Photographers for Model Portfolios in Chicago – John Gress


Finding the Best Photographers for Model Portfolios in Chicago

Finding the best photographers for model portfolios in Chicago can be a daunting task. However, the most crucial factors to consider are their level of experience and expertise. Equally important is whether or not you connect with their artistic style.

Model portfolio headshot by John Gress in Chicago
Model portfolio headshot by John Gress in Chicago

When choosing a photographer for your model portfolio, it’s essential to review their portfolio to understand their style and ensure it aligns with your vision. John Gress, a renowned Chicago-based photographer, has a diverse portfolio that showcases his ability to capture stunning images that highlight a model’s unique features and style.

Three-quarter length model portrait by John Gress in Chicago
Three-quarter length model portrait by John Gress in Chicago

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 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. You can then go through them and pick the images you would like retouched. Once you send the file names, John will retouch them, taking into account any notes you have. Then, you will receive high-resolution versions of the retouched images without watermarks.

Click here to book your shoot!

Behind the scenes with John Gress and Broncolor Para 88
Behind the scenes with John Gress and Broncolor Para 88
Full body model portrait by John Gress in Chicago
Full body model portrait by John Gress in Chicago

What You Should Know Before Working with Photographers for Model Portfolios in Chicago

Whether you decide to book John or not, we want to share with you what you should know before working with photographers for model portfolios 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 delicately matured 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.

Model portfolio photoshoot on a white background by John Gress
Model portfolio photoshoot on a white background by John Gress

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!

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: Choosing the Right Photographers for Model Portfolios in Chicago

Finding the right photographers for model portfolios in Chicago can make a significant difference in your modeling career. John’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 Photography is your go-to choice for high-quality, captivating visuals.

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model head shot pricing in Chicago