Annie Leibovitz Quotes

Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz

Born: 2 October 1949, Waterbury, Connecticut

Born Anna-Lou Leibovitz, she is the daughter of a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force officer and a modern dance instructor, the family moved frequently with her father’s duty assignments and she took her first photographs in the Philippines. She studied painting at San Francisco Art Institute but continued to develop her photography. After spending several months on a kibbutz in Israel she returned to San Francisco and was hired by Rolling Stone magazine, becoming their chief photographer in 1973. During twelve years she shot, and sometimes traveled with, the biggest rock stars, many of which became covers for the magazine. She spent the afternoon with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, creating the portrait you will see on our Lennon page, the day he was shot. In 1983 she left Rolling Stone for Vanity Fair, giving her a wider range of subjects. Memorable portraits for VF include a very-pregnant nude Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg in a bathtub filled with milk. She continues to take pictures for advertising and editorial uses on a freelance basis. Her partner of many years was Susan Sontag. Recent bad financial management put her at risk of losing the rights to her work in 2009 but a new loan, still secured by her archive, was arranged.

Annie Leibovitz quotes:

A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.
    Annie Leibovitz

A very subtle difference can make the picture or not.
    Annie Leibovitz

As you get older, you have different tools, and you learn to use photography differently.
    Annie Leibovitz

Coming tight was boring to me, just the face… it didn’t have enough information.
    Annie Leibovitz

Computer photography won’t be photography as we know it. I think photography will always be chemical.
    Annie Leibovitz

Everyone has a point of view. Some people call it style, but what we’re really talking about is the guts of a photograph. When you trust your point of view, that’s when you start taking pictures.
    Annie Leibovitz

I am impressed with what happens when someone stays in the same place and you took the same picture over and over and it would be different, every single frame.
    Annie Leibovitz

I didn’t want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of aging and older women not being beautiful.
    Annie Leibovitz

I don’t think there is anything wrong with white space. I don’t think it’s a problem to have a blank wall.
    Annie Leibovitz

I still need the camera because it is the only reason anyone is talking to me.
    Annie Leibovitz

I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.
    Annie Leibovitz

I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.
    Annie Leibovitz

I’d like to think that the actions we take today will allow others in the future to discover the wonders of landscapes we helped protect but never had the chance to enjoy ourselves.
    Annie Leibovitz

If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.
    Annie Leibovitz

If it makes you cry, it goes in the show.
    Annie Leibovitz

In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view. The image may not be literally what’s going on, but it’s representative.
    Annie Leibovitz

Irving Penn said he didn’t want to photograph anyone under 60, and I think there is some truth about it.
    Annie Leibovitz

It all came from the same place of wanting to do art, wanting to do something to express yourself.
    Annie Leibovitz

It’s a heavy weight, the camera. Now we have modern and lightweight, small plastic cameras, but in the ’70s they were heavy metal.
    Annie Leibovitz

Lennon was very helpful. What he taught me seems completely obvious: he expected people to treat each other well.
    Annie Leibovitz

Most people, especially successful people, are hard-working. They want to participate. They want to do things well.
    Annie Leibovitz

My early childhood equipped me really well for my portrait work: The quick encounter, where you are not going to know the subject for very long. These days I am much more comfortable with the fifteen minute relationship, than I am with a life long relationship.
    Annie Leibovitz

My lens of choice was always the 35 mm. It was more environmental. You can’t come in closer with the 35 mm.
    Annie Leibovitz

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.
    Annie Leibovitz

Photography’s like this baby that needs to be fed all the time. It’s always hungry.
    Annie Leibovitz

Rolling Stone started giving me assignments right away, which made me worry about having crossed over to the other side. I was selling pictures. The photographers I admired were not photographers who worked for magazines on assignment, but people who chose what they did from the inside — or so it seemed at the time. And I wondered if I was betraying something. And then I found out about what it meant to be published, especially what it was to have a photograph on the cover of a magazine, which is what happened a couple of months later. I can never forget the sensation of being at a newsstand and seeing for the first time my photograph transformed into the Rolling Stone cover. It was a lot different from having a photograph floating around in the wash, or pinned on a bulletin board at school.
    Annie Leibovitz

Sometimes I enjoy just photographing the surface because I think it can be as revealing as going to the heart of the matter.
    Annie Leibovitz

The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.
    Annie Leibovitz

The first thing I did with my very first camera was climb Mt. Fuji. Climbing Mt. Fuji is a lesson in determination and moderation. It would be fair to ask if I took the moderation part to heart. But it certainly was a lesson in respecting your camera. If I was going to live with this thing, I was going to have to think about what that meant. There were not going to be any pictures without it.
    Annie Leibovitz

The pictures of my family were designed to be on a family wall, they were supposed to be together. It was supposed to copy my mother’s wall in her house.
    Annie Leibovitz

The subjects felt more comfortable if they played the role than if they had to be themselves.
    Annie Leibovitz

The work which is manipulated looks a little boring to me. I think life is pretty strange anyway. It is wooo, wooo, wooo!
    Annie Leibovitz

There must be a reason why photographers are not very good at verbal communication. I think we get lazy.
    Annie Leibovitz

What I am interested in now is the landscape. Pictures without people. I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually there are no people in my pictures. It is so emotional.
    Annie Leibovitz

What I learned from Lennon was something that did stay with me my whole career, which is to be very straightforward. I actually love talking about taking pictures, and I think that helps everyone.
    Annie Leibovitz

When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.
    Annie Leibovitz

When I started to be published I thought about Margaret Bourke-White and the whole journalistic approach to things. I believed I was supposed to catch life going by me � that I wasn’t to alter it or tamper with it � that I was just to watch what was going on and report it as best I could. This shoot with John was different. I got involved, and I realized that you can’t help but be touched by what goes on in front of you. I no longer believe that there is such a thing as objectivity.
    Annie Leibovitz

When I started working for Rolling Stone, I became very interested in journalism and thought maybe that’s what I was doing, but it wasn’t.
    Annie Leibovitz

When I take a picture I take ten percent of what I see.
    Annie Leibovitz

When I was younger I did things with a camera I would not do by myself. I went down to the docks in San Francisco and asked a fisherman if he would take me out on his boat. I would never do that without a camera.
    Annie Leibovitz

When you are on assignment, film is the least expensive thing in a very practical sense. Your time, the person’s time, turns out to be the most valuable thing.
    Annie Leibovitz

When you are younger, the camera is like a friend and you can go places and feel like you’re with someone, like you have a companion.
    Annie Leibovitz

When you go to take someone’s picture, the first thing they say is, what you want me to do? Everyone is very awkward.
    Annie Leibovitz

When you involve people, they come out, you see them, you get to see their sense of humor.
    Annie Leibovitz

You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth.
    Annie Leibovitz

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