Named the Best Sports City on more than a few occasions over the years, Chicago takes the arena of competitive action very seriously. But even beyond its major sporting teams, the Windy City’s masses prioritize physical activity with passion and earnestness. Getting moving is a way of life, whether it be an intense session of training at the gym or a more laid-back session of yoga at the park. Naturally, brands and publications will seek to capitalize on this culture of active living, to present a new line of sports drinks or cover the next big superstar in a major league. Whatever the requirement, these seven sports and fitness photographers in Chicago will bring the magic to your campaign’s imagery.
At Wonderful Machine, sports and fitness photography includes anything relating to sports, games, athletes, fitness, or exercise [and] can be candid (action) or controlled. To cover such a broad definition, we made sure each individual on our list brought something different to the table through what they shoot and how they shoot it.
Zoe Rain’s photography is ubiquitous, featured on magazine covers, billboards, and subway car ads around the nation. Her sports and fitness portfolio carries a few traits stemming from her photojournalistic background, making her images feel much more natural through a gritty and authentic sheen. This style sets her apart from the competition, leading to numerous collaborations with clients and notable speaking gigs and panel features hosted by brands and agencies.
Some of Zoe’s clients include Nike, Red Bull, Netflix, Budweiser, Apple, Google, T-Mobile, Headspace, John Varvatos, Chicago Bulls, Sony Music, Rivian, Spotify, Wolverine Boots, Footjoy, Swisher Sweets, 9Round, Cresco Labs, Jameson, Jaegermeister, and Jordan.
In addition to furnishing fitness photography in Chicago and beyond, Jon Hamblin can also go the extra mile to supply video assets. In fact, he specializes in hybrid shoots where both media formats are produced, giving clients plenty of options for marketing content. Bringing a decade of experience along with him, Jon remains undaunted by whatever project lies before him, whether assets are required for websites, commercials, documentaries, or branded films. His portfolio within the space covers numerous moods and tones, from dogged tenacity to lighthearted hustle and bustle, so clients can realize different creative visions through his expertise.
Jon has worked with the likes of Glanbia, Pepsi, Hulu, Walgreens, Northern Illinois University, and Beam Suntory, among others.
Having been a professional skateboarder once upon a time, Randy Michael Korwin is a fitness photographer in Chicago with an exclusive perspective. When he’s behind the camera, he can both glamorize the labor put in by athletes or take a different route and capture the blood, sweat, and tears that go into any fitness endeavor. Or, if needed, he can do both at the same time, depicting the glory and satisfaction found after a grueling exercise with his compositions. Equipped with various shooting styles, Randy provides a decent amount of flexibility to his client’s creative intentions, thanks to almost two decades of experience in the business.
Randy has joined hands with organizations such as ESPN, the US Soccer Federation, and Topgolf in the sports and fitness world.
When athletes considered to be among the greatest of all time end up in front of your camera, you’re probably doing something right. In that regard, Marcus Smith is a Chicago fitness photographer doing plenty of things right. He’s an award-winning talent desired by clients such as Adidas, Apple, GQ, ESPN, Jordan, Nike, Reebok, and The New York Times, standing as a testament to his technical expertise and creativity within the discipline.
Shooting both stills and motion, Marcus brings a cinematic perspective to his imagery, largely featuring a glossy, sun-soaked aesthetic. He portrays his subjects in both dramatic and aspirational fashion, creating photos that lead to countless kids and adults dreaming wild and big about their sporting ambitions.
Nolis Anderson is another one of our fitness photographers in Chicago who has hung out with the greats. However, his future was initially set to take a different course. In 2012, he graduated from Chicago State University with a doctor of Pharmacy degree, but two years in medicine was enough to convince him otherwise. So he decided to leave that life behind and dedicate himself to photography, a wise decision considering the success he has now achieved.
Whether it’s a static portrait or an athlete in motion, Nolis has a knack for finding those picture-perfect moments, a talent that has led to gigs with Adidas, Chicago Bulls, GQ, The Hollywood Reporter, Lululemon, New Balance, Nike, Red Bull, and Reebok.
The outdoors are never too far away from Mike Killion’s photos. He graduated from Columbia College with a degree in photography and has developed quite a reputation for his images of surfing on The Great Lakes. Wherever there’s an intersection between fitness and the outdoors, you can count on Mike to be there. His camera has seen everything from hiking and cycling to jogging and golfing. However, he’s no stranger to indoor workout environments either, capturing pullups to tire flips with equal fervor.
Mike’s client list includes Nike, Red Bull, Adidas, Patagonia, ESPN, Instagram, The Surfer’s Journal, Hulu, Airbnb, and many other brands.
The world of fitness requires speed, endurance, and strength, and Chicago fitness photographer Ali Engin has been kind enough to separate his portfolio into those categories. He recognizes the different attributes required to excel in various sports, but treats each group with the same level of respect and admiration. It’s evident in his harnessing of natural and artificial light, vividly painting subjects in motion and highlighting the intensity of numerous activities, from marathons to CrossFit workouts.
Whether in color or black and white, Ali will portray physical exertion in ways that draw thunderous applause, much like a scene in Gladiator or 300.
Life will be much easier with any one of these sports and fitness photographers in Chicago handling your next commercial or editorial assignment. Adept at capturing different facets of the discipline, from portraits to action in motion, your campaign is in safe hands thanks to their creativity and vision.