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Featured Photographer: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is an American photographer who got her start by working for Rolling Stone magazine.

Photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1980 -  by Annie Leibovitz

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, photo by Annie Leibovitz, 1980

She was the last person to professionally photograph John Lennon as he was shot a mere 5 hours after this photo was taken. He died in December 1980 and this photo was put on the cover of Rolling Stone, the next month January 1981. Read the story behind this influential photograph, voted in 2005 to be the number one magazine cover of the last 40 years.

Michael Jackson - Annie Leibovitz

Michael Jackson, photo by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz moved on to Vanity Fair in the ’80s which presented her with more opportunities to photograph celebrities – a word she dislikes. “I’ve always been more interested in what they do than who they are, I hope that my photographs reflect that. She tries to receive a little piece of each subjects personality in the photos.  Just Google ‘Annie Leibovitz + a celebrity name’ and something will pop up.

Every year, Vanity Fair does a Hollywood issue and Leibovitz does a group portrait with celebrities du jour. If you’ve ever seen one of these issues the front cover folds out. Find out more about these group photos from a photography perspective.

Photo of Jessica Chastain as Merida - Annie Leibovitz

Jessica Chastain as Merida (Disney Dream Project), photo by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz worked with Disney on their ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ project where celebrities are portrayed as Disney characters. Check out the image gallery. Even if you are not a Disney fan, you will find these are visually appealing.

No stranger to controversy, Leibovitz has taken photos of Demi Moore in the nude twice and more recently, a photo of teenaged Miley Cyrus where she appeared topless. In this article, Annie Leibovitz says she didn’t even think the famous shot of pregnant Demi Moore was even all that good!

You can find books and media about Leibovitz’s work at the Ottawa Public Library which you can borrow, for free!

Following are several of Leibovitz’s photos of celebrities.

Photo of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, by Annie Leibovitz

A sign of the times! Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, photo by Annie Leibovitz


2014 Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue cover, photo by Annie Leibovitz

Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue cover, photo by Annie Leibovitz, 2014


Cate Blanchett, photo by Annie Leibovitz

Cate Blanchett, photo by Annie Leibovitz. “When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them,” – Leibovitz


"One doesn't stop seeing. One doesn't stop framing. It doesn't turn on and off, it's on all the time." - Leibovitz

“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn on and off, it’s on all the time.” – Leibovitz

Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Danner, Photo Annie Leibovitz

Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Danner as photographed by Leibovitz
‘I’m more interested in being good than being famous.” – Leibovitz