Chicago Photographer John Gress using a Photek Softlighter II Umbrella

The Photek Softlighter II Umbrella… the Best $115 You’ll Ever Spend

When I received a Photek Softlighter II for Christmas in 2015, it quickly became one of my most treasured tools. I first became aware of this miraculous modifier when I discovered my favorite photographer, Art Streiber’s work on Instagram and I noticed him using a ten sided umbrella while shooting Placido Domingo for Vanity Fair. I loved the way it looked and rather than just asking him in a comment what he was using, I went on a day long journey to find it and once I did I never looked back.

Chicago magazine photographer portrait of Gilberto Soberanis

Positively Aware Magazine photoshoot in Chicago: Latinos and HIV issue

Positively Aware magazine and Art director Rick Guasco asked me to create a series of portraits for their September+October 2016 issue focusing on Latinos with HIV. Rick’s instinct was to photograph our subjects in front of Colorful murals in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood. So after an hour or so of online research, we headed out to the neighborhood to see if what we found in cyberspace would work as backgrounds for our real people.

Chicago nightlife advertising photography lifestyle ad campaign photographer John Gress

Chicago Nightlife Advertising Photography: World Of Chocolate Ad Campaign

I first stepped into Chicago’s Union Station in 1996.I was 18 years-old and traveling through on my way to check out colleges with my mother. What possessed me to take a train clear across the country is beyond me, but I did really enjoyed the experience of seeing so much of our country first time.

Fast forward 18-years and I am back in Union Stations cavernous great hall, creating a Nightlife lifestyle ad campaign for the Aids Foundation of Chicago’s World of Chocolate. A charity event that raises money for people living with HIV and AIDS.