I disagree with this. Have you ever shot a celeb? It takes a special personality to do well. You have 10-20 mins; you have very very sensitive and big and odd egos; you have a pr person hounding you at every turn, and you're usually dealing with people who literally HATE to be photographed (love to act, but hate to be photographed). It's a odd game.
Originally Posted by blansky
Even if Annie is just a celeb 'commercial' photog, I still think most people here are overlooking how good at it she is. I mean she nails it everytime. And who cares if she's mean to her assistants (btw, not a pre-req by any means, lots of shooters like this are way cool and easy going: Robert Mawell, Lindbergh, etc). I just don't think it matters in regards to the picture.
And I think if you charged Annie with taking a pic of Uncle Bob she'd handle it nicely.
(And I'm not even a huge fan of her work...I just appreciate how good she is at it.)
There is no other kind. There were occasional famous people, but no celebrities before 1840. THey are a creation -- a side effect -- of Photography.
Originally Posted by blansky
AL seems to be pushing the grotesque notion that (now that the real thing is gone) she is the new Avedon, rather than just the sycophantic voice of the studio PR department. Her photos, like an Oprah show, only show you what you expected to see anyway.
Shooting children is easy?
Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell
Shooting execs and CEOs is easy?
Shooting Weddings is easy?
Shooting wars is easy?
Granted celeb hangers ons, are a pain in the ass, but this genre is not all that different than any shoot. Get it done and get out.
Leibovitz also gets an incredible amount of time with subjects. I believe the latest masterpiece, the Tom Cruise thing, she had a week.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
I disagree with this too, humbly. All the things you listed are different, some easier, some more diffucult. All depends...and speaking in generalities of course. I don't think it's ever as simple as get in and get out, at least not if you're good...except maybe in war photography, which I know nothing of.
Originally Posted by blansky
My original point, which I stand by, is that people flip through mags and look at work by the likes of Annie (or any top fashion or celeb shooter) and, well, act as the peanut gallery, so to speak. When most people have no idea how difficult it is to produce work on that level. Like they have a general idea, but always fall back on, big budgets, big lights, lots of assistants, and a famous name. Sure, big lights are cool, but there is more to it than that. If there wasn't, everyone would be doing it.
Anyway, this is off topic of the original post, I apologize. I'll exit.
With all due respect, who can say what kind of work is "easier" and what kind is "difficult"? I find landscapes ridiculously hard, whereas my husband finds them very easy to shoot well. I find photographing kids to be easy and natural, while it wouldn't be so easy for him (outside of our own kids.) You can only judge what is easy or hard for you, not for everyone.
That said, I know it's difficult for AL to bring out a spark and a connection wiith her subjects. Before you pounce on me for saying that, I know it because she herself said so in a TV interview yesterday. She readily admitted that unlike a few other prominent photographers, she has a hard time connecting with people when photographing them. That's precisely what I see in her photography; it's a record of appearances. That's why I'm not terribly impressed with it. She does use her assistants to try to bring the spark out of her subjects, but it's not the same thing.
Part of the difficulty in photographing people anywhere is that you're rarely dealing with just the actual photography. There are almost always parents, onlookers, constraints, and other distractions to be dealt with. Most photographers don't work with an army of assistants who are assigned to deal with the majority of the distractions. When I photograph people, I am the bouncer, the entertainer, the therapist, the wardrobe designer, the make-up artist, the PR person, the legal analyst, the gopher, the film-loader, the connection-maker, everything. Nobody to do it for me, and the success of the work depends on my ability to wear all those hats. And I have to do it all in an hour or two, not the two weeks granted to AL to photograph TomKateSuri. Imagine what I could do if half those items were taken off my job description.
I'm not saying she is an untalented photographer, only that what she does just doesn't impress me. I don't find her work to be insightful or moving. Colorful and fun, absolutely.
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I have no idea who the hell that is in the snapshot.
Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs
This seems to be perfect for either a new signature, or a new T-shirt. I may "borrow" it.
coffee table book
this whole thread brings to mind a book that a student recently brought to me. For the life of me I cant remember the guys name( it's very early in the morning) anyway he is very au currant and hip and I am not. The photographs were of people who were evidently A list celebrities. They were all photographed in a hallway and under much the same conditions. Very boring, The only reason I would turn the page was to see who the next celebity was. My interest waned after about three pages.The book was gorgeous. The photographs were wonderfully crafted but in the end the content was repetitive and ,for me, not very interesting. Thats interesting to me because I could look at the celebrity photographs made by Irving Penn all day even though they were made under the same repetitive conditions.
Maybe if she'd have used black and white film it would have had more of an impact. Otherwise...it doesn't do a whole lot for me.
I am not really interested in Leibovitz as a photographer. I am just wondering what others think of this particular picture as a photograph and also as a portrait.
I'd be a lot more interested to see a picture of Lennon done by Imogen.
I find that I am looking at this image in context for which it is used...in an record album jacket. I think it serves its purpose. I think most of you all are making way too big a deal with this image. More than likely it was the art director that chose the image and not AL. There were probably a zillion images to choose from and why this one was chosen is beyond us to know.