Annie Leibovitz

When you think of iconic American photographers your mind can quickly turn to Ansel Adams or Helmut Newton. But to not include Annie Leibovitz in that same thought capsule might be tantamount to an underexposed frame.Born in 1949 Leibovitz started her photographic career for the newly launched Rolling Stone magazine in 1973 as a staff photographer after some shots she took of the band The Rolling Stones in 1971 and 1972 garnered her some well-deserved attention.While working for the magazine the photographer started to realize that it was fellow photographer Richard Avedon’s portrait photography that was playing a significant role in her own emergence as an artist.In 1980 Leibovitz was dispatched by the magazine to do a photo shoot of John Lennon for the publication’s January 1981 issue, and she assured him at the time of the shoot that he would “make the cover.”Initially going after a shot of Lennon alone (which is what the magazine requested), Lennon insisted that shots be taken with his wife, Yoko Ono, in frame as well. Lennon took of his clothes and curled up next to a fully clothed Yoko Ono when Leibovitz committed to film what Lennon professed to say was an image that “captured” his relationship with Yoko Ono exactly.Sadly, this was the last photograph taken of John Lennon since he was shot and killed five hours later.Leibovitz went on to capture such pop culture icons as Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi), and Michael Jackson as well as leaders in government and industry such as Bill Gates and the Barack Obama family.If you have never seen any of her work, it’s definitely worth a view since she captures elements of life and personality that are uniquely her own as evidenced by her stating that “I thought that in order to capture life you must incorporate it.”