1. The fact that she never says ‘smile’ to her subjects, and how she hated seeing her young daughter Sarah fake a smile once.
2. That she’s apparently adverse to shooting AND chatting to her subjects simultaneously!
3. Collaborative scenarios with subjects like Meryl Streep (who doesn’t like being photographed) to Whoopi Goldberg lying in a bath of milk to Steve Martin in a white tux splattered in paint. Neither of which were pre-visualized, but were no less a collaboration between photographer and subject.
4. Will the real Cindy Sherman please stand up (or sit down, even). Sherman wanted to be ‘hidden’ in the photo shoot, so Leibovitz hired multiple ‘Cindy Sherman’ lookalikes in matching clothes – all stood in a line. The real Cindy Sherman, I suspect, has her eyes closed.
5. Photographing The Queen. Keeping it all together with a strong-willed cantankerous monach, a young daughter and 11 assistants in tow.
6. That she’s not a particularly technical photographer (funny how non-technical shooters often take the best photos).
7. To reflect point 6 above, I love the anecdote about Leibovitz, in the early days, photographing Jimmy Carter and setting up the umbrella strobe herself (since she didn’t have assistants back then). After the picture was published, American Photographer magazine commented on the umbrella and strobe reflected in the mirror as being ‘a skillfully implemented device’. In reality Leibovitz had just simply set up the strobe and started shooting without even thinking about it.
Image: Annie Leibovitz-SF-2-CroppedCC BY 2.0 Robert Scoble from Half Moon Bay, USA - Annie Leibovitz at her SF exhibition Leibovitz in front of her More Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover photo, 2008 This photo shot by Marc Silber of www.silberstudios.com. Annie Leibovitz is one of the most famous photographers alive today. She shoots for magazines, was Rolling Stone’s photographer, and has made images of many of the world’s most famous people.