Annie Leibovitz, our most celebrated living photographer, explains how her pictures are made
Leibovitz addresses young photographers and readers interested in what photographers do, but any reader interested in contemporary history will be fascinated by her account of one of the richest bodies of work in the photographic canon. The subjects include photojournalism, studio work, photographing dancers and athletes, working with writers, and making the transition from shooting with film to working with digital cameras. Originally published in 2008, this revised and updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.
Leibovitz looks back at her career and the images that helped propel her to photographic superstardom in this captivating photo anthology. The bulk of the book focuses on Leibovitz’s most famous images, such as of Nixon’s resignation, the Apollo 17 shuttle launch, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and the Bush administration in the Cabinet Room of the White House. In essays that accompany each photo series, Leibovitz explains the history and circumstances behind each image. She describes her work as simply capturing a moment, and is self-aware enough to freely admit to her own shortcomings. During a photo session at Philip Johnson’s Glass House, for instance, she recounts how she ignored the owner: “I kept saying, Oh, you can do something else, and I walked around, rather rudely, taking pictures.” Leibovitz possesses a down-to-earth view, such as describing the Pirelli fashion calendar, which she shot for the 2016 edition, as “Essentially a pinup calendar produced in a limited edition.” Other anecdotes are more personal, such as describing her time documenting life during the siege of Sarajevo in 1993. This fascinating work will appeal to photography historians and casual observers alike. (Nov.)
– Publishers Weekly
“Leibovitz is not simply among our foremost image-makers. She has essentially created a new form of portraiture for our time.”-Sherri Geldin, director of the Wexner Center for the Arts
“Whether she’s photographing the famous and powerful – or simply the woman next door – Annie always captures something unexpected and deeply personal.”-Oprah Winfrey
“Getting your photograph taken by Annie is one of the great totems of success in America.”-Graydon Carter, former editor-in-chief, Vanity Fair
“Annie Leibovitz is one of the most aesthetically gifted photographers alive.”-Guardian
“Engaging, informative, intimate and beautiful, this revised and updated edition of the original, published in 2008, not only reveals the photographer, her work and her practice, it also reveals her as a person. Endlessly fascinating, the book is dense with information and lush with pictures, the quality of which is unmatched. We learn about her technique and approach, her reflections and advice, given with warmth and engagement.”-Black + White Photography
“In her own words, Annie Leibovitz provides a glimpse behind the scenes of some of her most famous photographs, from early snaps for Rolling Stone to portraits of Her Majesty The Queen, a naked and pregnant Demi Moore to the last ever photograph taken of John Lennon, nude and curled around Yoko Ono. This updated version of the 2008 original features a new chapter on Leibovitz’s most recent work.”-LuxuryLondon.co.uk
“We’re all familiar with photographer Annie Leibovitz’s most iconic images… But while her pictures are mostly synonymous with the A-list, Annie Leibovitz At Work delves into a portfolio that unites technical brilliance with unerring hard work and perseverance… These photos provide the backstory to what makes Leibovitz tick, whilst exploring her refusal to be pigeon-holed as yet another celebrity snapper. It’s a valuable lesson in how to turn something you love into something that’ll feed your soul – and your work ethic.”-Emerald Street
“A lavish collection of works from the one-and-only Annie Leibovitz… A real insight into the mind blowing processes of a photography phenomenon.”-The Essential Journal
“Annie Leibovitz’s photographs are so indelible, they have become a part of our collective consciousness.”-Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Offers a window into how and why she does what she does, delving into the stories and processes behind some of her best-known images.”-The Tennessean
“A fresh behind-the-scenes look.”-RPS (Royal Photographic Society)
“One of the greats of our time… An immensely easy read, a real insight into the life of Leibovitz, which is fascinating to both those that love a camera and those that love a picture. And then there’s the pictures – intriguing, mesmerising studies, her infamous celebrity portraits – possibly the best photo you will see of the Queen.”-Galleries
“Ever wondered what the most celebrated photographer of her time is really like in front of, as well as behind the camera? This book gives you an insight into the artist herself, including personal notes as well as great chapters on her work photographing the famous and powerful… Originally published in 2008, this updated edition brings Leibovitz’s bestselling book back into print.”-Luxury Plus
“The celebrated photographer furnishes the stories of how some of her most famous images came to be in this revised and updated edition of the original bestselling book. For lovers of contemporary history and brilliant photography.”-East Bay Express
“The celebrated photographer furnishes the stories of how some of her most famous images came to be.”-San Francisco Chronicle Online
– From the Publisher
“I’ve created a vocabulary of different styles. I draw from many different ways to take a picture.” In one way, we’ve all been taking Annie Leibovitz for granted. Over the decades, we have savored whole cascades of her artistry in books, in magazines, on album covers. Our easy immersion in her celebrity photographs has blinded us to the realization that she has been incrementally building a body of work that continues to grow more impressive with each passing year. In Annie Leibovitz at Work, she draws on her entire history of picture taking to reveal her strategies, her successes, and her challenges.
In one of her many meditations on the taking of pictures, Susan Sontag wrote that “all photographs aspire to the condition of being memorable-that is, unforgettable.” Annie Leibovitz, Sontag’s lover before her death in 2004, says she doesn’t really “have a single favorite photograph” among those she’s taken; it’s her body of work, its “accumulation,” that gives her the most satisfaction. And yet Annie Leibovitz at Work, the latest of her books, makes a viewer realize how many of Leibovitz’s pictures have managed, individually, to fulfill the egoistic aspiration Sontag ascribed to all photographs.
-The New York Times
– Thomas Mallon
Known for her celebrity portraits, Leibovitz (A Photographer’s Life) has continued to redefine portraiture for almost four decades. This book is a departure in that she discusses her personal approaches, trials, and discoveries as a professional photographer, pairing detailed memories and technical discussions with images of her most iconic celebrity portraits (including the Rolling Stones, Demi Moore, John Lennon, and Queen Elizabeth). The book adheres to a chronological format-from Leibowitz’s earliest black-and-white photos of the Rolling Stones and John Lennon to her conceptual color portraits from the 1980s that feature the Blues Brothers in blue face and Whoopi Goldberg submerged in a bathtub of milk. Also included are personal and family photographs as well as her most recent photo shoots for Vanity Fair, including the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Unlike traditional coffee-table books, this work is modest in size yet beautifully printed, but what makes it special is the informal commentary on the making of each image. Highly recommended for all collections.
– Library Journal