Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Annie Leibovitz

The crowd started getting bigger and bigger. She went from photographing the Rolling Stones getting mobbed by their fans to getting mobbed by fans of her own.
I don't know why authors always insist on signing the inside of their books..I was happy she didn't mind signing the cover.
Ryan H at the W
For some time now I've had a project planned in my mind and on random pieces of paper scattered throughout my house and office to create a book of influential people and places from my life. The plan is to go to childhood homes to take photographs, find old friends and photograph them as well as a quest to photograph people who have influenced my life one way or another over the years that I haven't met. One of those people is Annie Liebovitz. Yesterday she released her latest book called Annie Liebovitz at Work I bought it right away and read through half of it last night and this morning. Tonight she was at Benaroya Hall for Seattle Arts and Lectures speaking in front of a sold out crowd and reading stories from her book along with her amazing images of subjects ranging from Bette Midler to the Queen of England whom she had asked to remove her crown because it was too fancy. A couple of faux pas was that it was a tiara and not a crown..the other was that it was supposed to be fancy and the Queen was not the least bit happy with the request to remove as shown by the BBC. Amazing portraits resulted however so I don't think too much damage was done.

I went to the lecture with my friend and fellow shutterbug Ryan. After the show we had the opportunity to attend a cocktail party hosted at the W Hotel where Annie was graciously shaking hands, signing autographs and taking photo's. She was nice enough to pose for a photo with me and due to technical problems I won't go into in this blog the shots didn't turn out too well so we went back again for another shot. By then, the group of people surrounding her was getting pretty substantial and she handled it with grace and courtesy in a way I think only she could do.

It's weird to me to think of a photographer as a celebrity. Because I live, eat and breath photography there are definitely some people out there who I really look up to. Annie being at the top of the list. Others include Joe McNally, Matt Mendelsohn..well, I could go on but I've got to get up early and need to wrap this up so I won't. My point is that as a photographer I am eager and excited to meet other photographers at the top of their game with such amazing experience under their belts who have lived lives that I can only dream of at this point in my career. The sold out crowd of who knows how many people tonight did not appear to consist of photographers though. Sure there were loads of cameras there tonight and a few were high end good cameras with some nice L glass in front of them but most were cell phone quality P&S cameras taken by people that didn't appear to know the difference between aperture and a Koala bear (sorry for the random analogy but I'm very tired :). Annie is famous for photographing famous people and justifiably so.

It must be an unusual journey to pass from photographing the famous to becoming one of the famous but she really seems to handle it very well. She had a way of speaking to the crowd that makes her immediately likeable. She seems as modest as any person could be with such an impressive resume. She doesn't appear to me to be a person that buys into her own hype which to me is a true sign of character. It would be a dream come true to have the opportunity to shoot with her.

1 comment:

Hawk said...

you Annie-brownnoser.