Chicago Photographer & Director John Gress

Chicago photographer & director John Gress has spent his career with one foot in two different realms of photography: commercial and editorial. As if that wasn’t enough, he has now begun to direct music videos, commercials and corporate documentaries. His unique resume has allowed him to develop a dynamic style that produces striking visuals whether they are produced in the real world or in his Evanston, Illinois studio.


As a commercial photographer, Gress has worked on advertising and public relations campaigns for many Fortune 500 companies. His clients and marketed brands have included Airborne, Avon, Ben & Jerry’s, Best Buy, Burger King, Chrysler, Cialis, Clairol, Dodge, ESPN, Hyatt Hotels, Hershey, Hyundai, Lexus, Lufthansa, Mattel, Merck, Microsoft, Midas, Miller Coors, Nabisco, Nike, Ocean Spray, Reebok, S.C. Johnson, Sam Adams. Film and video clients have included Hyatt Hotels, Justus Clothing, various recording artists and NPR.

Chicago Photographer Gress’ work as a photojournalist has appeared in major publications around the world, including Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Time, The New York Times, The Times of London, The Washington Post, and Sports Illustrated. His assignments have included the 2010 Stanley Cup, the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, the 2007 Southern California wildfires, the 2006 Super Bowl, and the 2005 World Series. In 2007, he was named a finalist for the National Press Photographers Association’s The Best of Photojournalism Sports Photojournalist of the Year competition.

Gress arrived in Chicago in 2003 after having worked as a Portland, Oregon-based freelance photojournalist since 2001, regularly handling assignments for Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and People magazine. From 2000-2001, he was a staff photographer for The Topeka Capital-Journal, where his subjects included the University of Kansas basketball team, the Kansas City Chiefs, and state government figures. Previously, from 1996-2000, he was a freelance photojournalist for the Associated Press, covering the Portland Trail Blazers, the USA Track and Field Championships, the 1998 World Cup, and various natural disasters across the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Studio Manager & Retouch Artist Marcus White

Marcus has over a decades experience in business management and customer service. He is a talented and skillfully absorbent retoucher, enriched with foundation or art, from pencil sketchings, to oil paintings and sculpting, coupled with abundantly overflowing imagination and creativity. These attributes make him a ideal for innovative graphic design and photo editing. From the most subtle and natural enhancements to the most bold and avant-grade, with nearly 10 years experience in photo software, there is nothing he can’t do.

Producer Chengetayi Chando

Chenge is a native of Zimbabwe and a recent transplant to Chicago who has integrated seamlessly into his new home.

Gress and Chando have worked together on numerous projects such as, MillerCoors print ads, news articles and magazine editorials. He brings with him, a wealth of experience as a marketing and communications professional. Plus he has worked for various employers, from start-ups to big corporations and non-profits.

Chando holds a graduate diploma in Integrated Marketing Communications from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate school of Business, and also holds bachelors degrees in Marketing from Roosevelt University and a bachelors degree in Communication Science from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Chando’s interests are varied and eclectic, from politics, human rights issues, reading, cycling, swimming and gym.


Fashion Stylist Isaac King

Isaac King, is a Chicago based artist – a wardrobe stylist with a keen eye for trends, detail, and beauty. His 9 years of experience encompasses movies, print, television, runway, online, and commercials.

To say the least, styling is his passion.

King has styled most of my major advertising and fashion shoots.

I hope you enjoy his art as much he enjoys bringing it to life.


Hair Stylist Kelly Tracy

Kelly Tracy is a Midwest native from Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a Business Degree from Northern Kentucky University and moved to Chicago to pursue her passion for the beauty industry. She got started as a makeup artist first before pursuing hair as her true calling. Kelly attended Steven Papageorge Hair Academy in Chicago. She was a 2010 winner of the Professional Beauty Association’s Beacon Student Competition.

Kelly works with each model to find a hairstyle that fits their particular look and personality. Actors and models trust her implicitly to make their images on comp cards stand out. When not working for John Gress Photography, Kelly is a Hairstylist for Robert Jeffrey in Lincoln Park.


Makeup Artist Deirdra Carney

Deirdra Carney is a professional makeup artist and is the principal makeup artist behind De Carr Beauty & Cosmetics. She received her formal training at Makeup First Schood for Makeup Artistry and has received additional training from Candace Corey and Maurice Stein of Cinema Secrets in Los Angeles. After several years of part-time makeup artistry gigs, Deirdra made the decision to work full time as a makeup artist. Once she received her Illinois certification in 2008, she began her career as a makeup artist and in the process, founded De Carr Beauty & Cosmetics.

Deirdra specializes in meeting the demands of high definition television, film, video and print. She is quite comfortable on set and works in all aspects of media makeup.


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