Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970 while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, her work with actors, directors, writers, musicians, athletes, and political and business figures, as well as her fashion photographs, expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life. Leibovitz has published several books and has exhibited widely. She is a Commandeur in the French government’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.
Leibovitz is heralded as one of the greatest portrait photographers of her time, having captured images of some of the most influential figures of the past 40 years for commercial and editorial assignments. Trademarks of Leibovitz’s style are bold contrasts and dramatic poses, and she cites photographers Robert Frank and Richard Avedon as influences. Perhaps her most famous image is the raw, intimate portrait of a nude John Lennon clinging to wife Yoko Ono, taken for the cover of Rolling Stone only hours before Lennon was killed