[BTS] Annie Leibovitz Shoots Meryl Streep

For the January 2012 issue of Vogue, Annie Leibovitz shot the incredible Meryl Streep and the members of a team of women focused on building a women's history museum in Washington, D.C. While it talks a lot about their cause, you can definitely see all of her lighting set ups in the shots which are surprisingly simple.

Take a look and tell us what you think!






From Nick:

Hey guys, I’m brand new to the FStoppers team and I’d love to hear from you, stop by my Facebook page or check out my website, www.CharlestonsWeddingPhotograper.com

Posted In: 
Log in or register to post comments


Nicholas's picture

Awesome post! Annie Leibovitz, and Norman Jean Roy are two photographers whose images I constantly admire. They also remind me that keeping things simple is still superb. I look forward to the opening of that important museum.

Ero's picture

Great topic, but very little info about light and no final results, but overall interesting video.


way to go feminism!...what camera and lens is she shooting with...and what light heads?

Nicholas Gore's picture

She shoots almost exclusively profoto lights, I can't speak to the exact model though, and as for the camera, I'm not a Canon shooter so I couldn't tell you the exact model. Maybe someone else here does?

Cameron's picture

LAME!!!! This had nothing to do with photography.

I don't recognize the light modifiers. What was she using???

Nicholas Gore's picture

She uses Photek Softliters for many of her shoots, so I'm guessing that is what she's using here. 

Annie makes it look so simple and effortless....

Jorge Azpiri's picture

get the book... it has really been a huge inspiration for me and has a section on gear.

Sadly another A.L. with minimal photography info in it.

My take away: use huge octas to light 6-9 people. Ok thanks but what else???

what else? vision and experience!

that's not something you can easily take away from a 2 min bts video... ;)

Use your imagination people ... IMAGINATION!
The same what made the person who wrote in FB "Go behind the scenes with Annie Leibovitz as she shoots Meryl Streep for Vogue." ... 

well we know who will be (or should be) visiting the Adobé-Botox action exhibit in this new museum...

Jens Marklund's picture

Shouldn't they just add women into the current history instead? Just seems like some trophy they wanna make for them selves. 

If you go to any museum about anything, should you then need to go the women museum, and find that little section of history that you were just looking at - in the other museum - just to find out both sides. 

Then again. All the museums I've been to, there are women in the stories/facts. I mean, most history is about war, and there were mostly men involved. Back then, most women were staying at home - and yes that was unequal. But if you're mostly doing that, I doubt that's as much happening, as there was at the front line of the wars. 

But yeah. There are loads of male inventors and such that takes all the cred for inventions, that their wife invented. And that probably happens in most parts of history.

GD...it   I have heard this f-in line of bull for 50 years.....really getting old, and so are they.... men are men and women are women...... so f-in what the male gender is responsible for building history.... i could give a sh*t really...... you want to be a strong hard headed independent woman? go ahead.... it might be just a tad bit lonely though.      Love Annie's work, she is amazing....

The first part was uncalled for but I agree pretty much with the last.  I've always maintained that a woman could pick a guy up in a post office, gas station or a food court. Not so the other way around.  They set the bar higher for themselves.  It reminds me of a comedy bit Sinbad used to talk about.  A man will try to pick up a girl working the fryer at a fast food place.  A woman is going to go for the guy who owns the fast food place.

Shannon Murray's picture

Can we please limit this discussion to photography, spousing ill informed views on gender equality simply makes the good readers of Fstoppers look (quite justifiably in my opinion) like male chauvinist pigs. 

If you really believe women are treated equally in this world, then think about why 170 women and girls were poisoned last week in Afghanistan just because they were attending school, and why thousands of women around the world each year are subjects of acid attacks and millions are subjected to genital mutilation. 

But back to my first point: if Meryl Streep wants to support the building of a Museum for left handed red-head jugglers, and Annie Leibovitz wants to photograph her - good on them.   If we can learn something related to photography from them, I am all for discussing that, but can we leave non-photograhy discussions like the above for the comments section in the Huffington Post.

Shannon Murray

you missed the point... they are equal to me and even more.... im just sick of hearing about it..... sure things are unfair to women in a lot of respects, but I am so sick of debate and clamoring of people, men or women, for their "rights".... life hasn't been so easy for me either... but I'm not going to stand around and bitch about it or make a cause over it..... history is history.... I am not going to apologize for it.... women are plenty free to make their marks on history in this country.... i don't make the rules.... call me what you want.... just sick of the debate or any debate for that matter.... political correctness has ruined this nation.....

over rated.

ON 0:44 looks like she uses 2 huge softboxes, 74 inch?

Guys, who was that in the front row?

Nice story but not too BTS-like.  I would have liked to have heard more from Annie about why she decided to go down the route she chose for this shoot.  Location, equipment etc.  I know she uses mostly Softlighters but it didn't look like Photeks here on the mall shots.  There's a distinct hole in the front for the light.  The modifier on the beach shots was the softlighter because you can see the bulge where the light is.

What's with all the clips that I keep seeing her using around the octas?