Annie Leibovitz has shot some of the most famous personalities in the world. When I hear her name, cover images of vanity fair; Lance Armstrong riding his bike; and Yoko Ono and John Lennon splash across my mind. Some of her images have drawn attention though controversy, namely the photo of the young Miley Cyrus photographed semi nude. Other photographs have become visual milestones to remind us of the past. Photographers at all levels of their careers have been inspired by Annie’s photographs.
I was just listening to a very interesting review of her latest book, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage. Surprisingly, this book isn’t a collection of celebrity portraits, in fact, it doesn’t have any people at all. I had just checked out the book from my library and as soon as I opened it I was literally transported to a different time an space. Instead of portraits of our favorite celebrities, Leibovitz has captured the environment in a way that it gives you intimate details about her absent subjects. These images evoke emotion and tell stories beyond words.
In a New York Times article, Leibovitz is quoted saying “I needed to remind myself of what I like to do, what I can do.” It is so important for artists of all sorts to venture outside of their comfort zone, ultimately people like your art because of your perspective and there are so many ways to present that perspective. It is fun to work on commissioned projects but I have always been taught to give time to personal projects.