Creativity · Energy · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Portraits · Vision

Original Face

Cease practice based

on intellectual understanding,

pursuing words and

following after speech.

Learn the backward step

that turns your light inward

to illuminate within.

Body and mind of themselves

will drop away,

and your original face

will be manifest. — Dogen


This ancient poem

holds the energy

of what I choose to see

in the world around me –

and what I seek to create.

Genuine. Inspired. Human.


Contact Dorothy at Perry Portrait Art

to commission new images and portraits

for the year to come!✨


A Certain Way · Creativity · Energy · Photography · Portraits · Practice · Vision

Notice What You Notice

I have always had an affinity for quirky, unconventional heroes in cartoons, books and movies.

It has taken me years to understand why these heroes attract me so.  The skill of using this type of attention and focus is the result of a system called reticular activation.

Imagine thinking of a special color, then slowly but surely starting to see that special color around you, and in many things you see throughout the day. The reticular activator filters and curates the pictures, patterns, and connections you are subconsciously thinking about.

Now I know that ‘as within, so without’, I use it now to help me notice what I am noticing – as a way to confirm if I am indeed moving towards the goals I seek.

My interest in cartoons and paladin-type heroes are that they embody a creative mindset, a never-give-up attitude, and ability to adjust with zen immediacy to whatever comes their way, all the while maintaining their autonomy and personal inner values.

My ‘mentors’ walk out on clouds without falling, stretch like rubber, find clothes and wigs wherever they are needed, and never give up, even if at first they seem to lose!

The reticular activator is also the visible language of the inner spirit. I enclose an inspirational piece from another mentor, Napoleon Hill. 

A most beneficial use of time is silent meditation, while searching for guidance from within.

We all experience rare moments when a blinding revelation comes to us, when we suddenly see things differently than ever before. Usually, however, we learn the truth about ourselves gradually, over long periods of time, from quiet introspection.

We are all spiritual, but some of us have learned to tap more effectively into the great strength that resides in the spiritual portion of ourselves.

The spirit is not boisterous and noisy. Getting in touch with your spiritual self demands tranquility and solitude.

Make sure you dedicate a portion of every day to thought and study, to think and reflect upon your life. Choose a time and place that best allow you to relax your mind and devote your thoughts to reflection.

It is my hope that these thoughts and methods will help assist you in your search for purpose in your life.

All the best,

Consciousness · Creativity · Dorothy Perry · Energy · Family Portrait · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Portraits · Practice · Vision

On the Easel

Today’s On The Easel is an infant’s portrait in natural light.

Very small infants are absolutely lovely while they observe their world around them –

I love how they embody their innocence, essential energy, and innate purity.

If you are interested in commissioning a custom portrait for your family, yourself

or as a gift for a treasured client, contact me so we can talk about how to make yours special.

I’d love to help see you surrounded by beautiful, meaningful personal art of the people that matter in the places that are ‘home’ to you.

All the best,


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.

A Certain Way · Creativity · Digital Caress · Energy · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Portraits · Practice · Vision

To Your Health

My personal portraits focus on enjoyment & contemplation.

I photograph people in their body’s ‘comfort zone’

and post-session remove canes, walkers, and aids for standing.

It is not a denial or sugarcoating of their age or health issue,

but a focus on a portrait that celebrates life

and a vision of wholeness.

Always to your health,

Dorothy Perry of Perry Portrait Art captures beautiful portraits that celebrate the best of you.

Contact her here.

Creativity · Energy · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Practice · Vision

A Moveable Feast

In the early nineties, I cut my teeth working for local weekly newspapers like the Defender, New City, and the Chicago Reader.

I loved seeing the interiors of cafes and restaurants in natural light, where the simplest things created artistic still lives, and photographed my meals before eating.

The food magazine Saveur was an inspiration to me, as for what could be done in capturing the zest of the real things happening in creating food,

and sometimes when I was lucky, I was able to photograph the people beginning the prep for the evening menu.

I got assignments from a SF startup called TurnHere and another called Seamless, photographing the dishes of local restaurants in their settings that would be included in their online advertisement.

My favorite assignment was shooting images for a book about local ‘greasy spoon’ diners, who found me by an image of the quirky scenes at Chicago’s famous White Castle.

Yes, their tiramisu tasted GREAT!

Moving into digital and past newspapers, I began to photograph for walks, special events, and expos, and photographed private events such as the Chicago WineFests in their various locations through the year.

Chicago Winefest – one of my favorite clients!

Past clients have included Sweet Thang Bakery, Letizia’s Bakery and Spacca Napoli, not to mention the restaurants captured for the start up companies.

I love watching the ‘zen’ movements of master chefs.

I’m a behind the scenes type of person, so I really enjoyed capturing the graceful rhythms of chefs within crowded rooms and the skill in creating the dishes for their customers.

The simplest things are beautiful to me.

I always pinch myself that I really do the thing I love every day. And I’d love to have the opportunity to work with you, too!

Fill out the Contact Page for photographic art of your event or experience soon!

