Anyone who’s read a number of magazines in her lifetime or is into photography whether as a professional or an enthusiast, would have heard of—-and been impressed by—-the name Annie Leibovitz.
Some would say that there is nothing like learning photography the analogue way. It takes more patience, precision, and practice. If you wantt the perfect exposure, you’d have to use a light meter. You cannot delete a shot once you’ve released that shutter. You can take another shot in a different setting, but you won’t know whether it’s any better unless you’ve actually developed your roll of film. And one of those masters of photography who learned it the hard analogue way is Annie Leibovitz.
So why did I pick the great Ms. Leibovitz for my Monday Moodboard? The first reason is that she inspires me, simple as that. The next few reasons is that many of her accomplishments mirror what I would love to have accomplished at some point in my life: she mastered photography during the age of film; she has unambiguously photographed a number of the most interesting personalities on the planet; and she has worked for highly esteemed publications Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.
Annie Leibovitz landed a job as a staff photographer for then start-up music magazine Rolling Stone in 1970. She was only 21 years old. Within two years, she got promoted as chief photographer for the publication. The fact that she impressed the people at Rolling Stone makes my jaw drop wide open. And photographing the band Rolling Stones on tour way back in the 1970’s, and a naked John Lennon curled around his wife Yoko Ono for the cover of Rolling Stone just five hours before his death?
Annie Leibovitz was already exceptional even back then. When she moved to Vanity Fair in 1983, it would be the start of entirely different frontier for her. With a wider variety of subjects, she would further hone her expertise photographing the biggest names in Hollywood and even political figures. Her most memorable photographs for Vanity Fair are those of a very pregnant and nude Demi Moore in 1999, and Whoopi Goldberg submerged in a tub of milk, shot from above.
She won a Clio Award for the celebrity portraits she took for an American Express campaign in 1987, and became the official photographer for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Hunter Thompson was her mentor; Susan Sontag her close personal friend. In 2007, “American Masters” Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens," a documentary film detailing Leibovitz’s creative exploits from childhood to Sontag’s death, was released.
Annie Leibovitz could turn a moment into a piece of art with the release of a shutter. She is to be admired for the life she saw—-and lived—-through the lens. There is always a unique twist to her photographs, illuminating her subjects in a different light. She is truly one of the best and most respected portrait photographers of her time, and beyond.
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