30 Gorg Snaps From 15 Amazing Chicago Photographers

Like the saying goes, a picture can say 1,000 words — maybe even more if you know how to work a camera. And, while you may be proud of your latest Instagram snaps, true professional photography takes imagination, style, and perhaps a little less filtering. So, to show you the bigger picture, we've put together a gorgeous portfolio of snaps from 15 amazingly talented Chicago photographers. Whether it be fashion or food, these pros capture nothing less than picture perfect. Click on, dear readers!
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Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Avello.
Jennifer Avello

How long she's been shooting
Seven years.

Where we've seen her work
Ann Taylor, 1883 magazine, Bambi, The Beauty Girl, Ben Trovato Blog, BirchBox, Cosmopolitan Ukraine, Factor Women Model Management, Fashionising.com, Ford Models, Glossed and Found, Lucky, Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, New York Times Style, Production Paradise Showcase, PUSH IT, Refinery29, TJMaxx, and Topshop.

Specialties
Fashion and beauty photography.

Best part about being a photographer
"One of my favorite parts about being a photographer is all the amazing, talented, and beautiful people I am able to meet and collaborate with on a daily basis. Without them, none of this would be possible!"

About this snap
"This is one of my favorite spots to photograph. It resembles Versailles, France, but it's actually the suburbs of Chicago!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Avello.
"All the background images from this editorial snap were shot the summer before when I traveled throughout France. I projected these European landscapes onto a wall to create unique imagery."
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Photo: Courtesy of Anjali Pinto.
Anjali Pinto

How long she’s been shooting
Since December of 2010.

Where we've seen her work
Vogue, Rolling Stone, Chicago Reader, Food & Wine, Esquire, Style Network, The Huffington Post, Food Republic, Imbibe, Chicago magazine, Michigan Avenue magazine, Chicago Tribune, Eater Chicago, Zagat, Hospitality Design, TimeOut Chicago, Curbed Chicago, Urban Daddy, and Refiinery29.

Specialties
Restaurant work (food, chefs, interiors) and lifestyle pieces. Pinto also has a knack for making her subjects laugh.

Best part about being a photographer
“It's a daily compulsion to stop, notice, be inquisitive, document, and share. I never was able to keep a journal, but photography is the best way to remember what I saw and how I felt.”

About this snap
“I don't work with celebrities (like Rita Ora, pictured) or performers incredibly often, but when I do, it's so fun to capture their spark. There really is something special about a person who desires to be under a spotlight.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Anjali Pinto.
“I shot this at a wedding last summer, but it is one of my favorites. This woman was quite the creative and used to love taking pictures with her SLRs, but stopped carrying them because they were too heavy and inconvenient. Now, she just carries around disposables for important occasions, like her granddaughter's wedding.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia Lynn.
Cynthia Lynn

How long she's been shooting
Since 2007.

Where we've seen her work
CS, CS Interiors, Cesar’s Way, and Houzz.com.

Specialties
Environmental portraits, interiors/exteriors, travel, lifestyle, and dog portraits.

Best part about being a photographer
"That every day is different!"

About this snap
"This portrait is a part of a series I’m working on called 'Pets and Their People.' The series brings the focus of the viewer to the animals, rather than the people in it. In this particular image, it was a challenge to get three Frenchies to all look at the camera at the same time. With the magic of a squeaker, I was able to grab the dog's attention and make the owners laugh all at the same time!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia Lynn.
"This is one of my favorite environmental portraits. The woman in the photo was photographed in her newly constructed home. I wanted to capture the essence of her happiness of finally being able to call this home, but also to show the architectural detail that was given to the space. After framing her perfectly into the shot, her cat, Jacques, decided he wanted to be part of the photo as well!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Drew Reynolds.
Drew Reynolds

How long he's been shooting
Over 10 years.

Where we've seen his work
Rolling Stone, Rock Ridge Records, Shout! Factory, and MAGNET . Reynolds also recently shot and directed a music video for local band Pink Frost.

Specialties
Environmental portraits and capturing life moments.

Best part about being a photographer
"All the amazing people I get to meet. Also, I get to wear jeans and a T-shirt to work every day."

About this snap
I photographed the amazing band Blonde Redhead at The Vic for ALARM magazine. They were very nice and so interested in my lighting gear."
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Photo: Courtesy of Drew Reynolds.
"Angel Haze looks absolutely amazing with this beautiful backlighting. I love shooting up-and-coming artists because they're so fresh."
9 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Emma Arnold.
Emma Arnold

How long she’s been shooting
Three years.

