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Annie Leibovitz

  • American photographer
  • Born October 1, 1949

Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz (; born October 2, 1949) is an American portrait photographer. She is best known for her engaging portraits—particularly of celebrities—which often feature subjects in intimate settings and poses. She photographed John Lennon on the day he was murdered, and her work has been used on numerous album covers and magazines. She became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington's National Portrait Gallery in 1991.


No one ever thought Clint Eastwood was funny, but he was.




In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view and to be conceptual with a picture. The image may not be literally what's going on, but it's representative.




The camera makes you forget you're there. It's not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.




The work which is manipulated looks a little boring to me. I think life is pretty strange anyway. It is wooo, wooo, wooo!




In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view. The image may not be literally what's going on, but it's representative.




What I learned from Lennon was something that did stay with me my whole career, which is to be very straightforward. I actually love talking about taking pictures, and I think that helps everyone.




I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn't just looking back at you.




If I didn't have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.




Sometimes I enjoy just photographing the surface because I think it can be as revealing as going to the heart of the matter.




I'm more interested in being good than being famous.




Those who want to be serious photographers, you're really going to have to edit your work. You're going to have to understand what you're doing. You're going to have to not just shoot, shoot, shoot. To stop and look at your work is the most important thing you can do.




My hope is that we continue to nurture the places that we love, but that we also look outside our immediate worlds.




There were some advantages to being a woman photographer. I think women have more empathy with the subject.




I wish that all of nature's magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.




At my Rolling Stones' tour, the camera was a protection. I used it in a Zen way.




Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy - your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.




When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I'd like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.




I didn't want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of aging and older women not being beautiful.




When I started working for Rolling Stone, I became very interested in journalism and thought maybe that's what I was doing, but it wasn't true. What became important was to have a point of view.




The pictures of my family were designed to be on a family wall, they were supposed to be together. It was supposed to copy my mother's wall in her house.




I admired the work of photographers like Beaton, Penn, and Avedon as much as I respected the grittier photographers such as Robert Frank. But in the same way that I had to find my own way of reportage, I had to find my own form of glamour.




I'd like to think that the actions we take today will allow others in the future to discover the wonders of landscapes we helped protect but never had the chance to enjoy ourselves.




As a young person, and I know it's hard to believe that I was shy, but you could take your camera, and it would take you to places: it was like having a friend, like having someone to go out with and look at the world. I would do things with a camera I wouldn't do normally if I was just by myself.




I personally made a decision many years ago that I wanted to crawl into portraiture because it had a lot of latitude.




I still need the camera because it is the only reason anyone is talking to me.




I'm a huge, huge fan of photography. I have a small photography collection. As soon as I started to make some money, I bought my very first photograph: an Henri Cartier-Bresson. Then I bought a Robert Frank.




It's hard to watch something go on and be talking at the same time.




If it makes you cry, it goes in the show.




As much as I'm not a journalist, I use journalism. And when you photograph a relationship, it's quite wonderful to let something unfold in front of you.




I feel very proud of the work from the '80s because it is very bright and colorful.




As I get older, the book projects are - liberating is one word, but they really are me.




My lens of choice was always the 35 mm. It was more environmental. You can't come in closer with the 35 mm.




I shoot a little bit, maybe two rolls, medium format, which is 20 pictures, and if it's not working, I change the position.




What I am interested in now is the landscape. Pictures without people. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually there are no people in my pictures. It is so emotional.




When you go to take someone's picture, the first thing they say is, what you want me to do? Everyone is very awkward.




It's a heavy weight, the camera. Now we have modern and lightweight, small plastic cameras, but in the '70s they were heavy metal.



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