Annie Leibovitz is best known for her iconic portrait work. There’s John Lennon and Yoko Ono, of course, and then there’s the nude and very pregnant Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover shot. With a career that has spanned several decades, countless magazine covers, and numerous museum shows, Leibovitz has now published her tenth photo book. But its contents are not what you expect, if, like us, what you’ve come to expect are portraits.
The new book, Pilgrimage, is populated with portrait work in a different sense: rough waters at Niagra Falls, closely-cropped still life scenes at writers’ houses. Pilgrimage is the first book of Leibovitz’s that was not a result of having been on assignment and as such the shots are intensely personal. They’re places and things that the artist sought on her own. She documented the truth of these scenes in the same manner as she has some of the world’s most recognizable faces. As Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in the book’s introduction, “[Leibovitz] has captured the spirit of the people and the places in this book as surely as thousands of words could ever do.”
What, do you imagine, is Annie Leibovitz’s camera of choice these days? No doubt she has a serious arsenal of professional gear, considering she has shot some of the most iconic images in recent American historys, including an iconic photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and a nude and pregnant Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair. Well, in conversation with NBC’s Brian Williams last night, the legendary photographer admitted that she’s a big fan of a camera that you might be surprised to find you already own: the iPhone. She called the iPhone “the snapshot camera of today” and went on to sing the gadget’s praises by referring to its accessibility and multipurpose format. “It’s the wallet with the family pictures in it,” she said.
So, what do you think? We’ve had this conversation before. Is the iPhone your pocket cam of choice or do you still prefer to use a dedicated digital camera? Or maybe, like Annie, the iPhone is just another tool for you to take photos, especially when lugging around a pro DSLR isn’t possible.