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.

Better With Age

I have a studio photograph of my parents as a middle aged married couple, a posed portrait with her best outfit on, leaning on my dad’s back, both with pleasant, fixed smiles. 

This is the same pose we always have of ourselves through school, printed in the yearbooks, and remembered by friends.  

But years later the children have only these photographs to recall their fathers, mothers, and beloved partners.  What is remembered of their sparkle and vitality?

It is no accident the photograph of my parents my sisters share the most is one of them as childhood sweethearts in their youth and energy, graceful in the naturalness of that candid, immediate moment.  

And it is kismet that years later, I find it is the seed of my creative technique in my search to capture real emotions for the romantic parents I love to photograph.

It stems from my desire to capture livelier, more engaged and energized portraits of mothers and fathers, photographing parents as the childhood sweethearts and lifelong soulmates they are.

My portraits are moments between two people in love, showing tenderness and affection. Glowing from true feelings inside for life and each other.

This intimate portrait is a gift that keeps on giving.


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

Contact her studio here.

Sane Spaces

“I’m going to miss this show.”  

This student used to come to the UIC African American Art Gallery

to do her home work and study along with other students:

making art, practicing yoga, and on Finals week,

even eating breakfast there!

It occurred to me that I had made an art show

that successfully created a zone of energy.



For four months, 11 photographs in the AACC gallery

imbued the space with energy,

serving as an artistic ‘power station’ –

and creating a room that felt really nice to rest in.

This show working with vibration worked beyond my expectations,

and created an idea for future exhibitions, rich with potential.


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.

Love Needs Courage



“When the seed becomes a sprout

it is going into something unknown.

When the sprout starts growing flowers

it is again a movement into the unknown.

And when the fragrance leaves the flowers —

again, a quantum leap into the unknown.

Life needs courage at each step.” 

~Osho


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.

Walk in Beauty



I find beauty all around me.

I would love to find it for you, too.  

Contact my studio for portraits and events

that capture life’s freshness in spirited images.


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.

Seeing the Feeling

Do you have a favorite photograph where you remember the exact moment and can feel the textures…smells…details…even now?

When you see it, does it make you feel warm (or even teary) inside?

These photographs, however quickly or imperfectly taken, speak to you because the photograph contains the energy of the emotion itself.

I recall a Polaroid taken by my husband when our daughter was a few weeks old. He carried this picture in his wallet and in a little frame in his office.



I couldn’t understand why he liked it so much…At the time, I only saw a picture taken at an unguarded moment, the style of dress…my little girl as tiny as a doll…

It was only years later that I understood that this specific photograph recalled the feeling of being a proud new husband and father.

To help when he needed motivation, comfort and reassurance in his life.  

To help put things in perspective.  

To remember that his family loved him.

How wonderful to leave pictures of beautiful moments of reality for your children?

How wonderful would it be to have more than one of this kind of photograph?

A whole sessions’ worth?  

A whole weddings’ worth?  

A day in your life’s worth?

Schedule an interview with me at Dorothy Perry Portrait to start.

The positive energy occasions of your life are worth preserving:

a resource of now to draw on 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.

The Two Become (another) One

After creating and editing portrait images for a couple, it is my practice to put them away and look at them later.  It allows time for different, new images to emerge.



This image is one I am exploring for my dual portrait series. I love how these images capture a loving husband and wife as individuals and as a close couple.


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.

Just The Two Of Us


Within the mindset that what we do for others, we are working on in ourselves, I see the actions I am taking to help someone grow are the things that are my struggle to grow with as well.

My son and I have been a tight pair since he was born. He was not an easy boy to raise after vaccinations caused developmental regression at an important stage of life.

School, Aspergers, socialization, therapy: we had our roles: I was his cheerleader and advocate, tried to anticipate issues, ease him into trying new things –

and dust myself off when well-meaning experiments sometimes went south.

I loved him. I wanted to protect him, but over time, I came to realize that some of these well-meaning efforts ‘bubble-wrapped’ him against the work he needed to do to stand on his own feet…

Steps he needed to take himself.

I realize to be an advocate of his independence in this new stage of life, I needed to step back and let him

make his own decisions,

set new expectations,

disagree with me,

fix his own dinner,

handle his finances,

figure out his own schedules,

make his own mistakes.

Old habits die hard, and being a ‘helicopter mom’ was second nature for twenty years. It’s still hard sometimes not to take the wheel for him when he is working things out.

But this is the work towards a measure of independence that we both have to do in our own lives.

It has taken longer in time than some young adults need, but that is what it took. It takes different types of strategies and preparations, and some hand-holding, but that is what it takes as well.

And with extra time, reassurance and ‘figure it out yourself’,

I see that he is more assured, trying his wings, making short flights.

And succeeding.

One thing, though never changes.

I have a little ritual in the mornings, where I watch him walking to work in the crowds, as far as I can see him, until he is out of sight.

And then, saying ‘thank you’ in tears of gratitude

for the marvel of a young man walking down the street to work –

a vision that looks so everyday and ordinary,

but is evidence of beautiful, positive growth that has happened in ours.


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.