NICOLE KIDMAN AND BAZ LUHRMANN, NEW YORK, 2008 ANNIE LEIBOVITZ
In part, it’s a question of access. Such is Annie Leibovitz’s fame (and such is the reach of the publications she works for), she gets to photograph everyone. And we mean everyone.
Artists, writers, pop stars, Vogue fashion editors, presidents and presidential candidates (she’d hoped to conclude the book with an image of Hillary Clinton standing in the Oval Office but history scuppered that deal), real royalty (yes, including our very own queen) and, as in this image, Hollywood royalty.
“I’m always aiming for a portrait that will stand the test of time,” Liebovitz says. In this case we are talking the time we are living in. Her latest book is a collection of 21st-century images that include everyone from Adele to Malala Yousafzai.
Here are the great and the good, captured lovingly for the most part. Leibovitz’s eye naturally flatters. For some that’s a weakness, but that’s to misunderstand what she is doing. These portraits are acts of collaboration. She and her subjects are telling us stories. How does this one end, do you think?
Taken from Annie Leibovitz Portraits 2005-2016, published by Phaidon Press, priced £69.95