About Organic Headshots
Since 2005, Organic Headshots has been the first choice for quality, natural portraits in Chicago
Owner/Photographer: Michelle Kaffko
I first got into photography when I was 16 and found the 1981 Chinon my dad bought when I was born (and now we all know exactly how old I am). I gallivanted around town taking artsy-looking photos of my dog and plants by the side of the road, learning about composition, lighting, and storytelling through images. In college I studied cinematography and darkroom processing and majored in film theory (with a minor in Forensic Anthropology—- who says your undergraduate degree has to make sense?).
After college I started a career in marketing while spending my nights and weekends in a homemade darkroom, learning more about headshots specifically and what makes a good headshot. As more and more people sought me out for headshots I switched careers to make photography my 100% priority. I started to specialize in corporate portraits and executive headshots and became known as the photographer who can make just about anyone look natural, confident, and just plain great in their photos.
My background in marketing tells me that 99% of my clients are having their headshot taken because they need it for a specific purpose (such as a bio page for their website, a LinkedIn profile for a job search, etc.), and that their photo is a central part of their business and personal promotion and success. I always talk to each person about what they're going to use their headshots for so we can make sure we're getting the best photo for their specific purposes. When you come to the studio for a headshot, I'll ask you what line of work you're in and where the photo will be used so we can work together to choose the right clothing, backdrop color, and poses that will best show what you do and who you are.
Studio Manager/Photographer: Jeff Johnson
My passion for photography began at a young age. My father managed a camera shop in downtown Annapolis, Maryland and I would watch him develop his own photos in a makeshift darkroom at our home across the Chesapeake Bay. After studying Design at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I set off to explore the Deep South. I bounced around from Baton Rouge to Dallas working in management, but my Dad's death in 2009 reaffirmed my need for creative fulfillment.
I relocated to Chicago for work and began studying at the Chicago Photography Center in my spare time, where I went on to complete a two year Certificate Program and serve on the Board of Directors. I felt close to my Dad every time I picked up a camera, so I decided I should make a change. In 2013 I quit my proverbial day job to work in photography full time.
Today I can be found taking photographs of all sorts around Chicago, but I especially love portraits and headshots. There's nothing like the connection you experience when there's nothing between you and your subject but a camera. There's a delicate dance as a photographer, trying to balance the technical with putting people at ease - in what most consider an uncomfortable situation. With the right technique, though, you can produce a great photo that really captures who they are.
Over 10 years, thousands of corporate headshots and event photos have been taken for large and small firms including:
- Big Ten
- Capital One
- University of Chicago
- American Dental Association
- Ozzie Guillen Foundation
- Planned Parenthood
- Hyatt Centric
- BBC Worldwide
- Precious Moments
- Whole Foods
- BMO Harris
- Raymond James
- Bank of New York
- Holabird & Root
- Law Bulletin Publishing Company
- Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
See inside the studio: