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.

Editorial portrait photography of Tennessee Titians Marcus Mariota by Chicago Photographer John Gress

Editorial Portrait Photography: NFL Rookie Premiere for Panini America

Editorial Portrait Photography: Things have sort of come full circle….. when I was a teenager my best friend introduced me to his family past time, meeting professional athletes and getting their autograph. This kind of went hand in hand with collecting trading cards. Both of which were my primary hobby until I fell in love with photography.

A little more than 20 years later I found myself creating portraits of the top NFL draft pics for their rookie football cards.