From Sauk Valley Sun
DIXON ‑‑Terry Doty likes to do more than just create photographic portraits for his clients. For him, the goal is to capture the way a person looks today for tomorrow’s memories while creating an enjoyable experience for the customer as well as himself.
“I like to have fun while I work and I want the person whom I’m photographing to have a good time too,” said Terry, owner of Doty Studio of Dixon, located north of town on Route 26. “I also like to give my clients cookies, freshly baked, when they come in to pick up their photographs.”
Terry started out as the family shutterbug. His interest in photography eventually led him to start his own studio back in 1975 on a part-time basis. By 1979, he had turned what had once been a hobby into a full-time career.
“I worked two jobs at the beginning,” Terry said. “I’d go to the studio during my lunch hour and after work.”
Terry started out by buying a studio from a photographer that was retiring. The studio was located in downtown Dixon. In May of 1985, he moved it to its current location. The move provided him with one of the largest outdoor studios in northern Illinois.
“I like the current location because the studio sits on five acres of wooded area,” Terry said. “I have created scenes that are great for outdoor portraits. I also have a large variety of indoor backgrounds.”
Over the years, Terry estimates he has photographed hundreds of high school seniors, families, couples, and children. Many of his clients return to have him create additional portraits of family members.
“The portraits allow my clients to capture the way they look today for future memories,” Terry said. “They get something they can look back on.”
Continued education and constant equipment upgrades keeps Doty Studio up-to-date on the latest techniques and style of portrait photography. He earned a Fellowship Degree from the Northern Illinois Professional Photographers Association. He is also a former president of the association and belongs to the Associated Professional Photographers of Illinois. In addition to the other two associations, he is a member of Senior Photographers International.
“The change from film to digital photography has meant that I am now doing what professional labs used to do for me,” Terry said. “I need to stay on top of the latest equipment and software in order to provide the professional service and quality my customers deserve.”
Even though the equipment may have changed, the basics of good portrait photography have remained the same, according to Terry.
“I still use light and color to create an image,” Terry said. “My ability to compose a portrait is what makes what I do different from someone who snaps a picture.”