer specializing in custom family portraits, modern headshots, & personal branding for women and executives.

 Contact her studio for commissioned work here.

Shower of Power


The pieces of glass that clad this building

show their secrets of refraction when the light is just right.

I see person after person walk by,

deep in their thoughts and phones, 

unaware they are travelling through a shower of rainbows. 


Dorothy Perry is a Chicago portrait photographer specializing in custom family portraits, modern headshots, & personal branding for women and executives.

 Contact her studio for commissioned work here.

The Dance of Life


I always start a wedding by coming early

so I can ‘synch’ up with the pace of the day.

Not only does arriving early allow me

to capture precious moments of preparation,

it lets me connect with the emotional energy of the couple

as they prepare to approach a new stage in their life.

Matching their pattern and pace is like dancing with them,

helping me to sense – and capture – real moments in time for them.



Dorothy Perry is a Chicago portrait photographer specializing in custom family portraits, modern headshots, & personal branding for women and executives.

 Contact her studio for commissioned work here.