Chicago Nightlife Advertising Photography: World Of Chocolate Ad Campaign

Chicago nightlife advertising photography ad campaign for the Aids Foundation of Chicago’s World of Chocolate

Long before I shot this Chicago nightlife advertising photography lifestyle ad campaign, I first stepped into Chicago’s Union Station when 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 in 1996 is beyond me, but I did really enjoyed the experience of seeing so much of our country for the first time.

Chicago was an amazing place to me. The world just seemed so big and I just felt so small. I remember thinking the buildings that line Michigan Avenue were like a wall of 40-story edifices that dwarfed the skyline of my native Portland, Oregon. In retrospect those buildings aren’t that big compared to home, but I am sure when ever my family comes to visit they feel the same way.

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. You can make a donation and buy tickets to this amazing event, which takes place on December 4th, on their website.

Chicago nightlife advertising photography by lifestyle photographer John gress


Lighting the giant building was a challenge, but one I loved concurring. I had to light the room to look like nighttime,even though it was dusk. So I shaped the light on my models to strike them from different angles, while placing additional lights throughout the hall to light the background. To give the scenes a nightlife glow I put an full color temperature orange (CTO) gel on all of my lights. None of this wouldn’t be possible without the help of my assistant Christopher Free.


Chicago nightlife advertising photography behind the scenes



I love the chandeliers and lamps in the space. When I shot this nightlife lifestyle ad campaign, I made sure to introduce just enough light into the scene to create shadows and highlights without overpowering the light coming from these ornate fixtures.


Chicago nightlife advertising photography lifestyle photography by John Gress


The Chicago nightlife advertising photography lifestyle ad campaign was published in Chicago magazines and online.


Chicago nightlife advertising photography tearsheet

Chicago Nightlife Advertising Photography Credits:

Producers: Rhett Lindsay, Dan Paterno
Models: Sriram Parthasarathy, Rosey Marie Holcomb, and Jefferson West
Makeup: Mel Wilson
Hair: Dan Paterno
Photo Assisting: Christopher Free
Fashions: CRAM Fashion
LuLu’s on the Avenue
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