Where we've seen her work
Aside from her blog, Arnold’s photography has been featured in Elle and Nylon.

Specialties
Fashion details.

Best part about being a photographer
“Photography is exhilarating because it is solely my point of view, as opposed to the commercial-making process (note: She's in advertising creative by day) where the creative vision is shaped by a whole cast of characters.”

About this snap
“I ran into the ever-stylish Alexa Chung on the streets of Austin at SXSW last year.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Emma Arnold.
“I spotted these Tom Ford gold gladiator boots on Anna Dello Russo at New York Fashion Week spring 2014."
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Photo: Courtesy of Heather Talbert.
Heather Talbert

How long she’s been shooting
Seven years.

Where we’ve seen her work
Blackbook, CS, Design Bureau, DuJour, Lucky, Michigan Avenue, and Teen Vogue magazines, as well as Refinery29.

Specialties
Fashion, lifestyle, and portraits.

Best part about being a photographer
“Every day is a new challenge, a new story, and a chance to make someone else happy!”

About this snap
“This image makes me want summertime all year long.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Heather Talbert.
“Location shoots are definitely my favorite. It was probably about 45 degrees that day, but we managed to get shots by all of Uptown's gems!”
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Photo: Courtesy of Julia Stotz.
Julia Stotz.

How long she’s been shooting
Since 2009.

Where we’ve seen her work
Cherry Bombe, Paper, Wilder Quarterly, DailyCandy, Dwell, Oh Joy!, Design Love Fest, Choose Chicago, and Refinery29.

Specialties
Lifestyle, editorial, still-life, and food.

Best part about being a photographer
“I get the opportunity to meet and collaborate with talented and creative people for each job. I work for myself, so I can set my own schedule to shoot when I feel the most inspired.”

About this snap
“Jen Beeman is one of the most talented and hardworking women I know. She runs Grainline Studio and used to design the fashion line HOUND. Brian Guido — my boyfriend, studio mate, inspiration, and occasional co-collaborator — and I shot this lookbook together. We shot three seasons for HOUND together. These shoots are very dear to me!”
14 of 30
Photograph: Courtesy of Julia Stotz.
“This image was shot for the blogger Oh Joy! out in L.A. We felt like kids playing with our food on this shoot. Joy is such a successful and creative woman who seems to always stick to what she believes in for her company, which is truly motivating.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Kristyna Archer.
Kristyna Archer

Since 2009.

Where we've seen her work
New York Times, Elle Decor, Inc. Magazine, TimeOut Chicago, Modern Luxury Publications, Today's Chicago Woman, Canon, and Grey Worldwide.

Specialties
Conceptual narrative, environmental portraiture, and fashion lifestyle.

Best part about being a photographer
"I get paid to do what I love and I'm my own boss. I couldn't see my path any other way and would literally be a fish out of water in any traditional office setting."

About this snap
"It's hard to verbalize why this photo makes me so happy, other than it puts my mind in a good place. It evokes feelings of freedom, exploration, beauty, risk, and youth."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kristyna Archer.
"This was one of those situations where bad lighting made for a killer shot. I was setting up this shot and then noticed the scary chandelier shadow looming over the girl from the light source I had illuminating her. I loved the tension, as if the chandelier was about to fall on her head. This turned out to be one of my favorite images."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kayoua Xiong.
Kayoua Xiong

How long she's been shooting
Six years.

Where we've seen her work
Portafolio, Papercut, The Printed Blog, NeverLazy, Coco magazine, Vesper, Me In Focus, Mami magazine, Iki, and Bast.

Specialty
Fashion.

Best part about being a photographer
"The whole process from beginning to end. Drawing up creative ideas; capturing exquisite clothes, scenery, and emotions, and processing the artwork."

About this snap
"Photographed at Pagoda Red with model Ellie Landsman, who has truly beautiful pink hair."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kayoua Xiong.
"Gabriel's Dissonance, shot with model Echo Nittolitto."
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Photo: Courtesy of Mike Schwartz.
Mike Schwartz

How long he's been shooting
About six years.

Where we've seen his work
Interior Design, Dwell, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler, CS, CS Interiors, Chicago magazine, TimeOut, Wallpaper, and Grid.

Specialties
Capturing light and space; interior and architectural photography.

Favorite thing about being a photographer
"All the different interactions with people and spaces. Working directly with the occupants and designers and knowing what goes into creating these places. It's rewarding to be able to capture a permanent image of their vision."

