[BTS] Annie Leibovitz Shoots "Nice Work If You Can Get It"

Annie Liebovitz is probably the world's best known photographer, and in this video she's working on an assignment for Vanity Fair magazine with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara for the magazine's April issue.

I really liked how this video showed Annie interacting with her subjects and acting out what she wanted them to do. It does a lot to make your subjects relax if they know what is expected of them. If I'm not mistaken, I think that the final image is a composite of two images. One with Matthew and Kelli, and the other with the girls in the background.

I'm always amazed to see how simple the light setups are for Annie's shoots, they all look incredibly polished, like they were shot with thousands of dollars of equipment, when in actuality, they are lit very simply. (I'm ignoring the fact that the single strobe she is using probably cost more than our cameras.. but you get the idea)



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

Log in or register to post comments


Awesome thanks for posting

She looks like a horrid old man, not a big fan of the work, can't see what all the fuss is about with this woman. She has lighter do her setup, she merely shows up and shoots. I just don't see any of it.

She's 62. Were you expecting her to look like Indrani? And I think you'll find a fair bit of planning goes into these shoots. Her team knows where to be because she's told them how and where she wants to light. Just because she physically doesn't get up and move something doesn't mean she isn't capable of doing so. That's like saying any photographer or retoucher that uses their own presets or actions to achieve a certain aesthetic is somehow less able than those who don't.

Just ..out of curiousity.. how many iconic images have you created? How many international publications have your pictures graced the covers of? How many books have you published?

Oh. Oh. Right. No. I didn't think so.

LOL @ Alex. That was awesome. Carry on.

 You mean to tell me that some young upstart couldn't produce photographs like she does?  Come on, man.  When you break it all down, it's just a camera and some lights.  She has a name that a higher-up wanted, that's all.  Great job and all, but lets not make this out to be something it isn't.

And she's had the opportunity to create iconic images.  Good for her.  Doesn't mean she's the only one who can. 

You think that's what you pay for when you hire a photographer like her? Fool. The cameras and lights are secondary - you pay for the vision.

I never called you any names.  Opinion is opinion.  Apparently yours has more value than others.

And excuse me, but Matthew Broderick dancing around with a bunch of
showgirls is visionary?  I guess I see your point.  Would have taken me
YEARS to cook that gem up. 

I look forward to seeing your portfolio/extensive body of tearsheets.

Alex. You may want to consider laying off the caffeine. It was just an opinion... It's how some of us saw it... And frankly, her work is slightly overrated. And to say that anyone responding here has not published (books) is probably true. In as much as having internationally publicized work, you may want to reconsider that. I have ads in publications all the time that reach the CAN/US/EU markets. Again this was just an opinion.. We don't have to bone up because you feel we need to have weight behind our OPINIONS. Published, non-published, Author or not. We're all entitled to our point. I have met her, spoken at length, seen and heard why she made a shooting choice.. She has a style. Is it worth all the hubbubb that people tell her it is? Probably not.

Jacques's picture

 Out of curiousity, I wonder how she would fair in today's markets with the same skill set, but with no name?

I think that she would be really challenged by all the competition out there.  Her wook is good, but so are others today.

It is the same as Quintin Tarrentino: if his first films came out today, he would not stand a chance; too many talented competition out there today.

 Because the only thing making people great and getting hired is their work... I know plenty of idiots who get paid for what they do, with very little skill at all.

It's a lot more than that.

 John.  You may want to consider laying off the douchiness.

 This is for a play which features exactly that, are you serious? lol.

Have fun with Matt Brod flying a plane and fighting the nazis in your "Nice Work if You Can Get it" theme.

You're just mad, because as a lesbian she got more pussy than you do. 

Chris Nemes's picture

Of course they look polished, they are perfectly edited by her team of retouchers. :)

 Time = money.  She still makes great images without retouching, if you've ever seen her work besides this post of the week.

Diego's picture

dont know what is all the fuss about?? another great example of a person that should buy books not gear.....

 Hate is easy.  Being accomplished not so much.

Being accomplished requires much more than bitching on a forum about someone else's success.

does anyone know what's her main light? ---- as seen in 00:48

i'm pretty sure she uses a Profoto head and she seems to be using it with what looks to be one of the very economical Photek Softlighter umbrella/softbox.

She jumps between bodies/systems in both 35/MF, but I've never seen her use anything but Profoto.

Thanks! do you know the size? if not its ok. 

 The size is she uses the best she has, you'd be wise to do the same.

Not to mention, she has a reputation for going WAY over budget.

 Because budgets are always reasonable nowadays.

Yeah !`
Me too I'd love to go way over budget... 

Doesn't really matter if you get the job done, does it. 

People can complain all they want about her-  she's still getting hired while others bitch and moan.

I'm so bad at this "posting" thing.

Luck, talent or hard work or any combination of these - doesn't really matter - she's there so stop hating and go create your own legacy so others can say it's no big deal about you!  LOL