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Annie Leibovitz – beyond the image

Annie Leibovitz – beyond the image

Today, anyone can be a photographer. But I think it still rings true that a special few have ‘an eye’ for it. I’ve particularly enjoyed watching the successful career of Annie Leibovitz, a renowed photographer to the rich and famous, who made a name for herself with magazine giant Rolling Stone.

Her eye for photography is exceptional, and her photographs, whether she intends to or not, reveal more than just a beautiful image. While looking through her images recently, I noticed a subtle trend that can be traced back to the beginning of her career. Not to do with her style… but her subjects. Her ability to capture a subject beyond the projection of self, to cut under the mask of what they want you to see. And if you look just that little bit closer, you feel like you’ve just glimsed a moment of pure thought, of true self and intention, and perhaps what is to come.

Her image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is particularly haunting. Taken on the morning of John Lennon’s assassination, you can’t help but feel like you just witnessed what’s about to unfold in just a few short hours. Yoko, dressed in black, gazes into the distance, taking comfort in Lennon’s embrace, but not acknowledging his physical presence. Lennon, naked and vulnerable, has wrapped Yoko up almost in comfort, as if to reassure her he is always with her and loves her with such a passion it transcends the physical. It’s as if she has started mourning him already.

Kate Winslet’s divorce from her husband Sam Mendes might have come as a shock, but check out the pose Leibovitz set up. Another insight? Heath Ledger’s broody slouch suggests a disconnection, disinterest, almost a lack of care. That’s the beauty of photography, it’s always so much more than just a picture.

What do you think?

Yours in thought,


Tanya Heading About the author
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