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Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

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I have never heard of Annie Leibovitz until I watched the documentary Life through a Lens. I was amazed by her work. Since 1967, the early days of photography, Annie learned that photography is very important. Annie always concentrated on the U. S. way of life, “photographing icons of various youth cultures & countercultures”. She constantly traveled from city to city to pursue political figures, pop-music stars, and counterculture personalities whose lives affect others. “To get the best picture”, Annie says, “You have to be in the happening.

To get a remarkable, one of a kind picture, you have to get to the heart of the subject and the scene, and that means experiencing what is going on first hand; such as when Annie took photographs of an anti-war protest that ended up making the cover of Rolling Stone. She has a strong need to look, to see, to show, and to know. Her hostility, determination and ability to change help her to take the best pictures.

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At a young age, Annie’s determination and strong urge to take great photographs was recognized and landed her a job working for Rolling Stone magazine based out of San Francisco.

Back in the 1970’s, while working for Rolling Stone, Annie volunteered herself to go to NY to interview John Lennon. I admire Annie’s fortitude for asking and insisting on going to the interview; she even offered to pay her own way. This picture of John Lennon started her career. America fell in love with the John Lennon pictures and Annie got a lot of press. She soon became chief photographer for Rolling Stone. At the age of 20, sold her first picture and got first commercial lesson. She became the number one photographer in the Rock & Roll world.

What Rolling Stone instilled in Annie was that what she did mattered and was important. “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people” (Leibovitz). This is exactly how Annie Leibovitz gets people to talk to her, she’s not afraid to get attached to people, to get into their lives and make them feel comfortable around her. One thing about Annie that makes her special and stands out from other photographers is her ability to incorporate something about the person into the photograph.

The subject has to be readily recognizable but the expression has to have a little shock in it to catch the public’s eye. The movement that she captures is really fantastic. A single image can have a profound effect. Annie Leibovitz is also known as a photojournalist, one of the top photojournalist in the world, meaning she hunts for the picture that sums it all up. Wherever an event, personal or public, the photojournalist must be, Annie must be. In the documentary, someone mentions “Really great photographers can’t stop taking pictures; they do it like other people eat and breath. Her whole life is a subject”.

Annie doesn’t label herself a fashion photographer, a portrait photographer, she just takes pictures, and it’s all just her work “some of it is this, some of it is that”. One of her mottos is “don’t presume anything until you get there”. Too many people do that today. If you presume something that alters your decision on say where to have a photo shoot, you could miss out on so many possibilities. What she learned along the way is that it’s so important to believe in what you’re doing and care about what you’re doing. Annie has shot for Rolling Stone until this day, along with Esquire and Vogue.

Cite this Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens. (2017, Mar 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/annie-leibovitz-life-through-a-lens/

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