Fitness modeling in Chicago

Fitness Modeling in Chicago: Capturing Dynamic Action Shots

If you are interested in getting into fitness modeling in Chicago, the first step after perfecting your body is to find a photographer. The most crucial factors to consider are their level of experience and expertise. Equally important is whether or not you vibe with their artistic style. When planning your shoot, try some dynamic action images with athletic props, like these basketball action shots.

Fitness modeling in Chicago with Mathieu flying through the air
Matthew mid-air, sporting blue basketball shoes, black compression tights, blue shorts, and a black tank top, clutching a basketball in front of a vibrant blue backdrop.

Action-Packed Fitness Modeling in Chicago

Fitness modeling isn’t just about having a perfect physique. It’s about showcasing your body in motion and capturing the essence of athleticism. John Gress, a renowned photographer based in Chicago, excels in creating dynamic and engaging action shots that highlight a model’s strength, agility, and grace.

Fitness modeling in Chicago male model with basketball
Matthew posing in blue basketball shoes, black compression tights, blue shorts, and a black tank top, with a basketball in hand against a blue background.

John’s expertise in fitness modeling photography ensures that each image captures the model’s energy and athleticism. His keen eye for detail and ability to create compelling compositions make him one of the top photographers for fitness modeling in Chicago.

Fitness modeling in Chicago basketball action shot
Matthew in blue basketball shoes, black compression tights, blue shorts, and a black tank top, holding a basketball set against a blue background

Showcasing Your Physique: Shirtless Shots

In fitness modeling, it’s critical to have images without a shirt. This gives potential clients an idea of what you might look like on camera without a shirt or in compression clothing. John excels in capturing the raw physicality of fitness models, ensuring their physique is highlighted in the best possible way.

Fitness modeling in Chicago shirtless male model Mathieu poses in blue compression pants while holding a football
Matthew posing shirtless in blue compression pants, holding a football, against a blue backdrop.


Fitness modeling in Chicago shirtless football portrait
Matthew shirtless in blue compression pants, striking a pose against a blue background.

About John Gress Photography

Models, actors, and everyday people choose Chicago headshot photographer and portrait photographer John Gress to shoot great headshots, build their professional portfolios, or celebrate one of life’s milestones. With years of experience in lifestyle and fashion photography, John Gress brings a creative approach to headshots that will set your LinkedIn apart or catch the eye of casting directors and agents. You can shoot in his studio or nearby outdoors. To view his headshot portfolio, please visit our gallery.

Flexible Pricing and Packages

Our pricing and packages are designed to give you the flexibility to get exactly what you need without having to pay for options you don’t want. Whether you are looking for a single finished image for your LinkedIn or 20 images for your Instagram, you can get exactly what you need. All 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 the shoot, John will send a link to a web gallery with all the photos, minus the outtakes, with a watermark on top. Then you will go through them and pick the images you would like retouched. Once you send the file names, they will be retouched, taking into account any notes you have. Then, high-resolution versions of the retouched images without watermarks will be uploaded for you to download.

Click here to book your shoot!

Fitness modeling in Chicago behind the scenes
Behind the scenes with Matthew in the studio, wearing blue basketball shoes, shorts, and a black tank top.

What You Should Know About Fitness Modeling in Chicago

What Types of Jobs Can You Get Modeling?

Modeling isn’t just something done 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. John has 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 shooting 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 John has photographed have gone on to make it big, modeling 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 John always shoots until they get the shot.

Fitness modeling in Chicago football team portrait
A portrait of Matthew holding a white football helmet, dressed in a blue workout shirt and black football pants.

What is a Compcard?

A compcard, short for composite card, is a collection of five images printed on 8.5″ x 5.5″ cardstock. 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 head and shoulder shot. The purpose of a compcard is to give potential clients an idea of what a model looks like up close, full body, smiling, and non-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 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.


Prints are not included in any of John’s packages; however, prints are offered 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 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 add a few images to their portfolio or have five images for a compcard. A portfolio can be composed of as many images as desired, but keep in mind that less is more and only the best should be shown. A model will also want to have at least one image that shows their full body.

What Should I Wear?

It’s 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 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.

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 change poses continuously between images. There are no wrong answers, and it’s okay to miss the mark. Remember, there won’t be much to choose from if all the images look the same!

Fitness modeling in Chicago football portrait
Matthew posing with a white football helmet in a blue workout shirt and black football pants.

How Long Will the Shoot Take?

Each look will take around 45 minutes, excluding changing clothes, hair, and makeup.

Do You Really Need a Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist?

It’s highly recommended to have a makeup artist on set. Many guys think they don’t need makeup, and many girls think they can do it themselves, but everyone can look their best with the help of a professional. No one is blemish-free, and proper makeup is the foundation for proper retouching. It significantly 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 Fitness Modeling in Chicago

Choosing the right photographer for fitness modeling in Chicago can make a significant difference in your modeling career. John Gress’s expertise, artistic style, and flexible packages ensure you receive stunning images that showcase your unique features and professional potential. Whether you need headshots, compcards, or a complete portfolio, John’s photography is your go-to choice for high-quality, captivating visuals.

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model head shot pricing in Chicago