Chester Simpson

has over 40 years of experience in photojournalism, portraiture, editorial, travel, and corporate photography worldwide.

He grew up  painting, drawing and taking pictures in Roanoke, VA. and studied Commercial Art  at Virginia Western  Community College.  After receiving an AA degree. He hitchhiked across country in 1975 to accept a scholarship at the San Francisco Institute of Art, to study photography where he received a B.F.A.  In San Francisco, he met two of the major influences on his life, legendary master photographer Ansel Adams, founder of the Art Institute's photography department, and Jim Marshall, the famous rock-n-roll photographer. While attending school, he assisted photographers to learn the business side of photography and started hanging out and taking photographs in punk rock clubs at night.

Rolling Stone magazine published his first picture while he was still in Art School, which kicked off his career as a rock-n-roll photographer shooting for MTV, Warner Bros, MCA, AM, Capitol, CBS, and Chrysalis Record companies. He also shot assignments for BAM, Berkeley Barb, Bay Guardian, Circus, California, Crawdaddy, Creem, Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Newsweek, New West, New York Rocker, People, Relix, Rolling Stone, and San Francisco magazines.

After ten years and several record covers to his credit he moved to Washington, DC and became a tour photographer  traveling with Celebrity Entertainers and Music Artists to military bases around the world to entertain our US soldiers on USO Tours.

Documenting thirty-five USO tours with performers and celebrities such as Anita Baker, Ruth Pointer, Paul Rodriquez, Neal McCoy, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, San Francisco 49ers Cheerleaders, Wayne Newton, La Bouche, Oleta Adams, Mark Collie, Lisa Stewart, Toby Keith, BR549, Charley Waller, MCLYTE, Spyro Gyra, Larry Gatlin, Craig Morgan, Chris Young,  Rick Skaggs, Jeffery Osborne, Will Downing, La Toya Jackson, Billy Joel, Jay Leno, Sheryl Crow, Sinbad, Hilary & Chelsea Clinton, Clint Black, Hootie & the Blowfish, Gin Blossoms, B.B. King, Paula Cole, 10,000 Maniacs, Blues Traveler, Gerald McRaney, Claudia Church, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts among many others. He visited U.S. bases in Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, Panama, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Hungary, Italy, Sicily, Azores, Germany, Netherlands, England, France, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Puerto Rico, Cuba, St. Thomas, Bermuda, Antigua, Croatia, Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea. Most recently he's  traveled to India, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Chester takes on assignments for corporations, organizations, associations, and publications in and around the Washington, DC / Baltimore area.

Simpson exhibits his photographs in local, national and international galleries.

To view more of his photography, visit his web site at

For more information  email Chester Simpson 

Solo Exhibitions:

2016  The Art of Seeing - R & R  by Chester Simpson

          Barns of Rose Hill - Berryville, VA

2015  Rock & Roll Photography by Chester Simpson

          Mackies - Alexandria, VA

2013  Rock & Roll Photography by Chester Simpson 

          Jeffrey Winter Gallery - Alex., VA.

1996  “It’s Only Rock & Roll” - Jautz Photography Gallery 

           Richmond, VA

1995 “Portraits of Patriots - American EX-POW’s

          U.S. Capitol - Washington, DC

1994 “Portraits of Patriots - American EX-POW’s

          Canon House Building - Washington, DC

          The Pentagon - Arlington, VA.

          Department of Veteran Affairs - Washington, DC

          District of Columbia Arts Center - Washington, DC

1989 “It’s Only Rock-n-Roll”  

          Laughing Lizard Lounge - Alexandria, VA.

Group Exhibitions:

2016 “Though the Lens of a Father and Son”

          Mackies - Alexandria, VA  

2011  “It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll, But I like It! 

           Del Ray Artisans - Alexandria, VA.

2007  "Photo '07" - The Ellipse  Art Center - Arlington, VA.

2003  2nd Annual Old Town Art Show 

          The Trophy Room - Alexandria, VA

2003  Photo 2003

          The Ellipse Arts Center - Arlington, VA

2002  Local Artist: Martin Jenkins, Chester Simpson and David Underwood 

          Studio Bianco - Alexandria, VA.

