Annie Leibovitz was born in 1949 in Connecticut, USA and originally studied art and painting in the San Francisco Art Institute. After travelling with her family to Japan, she finally discovered photography and started taking night classes. Leibovitz got into the 'big time' when she approached the editor of rolling stone magazine and 1970 and showed her, her portfolio of images. By 1973 she was the chief photographer for rolling stone magazine.
The magazine started printing in colour in 1974 and Leibovitz followed suit with her photographs. Originally she was only ever taught how to take black and white pictures, so in 1974 when rolling stone magazine was printing in colour, she followed suit by taking colour images for the likes of Bob Dylan, Bob Marley and Patti smith. in 1975 she was the rolling stones official photographer and went on world tour with them. while on the road, she produced her iconic black and white portraits of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
In 1980 Rolling stone magazine was sent to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono who had recently produced a joint album. For the portrait she imagined that the two would pose together nude, however, Ono was not happy with this and it was only Lennon who was prepared to disrobe. after taking a Polaroid of the portrait, she knew that it was an amazing image.
Several hours later, Lennon was shot dead in front of his apartment. in 2005, the American Society of magazine editors named it the best magazine cover from the past 40 years.
In 1983 Leibovitz joined Vanity Fair and was made the magazines first contributing photographer. At Vanity Fair she became known for her wildly lit, staged, and provocative portraits of celebrities. One of the most famous is Whoopi Goldberg submerged in a bath of milk.
Apparently, this image was a mistake (as stated in Annie Leibovitz 'at work') as Whoopie slipped and Leibovitz just managed to capture the moment before Whoopie was completely submerged! I think that the image is fantastic, with a wonderful humorous element and obvious contrast between Whoppies dark skin and the white milk of the bath. It truly captures Whoopies personality.
The following image of Martina Navratilova is intriguing. It portrays a masculine athletic woman moving a huge cog.
The use of light has created and image that contains clear definitionn of different tones and shapes. I love the way the light defines both the strength of the cog and the strength of Martina's arms and legs. It may portray the challenge Martina had with the Media at the height of her career in the 80's and 90's.