Photographers You Should Know: Annie Leibovitz by Erika Jacobs

Having gotting her start shooting for Rolling Stone magazine, Leibowitz is likely the most famous portrait photographer of the 21st century. She has photographed actors, musicians, dancers, models, and presidents. Her work can be seen in The Museum of Contemporary Art, and on magazine covers in the checkout line at Loblaws. This woman’s work is everywhere.

The Big Deal: Leibovitz picks up where Yousuf Karsh leaves off, photographing the most respected and recognized personalities of the 21th century. She is an excellent example of someone who merges personal and commercial work, stating in the introduction to her 2005 book A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005: “I don’t have two lives. This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”

Life In Brief: Born in Conneticut in 1949. Because her father is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Leibovitz moves frequently, taking her first photographs while stationed in Vietnam. Returning to the United States, Leibovitz begins shooting for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970. Her first assignment lands on the cover, and two years later she is made chief photographer. She goes on to shoot for Vanity Fair and Vogue, and her work can be seen on the covers regularly. Her campaign clients include Gap, Disney, and Dior.

Trivia Tidbit: Leibovitz was the last person to photograph John Lennon – he was shot and killed five hours later.

For More:
American Masters: Annie Leibovitz – Life Through a Lens (Article)
American Masters: Annie Leibovitz – Life Through a Lens (Documentary)
Wikipedia: Annie Leibovitz

Erika Jacobs is a Toronto-based freelance photographer and the co-creator of the Knock Twice blog, which is where a version of this post originally appeared. It's is an online resource to assist and inform budding creative professionals. You can visit Knock Twice here.


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