Photography Workshops

The Academy with John Gress

Photography Workshops

john gressI didn’t get to where I am without help; that’s why I want to pass along my knowledge to others. This workshop series is for anyone who wants to take their lighting to the next level. I love to explore lighting, and to experiment with new techniques and ideas to refine my craft and to create better images every time I pick up a camera. But I also love empowering photographers to build their self-confidence and their skills.

Single Day Workshops

During our intensive hands-on workshop we will start off with one light in the morning and work our way up to four or five lights in the afternoon, while recreating some of my best images and improving new set-ups. We’ll practice with a professional model(s), problem solve, talk about modifiers, ratios, and post production. But most importantly, I want everyone to leave understanding why they would use each light, what happens to your look when you adjust the power of each light. At the and of the day we will go over what I do to achieve my look and style in Capture One. I also understand Lightroom so I can help with that too.

Two Day Workshops

The advanced lighting workshops that take place in my Chicago studio twice a year will be an intimate two day experience with only five attendees. The hands-on experience covers recreating inspiration images, with each attending taking turns selecting the lighting they want to learn. I will also jump in guiding the group through some of my most advanced lighting setups. At the end I will cover retouching and we’ll have an anonymous critique of everyone’s work.


One lucky attendee will win a Sekonic L-308X-U FLASHMATE Light Meter. I used a previous model for over 20 years!

What to Bring

Please bring your camera and be ready to shoot, as we’ll be taking turns and creating new content for our portfolios and feeds. If possible please bring a laptop or tablet for editing. We will be using my lights, modifiers and triggers (I have them for all brands). When we’re all done, we can go to dinner, recap what you’ve learned, and talk about how to put these new skills to work!

Professional Photographer Magazine

"One of the nation’s foremost experts on lighting."



Custom Full day 1-on-1 In Person Workshops

Learn whatever you would like to learn on your own terms on your own schedule in my Chicago Studio. We’ll meet on zoom in advance and come up with a plan, then I will line up a model and we’ll create a custom experience designed to set you up for success! $1999


Schedule Appointment

Single day workshop schedule

  • 9:00am – 9:30am Meet & Greet
  • 9:30am – 10:00am A presentation about my process and philosophy
  • 10:00 – 11:00am One & Two Lights Demonstration and Practice
  • 11:00 – 12:00pm Lunch (provided)
  • 12:00pm – 4:00pm Hands-on Lighting Setups with model
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm Retouching / Post Processing Demonstration
  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm Hands on Retouching
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm Dinner, an optional activity that isn’t included in the cost of tuition.

Details subject to change.

Learn studio photography videos

Workshop Mailing List


IMAGE USAGE: All images taken can be used in your portfolio (online and social platforms), but please hashtag #johngressworkshops. The models have rights too, so you can’t use the images commercially, to advertise photo shoots, or promote anything that is a professional service or product. Basically, you would need a model release to do that and you won’t have one.

CANCELLATION: Free cancellation more than 7 days before the workshop. Otherwise all sales are final.

DEPOSITS: A 50% deposit or full payment is due to secure a spot. The balance is due two weeks before workshop date.

RETOUCHING: The retouching section of the workshop takes place at the end of the first day and will feature Capture One as I have switched programs.

REQUIRED: You are required to have fun, ask questions, learn, and make new friends!

*All sales are final and non-refundable. Dinner is an optional activity and is not included in the price of tuition.