Annie Leibovitz (b.1949) is an American photographer celebrated for her impressive, original, and iconic portraits of a variety of celebrities. From the hundreds of photographs for Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and innumerable advertising campaigns, Leibovitz has become known as “the portraitist of the rock generation.”
Born Anna-Lou, in Westbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute expecting to become a painter. After taking a night class in photography, she immediately became captivated in that medium. In 1970, while still a student, she took her first commercial assignment to photograph John Lennon for Rolling Stone. Three years later, she became the magazine’s chief photographer.
In 1991, Leibovitz had her first museum exhibition; she became the first woman and second living photographer to show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. A companion volume, Photographs: Annie Leibovitz 1970–1990, was also published in 1991. The nostalgic Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 debuted at the Brooklyn Museum in October 2006.
Leibovitz’s achievements are celebrated in the documentary film Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2009.) During a period of financial struggles, Leibovitz began working on a personal project—her photographs of the places and objects that were meaningful to her were collected in the book Pilgrimage (2011.)
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.