Anna-Lou Leibovitz was born in Westbury, Connecticut. She is “a photographer of celebrities who has herself become a celebrity.” For the past 25 years, no photographer has delivered more photographs of the people we most want to see than has Annie Leibovitz. Her pictures are recognizable for their bright colors, intense lighting, and above all, for unique and surprising poses.
During high school Leibovitz played guitar and wrote music and was the head of the school folksinging club. She also developed an interest in painting and attended the San Francisco Art Institute, beginning in 1967. She considered a career as a painting instructor.
During a vacation from school, Leibovitz visited her family, then living in the Philippines. She and her mother took a trip to Japan, where she bought a camera and began taking pictures.
In 1970 a friend suggested that she take her prints to Rolling Stone magazine, which was headquartered in San Francisco, then, by 1973, when she was only 23 years old, Leibovitz had become chief photographer for Rolling Stone; she stayed with the magazine for ten more years.
During her years with Rolling Stone and in her work for other magazines, Leibovitz photographed many of the biggest names in entertainment, including keyboardist-singer Stevie Wonder, rocker Bruce Springsteen, film director Woody Allen, country songbird Dolly Parton, pop singer Linda Ronstadt, actress Meryl Streep, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, and action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Since 1983, Leibovitz has worked as a featured portrait photographer for Vanity Fair. Perhaps her most controversial photograph was for a 1992 Vanity Fair cover; on it appeared actress Demi Moore–nude and very pregnant.
1983 also saw her first one-person show and her first book, ‘Annie Leibovitz: Photographs.’ The following year she was named ‘Photographer of the Year’ by the American Society of Magazine Photographers.
In 1987 she produced the ‘Portraits’ campaign for American Express, which gained her not only the 1988 Clio Award for a US National print campaign, but also the Campaign of the Decade Award from Advertising Age (1987).
In 1991 Leibovitz was honored with a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
In 1996, the Atlantic Committee named Leibovitz the official photographer for the US Olympic Team.
In 1999 she was made a member of the Art Directors Club ‘Hall of Fame’.
In A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005, Leibovitz publishes celebrity photos (among them Johnny Cash, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jack Nicholson) as well as portraits of family members and her longtime friend, Susan Sontag.
In 2006, she spoke for the Earth Day: “My hope is that we continue to nurture the places that we love, but that we also look outside our immediate worlds, to the foreign and the far away.”
A complete article, containing 1,634 words about Annie (her work and personal life).
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