Like many other aspiring young artists in her generation, with a notion of becoming a photographer, Simone English, formerly known as Green, left Detroit for Los Angeles in 1979 after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from Wayne State University. After traveling between Los Angeles and Detroit for years, Simone settled in LA to become the photographer for Don Cornelius Productions, photographing celebrity guests and dancers who appeared on Soul Train. By 1982, Simone was a professional portrait photographer. Her clientele included many celebrities, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Barry White, Luther Vandross, The Dramatics, The Temptations, Gerald Levert, Stevie Wonder etc.
Simone is recognized for her keen eye and ability to manipulate light to add depth and perspective to her subjects. In 1986, English (then Green) formed a professional relationship with Burrell Advertising Company, America’s largest African American Advertising Agency where she photographed the production of television commercials. Simone also worked with, Motown Records, Solar Records and Capitol Records. In 1992 Simone became the chief photographer for Deathrow Records in LosAngeles, California. While at Deathrow, Simone captured some of the most often displayed images of Hip Hop culture and icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Simone’s work has been displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and used on numerous album and magazine covers. In fall of 2006 she participated in the All Eyez on Me exhibit at the VAKNIN gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a group exhibition presented by noted curator Ellen Fleurov, founding curator of the photography department at the High Museum in Atlanta. All Eyez was the largest Hip Hop show of photography ever assembled and displayed the works of several prominent photographers.
One reviewer noted, “An aesthetic of modernist realism characterizes the photographic artistry of Simone’s work.”
Critically Acclaimed Photographer