Models and actors choose Chicago headshot photographer and portrait photographer John Gress to build their professional portfolios and comp cards. With years of experience in lifestyle and fashion photography, John Gress brings a creative approach to head shots that casting directors & agents notice.You can shoot in his Evanston, Illinois studio or nearby outdoors. To view his headshot portfolio, please visit our gallery.

Book Your Shoot Now


To book a reservation there is a $150 reservation fee which goes towards your total or you can pay in full. You can call 312-545-5438, email or securely checkout below.

If the dates available don’t work for you, please contact us.

All of our shoots include:

  • State-of-the-art professional digital photography
  • All images may be shot or converted to B&W or color
  • Unlimited number of photos during your shoot. But shoots are limited to one hour per look.
  • Online Proofs
  • Access to our Evanston Illinois photo studio

Comp Cards

  • 100 Model Composite Cards: $275
  • 250 Model Composite Cards: $350
  • 500 Model Composite Cards: $400

Additional Services

      • On-site Make-up Artist One Look: $200*
      • On-site Hair Stylist One Look: $200*
      • Hair & Make-up Together One Look: $225*
      • Hair & Make-up Together Three Looks: $350*
      • Hair & Make-up Together Five Looks: $475 *
      • All of the un-retouched images in medium-resolution: $149
      • All of the un-retouched images in medium-resolution: $249
      • Additional retouched images: $79
      • 5 retouched images $349
      • 10 Retouched Images $649
      • a 60-cents per mile travel fee may be assessed for photoshoots that are on location and further than 10 miles from our Evanston, Illinois photo studio.
*pricing covers one person only. Please contact us for a quote for shoots with
multiple individuals. Multiple hair and make-up looks for female models may
be priced on a custom basis and prices are subject to change depending on
scheduling and stylist’s availability.



Cash, Credit Cards, Zelle, Venmo and Paypal are accepted.

Reservation Fee:

A $150 non-refundable reservation fee is due at the time of booking. After receipt of this fee, we will reserve the date and time agreed upon and will not make other reservations for that date and time. For this reason this fee is non-refundable, even if the date is change or the appointment is canceled for any reason. The deposit goes towards your final total and can be paid above on this page, over the phone with a credit card or via Zelle (our address is If you request hair and make-up and we can not schedule someone to attend your shoot, we will refund your deposit if we can’t find a time that works for everyone. A higher deposit may be required if you’re shoot requires two or more of the following: hair, make-up and styling. If your shoot time has to be rescheduled because doing so would be unlawful due to a public health order, then we will apply that deposit in full to a new appointment after the order has expired. The balance will be due at the studio at the end of the shoot.


We specialize in natural retouching that makes you look like you. Well rested, healthy, put together, blemish free, and maybe a few years younger but not lighter. We will do up to three rounds of retouching per image, but rarely is more than one round needed. If you request additional changes you will be charged $10-30 each additional round of retouching, dependent upon the complexity. We will do our best to make any changes you request, but there is a chance your requests may exceed what is possible for us. Most location shots are done at real locations and we do not deal in overly complex composite and/or heavily altered images. However, you are more than welcome to take the images we create to a company who specializes in that type of retouching.


Coronavirus Covid-19 Photography Procedures

John Gress Media understands and acknowledges the current challenges our world is facing. Therefore, we felt it necessary to share relevant updated information about our company policies and procedures regarding our work.

As we return to work in the time of COVID-19, we want to assure our customers of our continued commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and that we are taking additional measures to protect our customers and staff from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While you may have seen photoshoots occurring with groups of unrelated unmasked people and make-up artists working, both are not legally allowed in Illinois.


The following will be our policies and procedures during photoshoots:

Adherence official guidelines

Above all, we believe in being good community citizens. We will continue to follow and adhere to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide a safe environment for our customers and staff.

Everyone will be screened as they arrive for photoshoots and this will be recorded, unless we are in the clients business or home, then we will only screen our staff. Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms will not be allowed to participate in the shoot. Including clients. We will work with the client to reschedule if necessary.

Everyone entering the studio will be required to sign a waiver releasing the studio from liability related to Covid-19.

Clients and models
Social distance of at least 6-ft. should be maintained between non-household individuals unless participating in activities permitted under Phase III guidelines

Everyone on set will wear a mask, except for the person being photographed, but only while they are being photographed and no one is allowed within 6 feet of them while they are not wearing a mask. This includes any one adjusting clothing or lighting. All of those physical adjustments will be made before the mask is removed.

We will you no-touch posing methods.

We will only take group photos when individuals are within 6 feet of each other if all of the people are from the same household.

All shoots are by appointment only and you have to arrive promptly because if you’re late, there might not be enough time to do the shoot and clean before the next client.

No Physical Greetings. Do not shake hands or greet others in any manner that requires physical contact (such as fist or elbow bumps). In the “new normal” this is considered polite, not rude.

