Chip Simons, Then and Now

In the 1980s, I wasn’t much of a studio/fashion/commercial kind of photographer. I was a journalist, I looked up to people like Stan Grosfeld, Susan Meiselas and Michel DuCille and didn’t think much about the rest of the photography world.

Of course, there were a few names we all knew – Mark Seliger, Annie Leibovitz and Chip Simons were high on the list. Amazing portrait and conceptual photographers, I wondered where that energy came from.

It’s been years since I thought about Simons. I had always liked his bold color, his use of gelled strobes mixed with ambient light … really offbeat stuff. Today, over on Rob Haggert’s blog, I learned a little about why I hadn’t thought about him – he sort of disappeared into the west.

Here’s hoping he makes a comeback, the world needs more magenta gels.

Mark E. Johnson

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