All the best,

Creativity · Dorothy Perry · Energy · Family Portrait · Framing · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Portraits · Practice · Vision

Seeing the Big Picture

I had a business with a reputation for working with all types of personal frames and enjoyed the challenge of each session.

I am still a custom portrait photographer choosing the best of what is available now

to offer a brand new direction in a curated selection of portraits and photo art that showcases your session to view and love.

I respect busy family time and schedules and keep decisions easy to make, see and enjoy.

Rest and have fun knowing that it will be completed and ready for enjoying on your walls!

Scene of living room with framed color portrait of young Filipino husband, wife, and 8 year old boy against a bright wall. Art portrait is by photographer Dorothy Perry.

My door is open to chat with you and envision a new family portrait that shows in the eyes.

Be seen. Schedule a chat at your home to make a really good photo of your family – and enjoy it every day afterwards.

Dorothy Perry and Perry Portrait Art captures intelligent family portraits, branding images for women, and personal portrait documentary in beautiful Chicago daylight.

Contact Dorothy here! 

A Certain Way · Creativity · Energy · Imaginating · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Practice · Vision

A Branch of My Own

I have been a photographer without a fixed location for much of my career here in Chicago. A permanent location never seemed in the cards for me.

As years went by, the vision of this passion would flare briefly when I displayed my photos in local coffeeshops, bakeries, libraries and other unconventional spaces.

I once had a charming space in a vintage building at a prime location in the Wicker Park area. As everything I earned was consumed by rent, I quickly learned the grown-up lesson about pricing my services appropriately!

Back to home base again, not only for financial reasons, but to do a deep dive into the inner self that kept sabotaging me, saying I did not deserve to be successful.

Seeking independence, going my own way, creating something different: the miasma of all these rejections seemed to hang in the air, clouding my picture of myself with my dream.

I did not know I had to keep seeing the dream in detail, no matter what my current situation said, no matter what painful memories I remembered, to eventually hear the clear quiet that guides my actions.

Part of this is going back to the experience with an opened heart.

There are many times life’s formative experiences are created on a misinterpretation or misunderstanding from times when you were very young.

That young mind creates the meaning, but it need not stay destructive: it can be a reserve of power and purpose if redirected.

Money is a powerful force, and can be positive, and life-affirming, but at times, issues around earning more money can bring up old memories of relationships ruined over money, unwanted attention, crime, and other situations that create unease and concerns that money is dangerous to have.

An topic that needs to be addressed regards the secret, sabotaging fears of how having more money will change life.

I love to share what helps open energy around me, and I share an original money affirmation I use that has been helpful for the ideas my inner self has expressed around making increasing amounts of money.

There are different ways to use this gem:

  1. Record it in your own voice and listen to it as the start to each morning.
  2. Gently sit with each sentence and let the images and emotions and experiential memories well up, allowing the emotion to move through without resistance.
  3. You can choose one sentence and use it as the inspiration to consider through the day.
  4. Say it out loud during your morning walk in the park in the strongest, most positive voice you have.

After the affirmation, ’embody’ it –

Wiggle a ‘happy dance’ like a kid! Smile! Clap and shake out your body! Give thanks for the abundance you have now and already have experienced! Spread the good energy around in your world!

In my case, it took a few years to achieve, and meeting a terrific guy (attraction also happens when you begin to flex your abundance!)

who allowed the use of a beautiful big window on the side of his beautiful Victorian building that shows my artwork, beautifully visible to daily traffic of prospective customers. That window with its’ beautiful gold sign, makes me smile every day!

A dream come true. My abundance in action.

PS: I love to use the word beautiful! The word (used with the emotional feeling of viewing beauty) contains great energy in it!

As long as this amazing location of my dream exists, I read words of thanks over the picture window every day,

asking also for increased good energy for everyone who sees it, and encouragement for other people chasing their dreams of entrepreneurship and independence.

I share this affirmation publicly: may the thankful energy of a dream come true open windows of opportunity and increasing all that is good in your world.

All the best,

Money affirmation I use daily.

Dorothy Perry of Perry Portrait Art is dedicated to photographing the good energy of unique people throughout Chicago.

I welcome you to answer and send the completed Contact Page to talk about envisioning yours.

Dorothy Perry · Energy · Perry Portrait Art · Photography · Portraits

Show of Hands

I photographed their parents elopement portrait

and their blending families,

and amongst the official moments

of this special day, of a new life,

they created a new portrait

especially for me to see.

I wish their big, brand new family

many moments of unity, amity, and love.


Perry Portrait Art captures real families and their good energy.

Complete the Contact Page to envision yours.

A Certain Way · Consciousness · Creativity · Dorothy Perry · Perry Portrait Art · Practice · Vision

Generosity of Spirit

waving good luck cat maneki neko

There is a generosity of spirit I continually refer to in dealing with others.

The best way I can describe it is intent, creation, and maintenance of a state of mind

that is flexible, open eyed, and playfully creative.

It trains itself to see abundance in the environment,

experiences simple, present-moment emotions of happiness,

maintains a grounded, connection with internal wisdom (quickly when needed)

and surrounds itself with reminders

to look upward and inward for its answers.