The Studio

The studio will disinfect all hard surfaces which people have come in contact with during the shoot, before and after each shoot or shoot day, whichever is a shorter period of time.

Because of the public health emergency, no one will be allowed to sit in the area of the studio that has fabric covered furniture.

Because the Illinois department of public health says people shall “wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when within 6-ft. of others” and “Social distance of at least 6-ft. should be maintained between non-household individuals” this makes it impossible to provide make-up services or allow for images to be taken of two or more people who reside in different households.

Anyone touching shared equipment or clothing will wear gloves

Service providers will maintain social distance to the extent possible while performing services

The Studio will have masks, gloves and hand sanitizer available fo everyone in attendance

If reviewing images is required on set, then only the photographer or his assistant may touch the computer.

No Visitors or guests. All personal visitors are prohibited until further notice, except in cases of emergency. All other visitors are prohibited unless they are essential to the performance of the job.

On location
When shooting at a location that the client has rented or owns, they will be responsible for enforcing their own social distancing policy and legal requirements for the use of the space and the individuals whom they hire or ask to attend the photoshoot. The photographer will still screen members of his crew daily and all of them will wear masks and gloves as required.

No car pooling between persons of separate households.

Chicago Headshot Photographer FAQ’s

-Answered by John Gress, Chicago Headshot Photographer

What types of jobs can you get modeling?
Modeling isn’t just something you do on a runway in Paris or in a photo spread that appears in Italian Vogue. Just like there are many different types of people, there are many different types of models. In Chicago, there is a lot of work modeling for lifestyle ads, which showcase everyday life and sell a product of service. Often times lifestyle models are good looking everyday people who can come in every shape, size and age. An insurance company may need a delicately matured senior citizen and a beer brand may need a sexy 25 year old fit male with facial hair, who looks like he drinks beer. Ive done several shoots where the client requested a good looking soccer mom and kids ranging from newborns to teenagers. A lot of fashion modeling in the Midwest is catalog shooting for stores like Sears, K-Mart and Kohl’s. Some might scoff at doing these types of shoots, but they pay real money. Of course some of the people I have photographed have gone on to make it big modeling everywhere across the globe.

What is a Look?
A look is a set of pictures taken in a single scene wearing a single outfit. Some photographers limit the number of pictures they will take per look, but I always shoot until we get the shot.

What is a Compcard?
A compcard is short for composite card and is a collection of five images printed on 8.5″ x 5.5″ card stock. Four vertical images, all of the models stats and contact info typically appears on the reverse. While the front is usually covered with one image that is traditionally a head and shoulder shot. The purpose of a compcard is to give potential customers of a model’s services an idea of what they look like up close, full body, smiling and non-smiling. The images can come from five different looks or a few as three.

What do you mean by Retouched images?
Images that have been color corrected with the contrast and brightness optimally adjusted to showcase the subject. Blemishes, stray hairs and other distracting elements are removed to help the model look their best. Retouching, like make-up, shouldn’t be heavy handed, because no one will hire a model if they look unnatural in their photos. Retouching an image properly can take around 30 minutes and that’s why photographs limit the number of retouched images and charge extra for additional images.


Print’s are not included in any of our packages, however we offer prints for an additional price. Images will be cropped to accommodate the proportions of the print size.

What exactly are Headshots?
Headshots can refer to head and shoulder image or the word can refer to a variety of images showcasing a model or actor.

How many images do I need?
Actors often need one image, but can use different images for different roles. Aspiring models may wish to just add a few images to their portfolio or they may want to have five images for a compcard. A portfolio can be composed of as many images as you like, but keep in mind less is more and only want to show your best. A model will also want to have at least one image that shows his or her full body

What should I wear?
I think its best for people to bring twice as many looks to the studio as they are scheduled to shoot. The looks should span a variety of styles but its important that everyone have a t-shirt and jeans look in addition to clothing that isn’t covered in logos. Lifestyle models should have clothing that is classic, solid colors are preferred and the fit and style shouldn’t be too sexy.

What should I be doing in the images?
Potential clients may want to hire a model based on how they look in an edgy pose, but others may want to know how the model looks when they’re smiling. Remember to move and don’t be afraid to continuously change your poses between images. There are no wrong answers and it’s ok to miss the mark. Remember there isn’t much to choose from if there are many images that all look the same! .

How long will the shoot take?
Each look will take around 45 minutes, excluding changing clothes, hair and make-up.

Do you really need a make-up artist or hair stylist?
If it were me being photographed, I’d want a make-up artist on set. A lot of guys think they don’t need make-up and a lot of girls think they can do it themselves, but we all can look our best with the help of a professional. No one is blemish free and proper makeup is the foundation for proper retouching. It really improves the finial product because some challenges that makeup can fix can’t be properly addressed in Photoshop. Hair styling may not be necessary for shorter haired male models, but changing a hair style and make-up between looks is highly recommended for female models.

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