Examples of Actors Headshots in Chicago

If you’re looking for examples of actors headshots in Chicago, you’ve come to the right place. John Gress, a renowned Chicago-based photographer, specializes in capturing compelling headshots that highlight the unique character and professional potential of each actor. Below, we share some of John’s exemplary work from recent photoshoots, along with valuable insights on choosing the right photographer for your needs.

Examples of actors headshots in Chicago black and white
Black and white headshot example by John Gress

When selecting a photographer for your actor headshots, it’s crucial to consider their experience and expertise. John brings years of experience in lifestyle and fashion photography, ensuring each headshot not only captures your best features but also resonates with casting directors and agents.

Examples of actors headshots in Chicago white background
Actor headshot with a white background

For your actor photoshoot in Chicago, it’s essential to achieve a variety of looks. This page features a classic black and white headshot, a naturally lit color headshot, and a moody portrait, demonstrating the versatility that can be captured in a single session. John ensures a diverse portfolio that showcases different aspects of your persona, making a strong impression on casting directors.

About John Gress

Models, actors, and everyday people choose Chicago headshot photographer and portrait photographer John Gress for their headshots, professional portfolios, or to celebrate life’s milestones. With years of experience, John brings a creative approach to headshots that will make you stand out on LinkedIn or catch the eye of casting directors.

You can shoot in his studio or nearby outdoors. To view his headshot portfolio, please visit our gallery.


Examples of actors headshots in Chicago moody lighting
Moody lighting headshot example by John Gress

Flexible Pricing and Packages for Examples of Actors Headshots in Chicago

Our pricing and packages are designed to give you flexibility. Whether you need a single image for LinkedIn or multiple images for your portfolio, our sessions include at least one retouched image, with additional images available for purchase.

1 Hour Session – $499

  • Closeup, 3/4 & full body
  • Color or B&W
  • 2-4 Background Changes
  • 2-4 Clothing Changes
  • 1 Retouched Image

2 Hour Session – $749

  • Closeup, 3/4 & full body
  • Color or B&W
  • 3-5 Background Changes
  • 3-5 Clothing Changes
  • 3 Retouched Images

3 Hour Session – $999

  • Closeup, 3/4 & full body
  • Color or B&W
  • 4-7 Background Changes
  • 4-7 Clothing Changes
  • 5 Retouched Images

5 Hour Session – $2299

  • Closeup, 3/4 & full body
  • Color or B&W
  • 6-9 Background Changes
  • 6-9 Clothing Changes
  • 15 Retouched Images
  • All Images in High Resolution

After your shoot, you’ll receive a link to a web gallery with all the photos, minus the outtakes. You can select your favorites for retouching. Once selected, we retouch them, taking into account any notes you have. You’ll then receive high-resolution versions without watermarks.

Click here to book your shoot!

Essential Tips for Booking a Photographer: Examples of Actors Headshots in Chicago

Whether you decide to book John or not, here are some essential tips he wrote to help you with your acting and modeling career or your next photoshoot.

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 or service. Often, lifestyle models are good-looking everyday people who can come in every shape, size, and age. For example, an insurance company may need a distinguished senior citizen, and a beer brand may need a fit 25-year-old male with facial hair who looks like he drinks beer. I’ve 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 involves catalog shoots for stores like Sears, K-Mart, and Kohl’s. Some might scoff at doing these types of shoots, but they pay well. Some of the people I have photographed have gone on to make it big, modeling across the globe.

Full body portrait of an actor in Chicago
Portrait of Chaz in a black suit on an antique ladder with Hollywood lights and a blue background. This image demonstrates the importance of diverse shots in creating a comprehensive actor’s portfolio.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get Acting?

Acting in Chicago is similar to modeling. You can work at all levels, from community theatre to touring Broadway shows. There are also companies like Steppenwolf and Second City and TV shows like The Chi, Chicago Fire, PD, and Med. Plus, actors can be cast for commercials and lifestyle photoshoots.

Behind the scenes of an actor's photoshoot in Chicago
Chaz in a black suit on an antique ladder with Hollywood lights and a blue background. This dramatic setup exemplifies how varied looks can be achieved during a photoshoot session.

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 and I try to shoot as many looks as possible during the timed session you have booked.

Behind the scenes with John Gress in Chicago
John Gress shooting Chaz in a black suit on an antique ladder with Hollywood lights and a blue background. Behind the scenes, John captures professional headshots that highlight an actor’s versatility and character.

What is a Compcard?

A compcard, short for composite card, is a collection of five images printed on 8.5″ x 5.5″ card stock. Four vertical images and the model’s stats and contact info typically appear on the reverse, while the front usually features one image, traditionally a headshot. The purpose of a compcard is to give potential clients an idea of what a model looks like up close, full body, smiling, and not smiling. The images can come from five different looks or as few as three.

What Do You Mean by Retouched Images?

Retouched images are 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 makeup, shouldn’t be heavy-handed because no one will hire a model or an actor if they look unnatural in their photos. Properly retouching an image can take around 30 minutes, which is why photographers limit the number of retouched images and charge extra for additional images. We are a natural retouching company and strive to make you look your best, maybe a bit younger, but still natural.


Prints 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 a head and shoulder image or a variety of image framing types showcasing a model or actor.

How Many Images Do I Need?

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

What Should I Wear?

I think it’s best for people to bring twice as many looks to the studio as they would like to shoot. The looks should span a variety of styles, but it’s important that everyone has a t-shirt and jeans look in addition to clothing that isn’t covered in logos. Lifestyle models should have classic clothing in solid colors that aren’t too sexy. Actors often look great in bright solids and neutrals as well.

What Should I Be Doing in the Images?

Potential clients may want to hire a model or cast an actor based on how they look in an edgy pose, but others may want to know how they look when smiling. Remember to move during the shoot and don’t be afraid to change your poses between images. There are no wrong answers and it’s okay to miss the mark sometimes. Remember there won’t be much to choose from if all the images look the same!

Smiling portrait of an actor in Chicago
Chaz smiling in a brown sweater against a matching background. This example of actor’s headshots in Chicago showcases a natural, approachable look ideal for lifestyle modeling.

Do You Really Need a Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist?

If it were me being photographed, I’d want a makeup artist on set. Many guys think they don’t need makeup and many girls think they can do it themselves, but we all can look our best with the help of a professional. An actor may be skilled at doing their own makeup, but no one is blemish-free and proper makeup is the foundation for proper retouching. It really improves the final 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 hairstyle and makeup between looks is highly recommended for female models.

Conclusion: Mastering Examples of Actors Headshots in Chicago

In conclusion, capturing the perfect headshot is an essential step in advancing your acting or modeling career. John Gress provides expert photography services tailored to highlight your unique features and professional potential. Whether you need headshots for a compcard, portfolio, or acting auditions, John’s expertise ensures you will receive top-quality images that stand out.

For more information, feel free to follow us on social media to stay updated on our latest projects and offers:

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model head shot pricing in Chicago