About this snap
"This was a really great shoot. I worked on this project with a few close friends for an architect I really admire. Shooting by the ocean, watching dolphins swimming by; it still blows my mind people live in spaces like this."
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Photo: Courtesy of Mike Schwartz.
"This is a simple photo from a home that I really enjoyed shooting. It always seems to get positive feedback; it’s nice to know that people identify with a photo that is also one of my favorites."
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Photo: Courtesy of Neil Burger.
Neil Burger

How long he's been shooting
Twelve years.

Where we've seen his work
Almost every local publication, as well as Food & Wine, GQ, and Saveur.

Specialties
Food.

Best part about being a photographer
"The best thing about being a food photographer is that I have made a living doing what I love, and I couldn't image life any other way."

About this snap
"Photography has always been a passion of mine sine I was young, but soon I discovered cooking was equally an art form to me and a creative outlet in my life. So, I decided to put the two together and make a career out of it."
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Photo: Courtesy of Neil Burger.
"I've been fortunate enough to shoot for just about every restaurant in Chicago."
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Photo: Courtesy of Brian Sorg.
Brian Sorg

How long he's been shooting
Since 2006.

Where you've seen his work
SPIN, Rolling Stone, L'Uomo Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, XXL, and Esquire. Sorg has also shot advertising campaigns for Secret Deodorant, Braun Razors, Chevrolet, JBL Speakers, and Bucketfeet Shoes.

Specialties
Finding those true and honest moments that are sometimes unexpected and/or humorous.

Best part about being a photographer
"My favorite thing is the insane variety of jobs. Literally every day is different from the next. I haven't had a single day of boring work since I started."

About this snap
"Brandon and Gina — they just look really in love and happy!"
24 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Brian Sorg.
"I met Davey when he was 13 — he's 22 now. I've been photographing him and his friends ever since. This is the day he got his braces on."
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Photo: Courtesy of Saverio Truglia.
Saverio Truglia

How long he's been shooting
Ten years.

Where we've seen his work
Chicago magazine, CS, TimeOut Chicago, O, Fast Company, Time, and Forbes. Truglia also shoots advertising campaigns for theaters like the Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens.

Specialties
Reflecting an entire story in a single image.

Best part about being a photographer
"The access it gives me into people’s lives. Everyone craves attention, and my camera lends credibility to my curiosity. This combination has people get real with me in the most unexpected ways."

About this snap
"Sometimes the greatest results of a shoot come only after I’ve tried the idea I THOUGHT would work. The lesson I've learned is to stay open to possibilities. At the end of a long shoot, we tried this random idea, which at the time felt silly but looked awesome."
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Photo: Courtesy of Saverio Truglia.
"One of the best things about being a photographer is having something of value to trade. Several years after taking his picture for a magazine, this guy who built an actual bicycle entirely from walnut, built me a custom desk for my home. In trade, I made portraits for his new media kit."
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Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Bassos.
Stephanie Bassos

How long she’s been shooting
Since 2007.

Where we've seen her work
Album covers like Margot & the Nuclear So & So's cover for its album Buzzard, the Google Drive landing page, restaurants and galleries in Chicago, and various blogs.

Specialties
Portraits, weddings, and shooting candids.

Best part about being a photographer
“Being able to give someone a photo of themselves that they love. Or, giving someone a photo of someone they love, that they love.”

About this snap
“I went up to this girl at a wedding I was shooting and asked if I could take her picture sometime. She was only in town for a week, and we scheduled a shoot right away. I like this because she has a great face, half her head is shaved, and I love the light and ‘90s fashion feel. She was so happy she had found that shirt for $5 the day before at a thrift store in Madison.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Bassos.
“I am such a sucker for long, flowing hair — especially red. I called Leslie out of the blue one Saturday and asked if she wanted to shoot for an hour. She had just finished a different shoot and already had full hair and make up on, so she was ready to go. She took down her hair in front of the lake on a super-windy day, and this was the result.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Brian Guido.
Brian Guido

How long he’s been shooting
Six years.

Where we've seen his work
Refinery 29, Chicago magazine, and SPIN.

Specialties
Portraiture and lifestyle documentary.

Best part about being a photographer
“Having the opportunity to spend a moment looking close at someone or something and attempting to capture that in a single frame.”

About this snap
“This is from a recent assignment with the band Volcano Choir. It was one of those dream assignments where I get to be the fly on the wall, take photos of anything I want to, and spend time with an amazing group of people.”
30 of 30
Photo: Courtesy of Brian Guido.
“This is Will, from a personal project where I photograph strangers. It was strange.”
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