Snapping at eternity and capturing life in small pixels is the fastest most efficient way to lie the truth.


She is indeed a sort of a mirror, showing even the celebrities she shoots on a regular basis, what they don’t really want to see.



You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  

Annie Leibovitz - Portrait Paladin

How high?
that is the only acceptable response if Annie Leibovitz tells you to jump.
the mistress of photography and unreputable queen of portrait photography, annie leinovitz gain her colors working for rolling stone magazine. Back in the days when there were still more music then industry in the music industry.
One of my favorite shots she took while touring with the rolling stones was keith Richards sleeping face down in her improvised studio room. The fact you see the whole studio gives you a better view at the absurdity of the situation.

And this is something Leibovitz does very well. Without ridiculing the subject, she ridicules important aspects in his life or his persona, and gets away with it. She is indeed a sort of a mirror, showing even the celebrities she shoots on a regular basis, what they don’t really want to see.
But if Annie Leibovitz tells you to jump….how high?
I want to concentrate on three photos, chosen from the dozens of photos of Leibovits I like.

This is Annie Leiboitz at her best. Yoko didn’t want to get undresses. Ok. Not a problem. John , YOU get undressed. Ready? And…thank you very much. We got the cover.

I see dozens of photographers trying their best to be creative, to be different, to be special. Trying. And trying. And really annoying me after a while. Leibovitz never tried. She just did. Yoda all the way.

I have a couple of interesting documentary films about leibovitz and I have to say I have grown to like her gentle tyrant attitude, and her strangely non-obtrusive you-will-do-exactly-what-I-say –no-matter-how –weird-it-sounds approach to portraiture.

As a documentary photographer I am a less reluctant fan, but when it comes to her straight forward in your face portrait work, there is no one even close. (And god knows many are clawing their way there as we speak, but none of them will ever posses what she always had.

A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people"
The second photo I chose for this article is the famous Demi Moore pregnant shot. More than anything else it was a breakthrough both in mainstream magazine covers and in pregnancy shoots worldwide (if I had a nickel for every time a pregnant mother uttered the words "and of course the Demi Moore pose" in my studio…)

It is not a great photo. It is a very nice one. Not great.
and no special treatment giving it any further artistic value, and yet…and yet, it is nude on a normal magazine and it is ok because it is art, it is art because it is Leibovitz. Check mate.
I've created a vocabulary of different styles. I draw from many different ways to take a picture. Sometimes I go back to reportage, to journalism. "

There was a mini storm when it came out, but you always get storms. People like to shout. The point is Leibovitz managed to do something that even the greatest commercial photographers lat century with the combination of art and commerce as a single unit, never managed to do. Give a magazine photo artistic credibility, by brand alone. Leibovitz is indeed a brand. And one of the few brands that actually has value behind the name.

The third photo is a tricky one. I changed my mind a couple of times. She just has so many great photos it is really hard to choose. For a moment there I wanted to put the famous Whoopy Goldberg nude in a milk bath, but I thought you might say I just post nude photos here, and Leibovitz is so much more.
The picture I chose to finish with, is one that says it all. Mikhail Gorbachev by the Berlin wall, for a Louie Vouiton ad , shot by Annie Leibovitz.

The commercial glitz side? Check? Highly relevant known location? Check. The mega celeb subject? Check. The mega celeb photographer? Check.
You don't have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth."
The second reason I chose this specific photos is that it is not exactly the Leibovitz style. She is venturing to a darker more serious place for a moment, while the fact it is still an ad and the Luis Vuiton bag is the supporting cast, does give it a bit of a tongue in cheek you find in so many of Leibovitz portraits.