1997  Visual Groove  - Blavk Cat - Washington, DC

1997  Washington Center for Photography - Washington, DC

1996  Art, Photography & Jazz - King Pepper - Alexandria, VA.

1996 The Cool & The Crazy Images of Punk - Govinda Gallery

1996  Washington Center for Photography - Washington, DC

1994  Fifth-Anniversary Exhibit at DCAC - District of Columbia Arts Center - Washington, DC

1993  All-Media Juried Fine Arts Competition-Gallery West - Alexandria, VA.

1993 Members Ninety Six - Washington Center for Photography - Washington, DC

1993 Hope Springs Eternal - Del Ray Artisan Center, Alexandria, VA.

1993  Juried Art Exhibition- The Athenaeum - Alexandria, VA.

1993  Alternative You’ve Been Looking for - Commonwealth Court, Alexandria, VA.

1993  Visual Groove - The Black Cat - Washington, DC

1993  Gordon Parks Photography Contest - Traveling Exhibition

          University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

          Parsons School of Design, New York, N.Y.

          Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.

          Ohio University School of Visual Communications, Athens, Ohio

          University of Kansas School of Journalism, Lawrence Kan.

          University of Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, MO.

1992  Chrome Lab Gallery - Washington, DC

1988 Celebrating 150 Years of Photography- 

         The American Academy of Physician Assistants - Alexandria, VA.

1982 The Opposite World - Punk Rock Photos

         S.F., CA

1982 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images 

         Rosco Louie Gallery - Seattle, Washington

1981 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images 

         Ambition Gallery - Boston, MA

1981 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images  

         U.C. Berkeley Heller Gallery - Berkeley, CA

1981 Sound Waves - Eye Gallery, S.F., CA

1981 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images

         Mt Hood College Gallery - Gresham, Oregon

1981 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images

         Valencia Gallery - S.F., CA.

1981 “Coast to Coast” New Wave and Punk Rock Images

         Lightwork Gallery - Syracuse, N.Y.

1980 “The Western Front Photo Exhibit"

         Jet Wave Gallery - S.F., CA.

1979   Savoy Tivoli - S.F., CA.

          Eye Gallery - S.F., CA.


2019 - “The Clash-London Calling Album 40th Anniversary”
2018 - “I Know Better Now” Richie Ramone
2017 - “Smithsonian - Rock And Roll Live and Unseen” - Penguin Random House
2016 - “The Band - The Last Waltz” (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition ... Rhino Records
2015 - 9:30 Club Book - Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015 - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables by Michael Foley
2014 - “Meet Me at the Bar, I’m Hungry,” by Mike Soper Book Cover Photo by Chester
2010 - ”Neil Young, Long May You Run" The Illustrated History-Book with (4) photos ?

2009 - ”Good Times, Bad Times" Led Zeppelin Book with 3 photos
2008 - Led Zeppelin 2008 Calendar- Photo of Robert Plant by Chester Simpson
2008 - 60 Minutes TV show/ My Photo of Bon Jovi /May 18, 2008
1986 - “Monsters of Metal, Twisted Sister,” by Toby Goldstein -Cover Photo by Chester
1986 - “Huey Lewis and the News,” by Andrew Douglas - Cover Photo by Chester Simpson
1985 - “Talking Heads,” by David Gans with three photos by Chester Simpson
1985 - San Francisco Rock by Jack McDonough
1985 - “The Rolling Stone Review 1985,” by Ira A. Robbins with 6 photos by Chester Simpson
1984 - “To Duran Duran, with Love” by Stacey Huggins / Jonathan Formula (1)photo by Chester
1982 - “Lou Reed” by Protus Limited Books-London
1982 - “Elvis Costello” by Protus Limited Books-London
1982 - “Talking Heads, by Krista Reese with (8) photos by Chester Simpson
1981 - “Trumpet to Arms” by David Armstrong - Photos of writer Warren Hinckle
1981 - “Another Roadside Attraction,“ by Tom Robbins -Authors Portrait back cover by Chester
1981 - “Twisted Kicks,” by Tom Carson - inside back cover authors portrait by Chester
1980 - “Still Life with Woodpeckers,” by Tom Robbins - Authors Portrait back cover by Chester


Art Beat
Bay Guardian
Berkeley Barb
Berkeley Gazette
Berkeley Monthly
Boston Rock
California Living
City Arts
Consumer Electronics
Country Weekly
Down Beat
Gavin Report
Guitar World
High Times
Fun Finder
Illinois Entertainer
L.A. Free Press
Melody Maker
Mother Jones
Musician / Player
New Vinyl Times
New Wave Rock
New West
New Musical Express
N.Y. Rocker
Rolling Stone
San Francisco
Student Lawyer
Texas Monthly
The Record
Village Voice
Zig Zag


Roanoke Times
London Sun
Sacramento Union
San Jose Mercury News
S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner
Tulsa-World News
Weekly World News

Radio Stations:


Record Companies:

Lunar Toones
Rhino Records
Solid Smoke
Sony Music Entertainment UK
Warner Bros

Cable Channels:

60 Minutes
CMA Awards
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
National Blues Museum

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