Chicago Photographer & Director of Photography

John Gress


john gress

For over 20 years, Chicago photographer John Gress has created stunning photography and video content for some of America’s largest companies and major international publications. His extensive portfolio covers a diverse range of fields including lifestyle, advertising, portraits, and video content tailored for the beauty industry, professional sports leagues, and high-profile advertising campaigns. Recognized by Professional Photographer Magazine as “one of the nation’s foremost experts on lighting,” Gress has developed a dynamic style that is evident in the striking visuals he produces, whether on location or in his well-appointed Chicago, Illinois studio at 5339 W Lake St., Suite 427, Chicago, IL 60644.

As a commercial photographer, Gress has been instrumental in crafting compelling images for advertising and public relations campaigns for numerous Fortune 500 companies. His notable client list includes prestigious brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Best Buy, Burger King, Chrysler, Cialis, Clairol, Coors, Dodge, ESPN, Hyatt Hotels, Hershey, Hyundai, Lexus, Lufthansa, Mattel, Merck, Microsoft, Midas, Miller, Nabisco, Napa Auto Parts, Nike, Ocean Spray, Reebok, S.C. Johnson, Sam Adams and many others.

In addition to his commercial successes, his work has been featured across the globe in leading publications such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Time, The New York Times, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, The Times of London, US Weekly, and The Washington Post.

Gress’ interest in photography began in his native Oregon when, at age 14, he took his mother’s Vivitar point-and-shoot camera to summer camp. He enrolled in his first photography class during freshman year of high school, and by his senior year was covering major events for the Associated Press. In 2000, he received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Portland State University. 

His distinctive background and vast experience enable him to deliver exceptional visual content that significantly enhances clients’ branding and storytelling initiatives. Gress’s photographic approach combines technical mastery, creative insight, and a profound comprehension of his clients’ needs, establishing him as a highly sought-after professional in the industry.

Deeply committed to the photographic community, Gress inspires and educates fellow photographers. Beyond his active engagement through Instagram, YouTube, and notable photography magazines, he is a sought-after public speaker, often addressing hundreds of professionals at a time at major photography conferences. His in-person workshops, held across the United States, delve into both the technical and creative aspects of photography. These comprehensive educational efforts highlight his dedication to nurturing the growth of emerging photographers and advancing the art and craft of photography.