A Photographer's Life

I am still in awe after having seen the exhibition of prints by one of my favorite photographers - Annie Leibovitz - yesterday afternoon.

The collection is a retrospective of her work from 1990 - 2005. Contemplating many of those images was truly a sacred experience. While Leibovitz may primarily be known for her portraits of celebrities and political figures - her documentation of events - such as the war in Sarajevo may be less known. Yet it was many of these photographs that struck a deep chord in my heart.

Annie Leibovitz is very gifted, and has the ability to capture a person's soul on print. I have always joked that I wanted to be photographed by her once before I died because she can make anyone look good!

I fell in love with her work in the '70's when I was in college and studying photography myself. Music and photography were two side areas of interest while I was pursuing a double major in theology and psychology - music ended up being a minor for me. As it was, I found my music and photography buddies much more interesting to hang out with most of the time. I did the photography for my senior college yearbook, but haven't spent much time in a dark room since.

The flyer from the exhibition summarizes the essence of this wonderful collection which enables us - not only to see the world through Annie's eyes - but through ours as well:

"At the heart of the exhibition, Leibovitz's personal photography documents intimate moments from her life, including the birth and childhood of her three daughters, as well as vacations, reunions and rites of passage with her parents and extended family. A Photographer's Life, threads together the two sides of Leibovitz's work both chronologically and creatively, projecting a narrative of the artist's private world against the backdrop of her public Image as one of America's best-known portrait photographers."

And as she herself noted:

"I don't have two lives, this is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it."

Perhaps what I enjoyed most was reading the comments by Leibovitz that accompanied the pictures she took - particularly of those she loved dearly - for the beautiful insights and the window into the loved one's soul that she provided.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon...

A book based on this exhibition is available and is titled: A Photographer's Life.


mvv8j said…
Wow. Can you beleive that Darwin and I were there to see the Liebowitz and Ansel Adams exhibits on Thursday also! ...Her life stories as told by her pictures touched my heart as I felt honored to be allowed to see such personal moments. The contrast between the colorful celebrity portraits and the black and white shots of her family really showed all sides of her. Witnessing the love within her extended family and then the last days of her dad and Susan was so touching. Truly a celebration of love and life's passages!

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