Antoinette Simpson

By Tamara Jenkins

Antoinette Simpson takes in Chicago’s social scene one flash at a time. As a nightlife and celebrity events photographer, Simpson helps create lasting images of the trendsetters and elitists who flock to exclusive events in and around the city. Her work has been featured is several local publications and her company, Create Me Instant Images, is thriving. UnRated recently caught up Simpson to find out more about her.

How long have you been a photographer

Seven years

How did you get your start
My Husband. He worked at a company, Timeless Photography, for a year before I started (working with) him. I traveled with him, helping him out printing photos etc. Then I trained under Parrish Lewis (of Parrish Lewis Photography) for 6 months.

What kind of events do you do
I work nightlife and celebrity events. I work with mostly high end clients

Hardest part about being a photographer
Nothing for me. As long as I can create something special for you that’s fine. I’ve never had a bad client or experience. Everyone I’ve worked with has been satisfied.

Best part about being a photographer

Meeting new people because I’m a people person.

Best event you’ve cover
It was a First Friday’s event and I got a chance to meet Mc Lyte. She’s one of the girls from back in the day and you don’t get a chance to meet someone like her that often. Another event was when I met Robin Thicke. Both artists were so nice and sweet and took photos with fans.

Worst part of your job

When weddings start late. They tell me to be there by a certain time and I’m waiting 2-3 hours for the ceremony to begin.

Do you only work in Chicago

No. I’ve traveled to Connecticut, I just got booked for something in St. Louis. I also take a lot of photos when I travel.

Any role models or mentors in the business

My husband and Parrish Lewis who trained me. Parrish trained me very well and taught me that sometimes you can fall but you have to learn how to pick yourself up and keep rolling.

Have you worked for any publications
My work has been in the Chicago Defender, Sophisticates Black Hair Magazine and Chicago Scene Magazine that included photos I had taken of the Chicago Bears. I’ve also shot some cookbook covers. One cookbook cover was for Smothered Southern Food by Wilbur Jones.

If you could photograph anyone, who would it be
Michelle Obama, I would love to photograph her and Prince.

Any upcoming events/projects
First Friday’s, Tantrum Monday through Friday, Intertwine Chicago the fourth Saturday of every month, Big Boi Entertainment (BBE) will be hosting an event in July and New Christian Life. New Christian Life is my church and it has been a blessing for me because people have been able to see my work and they like it.

What are your future goals
I’m expanding (my business) as we speak. My clientele is growing and I’m hiring more independent photographers because it’s hard out here when you’re starting out.

Have you won any awards, received any local or national recognition
Not yet, I’m waiting. That would be nice!

For more information on Antoinette Simpson and her company, Create Me Instant Images, visit: or contact her directly at

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