Photography Workshops

Chicago photography workshops

Photo by James DeVries

I didn’t get to where I am without help, so it’s the least I can do to pass along my knowledge to others.

This workshop is for semi professional and professional photographers who want to take their lighting to the next level.

I love to explore lighting, and to experiment with new techniques and ideas to refine my craft and to create better images every time I pick up a camera.

During our 8 hour hands-on workshop, we’ll start with one light and work our way up to 4 or five. We’ll practice on each other and a professional model, talk about modifiers, ratios, and post production, but more importantly, I want everyone to leave understanding why they would use each one, what happens to your look when you adjust the power of each light and what I do to achieve my look & style. I have limited these workshops to only three students in Chicago, and 15 students elsewhere (except Atlanta), because I want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to learn the concepts and put them to use.

When were all done, we can go to dinner, recap what you’ve learned and talk about how to put these new skills to work!

“The only thing I love more than lighting, is helping photographers on their journey.”

  • 9:00am – 9:30am Meet & Greet
  • 9:30am – 11:00am One & Two Lights Demonstration and Practice
  • 11:00 – 12:00pm Lunch
  • 12:00pm – 4:00pm Hands-on Lighting Setups with model(s)
  • 4:00pm – 4:10pm Break
  • 4:10pm – 5:00pm Retouching / Post Processing Demonstration
  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm Hands on Retouching
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm Dinner*

Subject to change.


To leave a deposit, for any workshop please click below. The total is due 30 days before the workshop.

Chicago Area Workshops $599

Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Chicago, Illinois

Saturday January 12, 2019

To sign-up for the workshop, please click below. 2 slots left.

US Workshops $399

Portland, Oregon

Saturday, December 29, 2018

For cost information and to sign-up for the workshop, please click below. 10 slots left.

Las Vegas, Nevada

10am Thursday, January 3, 2019

B&C Camera

4511 West Sahara Ave.

Las Vegas, Nevada 89102



For cost information and to sign-up for the workshop, please click below. 10 slots left.

Atlanta, Georgia


Imaging USA: Portrait Lighting Concepts To Step-Up Your Game

Session Time: Jan 19th 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: A314, Building A, Level 3
Track(s): Hands On, Portrait

As one of John Gress’ earliest mentors explained: “Light goes until it hits something. What else do you need to know?” Now, after 20 years of experimentation, he has discovered a few tricks of his own, and is ready to share them with you! This hands-on workshop will cover how to use multiple modifiers to create and build on the subtleties of window light, while maximizing dynamic range, building contrast and creating drama.

Washington, D.C.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

For cost information and to sign-up for the workshop, please click below. 10 slots left.

Boston, Massachusetts

Sunday, February 17, 2019

For cost information and to sign-up for the workshop, please click below. 10 slots left.

Participants also receive my five favorite Lightroom presets!

*All sales are final and non-refundable. Dinner is an optional activity and is not included in the price of tuition.

Hardware that you would use in studio by matthews and Kupo

Hardware Studio: equipment that will make your photo studio hum!

Everyone has a light stand, even make up artists. Some photographers have boom arms but when you really want to refine your work, or make your life easier in the studio easier you’ll need an arsenal of hardware. And for the most part I am not talking about the durable goods you can pick up at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Chicago fashion photographer tuxedo

Fashion Photography: DIY Light Saver

Adapting the look of LED or Fluorescent tube backgrounds for still photography with a DIY approach using softboxes, a v-flat, a knife and three Profoto lights.

Using passive and active fill to madimize shadow detail and dynamic range

Fill is not a person, but he is your friend

As photographers we might obsess about this modifier or that one, believe me I have, but often times we fall short when it comes to shadow detail. This is something I struggle with from time to time when shooting in a new room and every shoot poses its own set of problems, so the purpose of this post is to share some basic concepts that I hope will help you maximize dynamic range and develop more details in your depictions.

My garbage can full of photo modifiers

A garbage can full of modifiers, that’s perfectly normal right?

Let’s pretend for a moment I am sitting inside a reality show confession booth. Instead of disparaging the other characters on the show, I’m going to disparage myself (not really, actually. In my garage I have a garbage can full of modifiers. It looks like an episode of Hoarders in miniature, only instead of holding on to teddy bears and half-full beer cans, I collect things that make hard light look soft and in turn, make me look good.

Chicago Portrait Photographer Vintage Lights and Painted Backdrop

What ARE those lights I keep putting in my photos…

One of the most popular questions I am asked is: what are those lights in the background of my portraits? Aside from the one time that I used a Profoto Monolight unsuccessfully, every other occurrence I can recall featured a vintage light designed by Mole-Richardson.

Canon C200 with a gold mount battery

Powering a Canon C200 with Gold Mount Brick Batteries

After picking myself up off the floor following my discovery of the sticker price for Canon’s C200 batteries, I decided to look at other options. I have seen people using V-Mount and Anton Bauer Gold Mount batteries for while, but they remained a mystery to me until push came to shove once my new camera was on its way.

Broncolor Siros 800S and Profoto D1 Flash

Broncolor Siros 800 S v Profoto D1 500 AIR Review

The first time I showed my old assistant my Profoto D1 Air 500 Monolights he remarked how sexy they were…. that’s all he kept saying… “these lights are so f&*king sexy!” I can only imagine his sophomoric reaction if he got his hands on the more attractive Broncolor Siros, which comes in multiple flavors from the battery powered 400ws and 800ws Siros L to the 400ws and 800ws Siros S.