The Quickie

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Who is Annie Leibovitz? A little more on the famous photographer

Posted by Athenais on October 30, 2008

At 59 years old, Annie Leibovitz is now a heavyweight of celebrity and fashion photography. She has photographed many celebrities from Whoopi Goldberg, John Lennon, Demi Moore to Hillary Clinton.

She is now showing her photographic life at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Biography:

•    Anna-Lou Leibovitz was born in 1949 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
•    In 1970 she approached the founding editor of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann Wenner. Three years later, at only 23 years old, she became the magazine’s chief photographer.
•    In 1980 she photographed John Lennon, pausing nude, curled around lover, Yoko Ono fully clothed. A few hours later Lennon was shot dead. The picture was named the best magazine cover, by the American Society of Magazine Editors, in 2005.
•    In 1983, after releasing her first book, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, she joined Vanity Fair magazine.
•    In 1989, while taking pictures for her book Aids and its Metaphors, she met writer Susan Sontag. They had a romantic relationship that lasted until Sontag’s dead from leukaemia, in 2004.
•    Her first daughter, Sarah, was born in 2001, when Leibovitz was 51.
•    Twin daughters, Susan and Samuelle (named in honor of Susan Sontag and Leibovitz’s father, who died only weeks apart) were born to a surrogate in 2005.

Annie Leibovitz now has a strong working affiliation with Vanity Fair and Vogue. Some of her major fashion shoots include Alice in Wonderland for Vogue US and the Year of a Million Dreams campaign for Disney.

Leibovitz’s photography:

“I don’t have two lives,” Leibovitz told the press, “This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”

Her style is very personal, she tends to get very close to her subjects via the camera, giving an impact to her portraits.

Susan Sontag played a very important role in Leibovitz’s photographic career. When they met Sontag told the already famous Annie Leibovitz that she was: “a good photographer, who could be better”.

It is at that time that Leibovitz started to break away from advertisement and celebrity photography to focus on more social subjects.

Leibovitz is known for a staged photographic style that exaggerates the myths surrounding celebrity.

Annie Leibovitz’s photographic books:

by Anastasia Porret, amadeo_ld@hotmail.co.uk

Click here for main article about Leibovitz exhibition.

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