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A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 Paperback – November 3, 2009
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“Her fans may be astonished both by the range of the work and the unstudied, everyday quality of some of the images–a family day at the beach, a newborn in the delivery room.”—Newsweek
“A revelation.”—Boston Sunday Globe
About the Author
Leibovitz’s first major assignment was for a cover story on John Lennon. She became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer in 1973, and by the time she left the magazine, ten years later, she had shot 142 covers and published photo-essays on scores of stories, including her memorable accounts of the resignation of Richard Nixon and of the 1975 Rolling Stones tour. In 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of work–portraits of actors, directors, writers, musicians, athletes, and political and business figures, as well as fashion photographs–that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life. In addition to her editorial work, she has created several influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning portraits for American Express and the Gap. She has also collaborated with many arts organizations. Leibovitz has a special interest in dance, and in 1990 she documented the creation of the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris.
Several collections of Leibovitz’s work have been published. They include Annie Leibovitz: Photographs (1983); Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970—1990 (1991); Olympic Portraits (1996); Women (1999), in collaboration with Susan Sontag; American Music (2003); and Annie Leibovitz at Work (2008), a first-person commentary on her career, from her coverage of the resignation of Nixon to the commissioned portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. Exhibitions of her work have appeared at museums and galleries all over the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; and the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition A Photographer’s Life, 1990—2005 opened at the Brooklyn Museum and toured internationally.
Leibovitz is the recipient of many honors. In 2006 she was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. The previous year, in a compilation of the forty top magazine covers of the past forty years by the American Society of Magazine Editors, she held the top two spots (#1 for the photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken for Rolling Stone the day Lennon was shot, and #2 for the pregnant Demi Moore in Vanity Fair). Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some people probably think portrait photographer's are gifted because they know how to stage a great photo. That is probably true. But I think the less often recognized talent is seeing who people become in the presence of a portraiture artist. When people are in Annie Leibovitz' presence, I think they may ask themselves: What images do I want to define me? What images do I want to represent me for a long time? Around Leibovitz, her subjects become regal, considered, relaxed, and sincere. Sure, the comedians are still cheesing it up for the camera sometimes. But most of her subjects realize this may be one of the few times an image will be created that may portray them in a substantive and enduring light.
In the introduction, Leibovitz' notes "But after Susan died, . . ." And when I read those words, the above thought formed in my head. Leibovitz' subjects realize her photos may be a dominant defining, popularly-known image of them after they are dead. So I think her subjects make extra effort to become something larger than 'everyday' in her presence.
I don't like to make criticisms in my reviews, and I tend to only review artworks I recommend. But it takes more than great photographs to make a great photography book. I was frustrated with the number of photographs that were enlarged across the book gutter, breaking up the photos' flows. Bigger is not always better and many of the photos would have been better as smaller images on one page.Read more ›
The second thing you should know - partly because some of the other Amazon reviewers have pointed it out - is that the vast majority of the photos in this book are shapshots of Susan Sontag, the author's intimate partner. But even if all this were potentially OK for me, I would still regret buying the book. See below.
The book evidently started as a personal memoir/elegy of Susan Sontag for distribution to friends at Sontag's funeral. I don't know what I was expecting. Half the book is a collection mostly of personal pictures of one famous person: Susan Sontag. Susan in the mountains, Susan at home, Susan on trips all over the place, Susan sleeping on the couch, etc. The remainder are devoted to celbrity photos and pictures of family, particularly Liebovitz's parents, many of which seem to have a snapshot quality of being unprepared. Too many of them fail to rise above this.
Liebovitz is well known as a photographer of celebrities. Those photos of are indeed imposing. There is a certain authority that Liebovitz brings to her journalistic photos. But this book is mostly not these portraits. It's about the author - which, by the way, is clearly stated as early as the title of the book. Many of these pictures are snapshots that, frankly, are mostly unremarkable.
A great artist can produce numerous pictures of the same subject. Think Cezanne.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great photos and they are big, but they should have had a better graphic design team. Medium format photos are perfect for one large page, and they tried to spread them across two... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karl
VERY AMAZING BOOK !!!! and arrived to Taiwan safely / very fast!!!!Published 8 months ago by Doris Shiu
If you are fan of Annie Leibovitz's work, you should definitely buy this. Even if you are not a fan of her work. You should still buy it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Q. Li
My only goal is to take better and more memorable pictures of my friends and family using my new camera. I love Annie Leibovitz work. Read morePublished 11 months ago by S. Thompson
If you enjoy photos of aging lesbians I suppose this is a book for you. Many of the photos were improperly lighted and raise questions regarding Ms. Read morePublished 13 months ago by James M. Flint