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A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,467 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
"I don't have two lives," Annie Leibovitz writes in the Introduction to this collection of her work from 1990--2005. "This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it." Portraits of well-known figures-Johnny Cash, Nicole Kidman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Keith Richards, Michael Jordan, Joan Didion, R2-D2, Patti Smith, Nelson Mandela, Jack N ...more
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Random House (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oct 10, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
This book is huge and very heavy, but it has tons of pictures to flip through. It's a great insight into the life of Annie Leibovitz's life. We see photos from some of her regular paid jobs and then more intimate photos from her personal life. It was gripping to see photos of both her father and her partner, Susan Sontag's, deaths. There are also some portraits of celebrities that were great. Because I'm studying photography right now, I really enjoyed this book.

Feb 27, 2008 Brenna rated it liked it
This book is really heavy....if you do not like it you can always use it to prop open a window.
Martina B..
Sep 20, 2015 Martina B.. rated it it was amazing
These photographs must be read as a text. The way, they appear in the book, reveals a true (love & life) story and the book indeed is a very personal statement of Annie Leibovitz. The beautiful surroundings in Jordan and Susan Sontag in Petra, the pictures of Annies dancing mum and her close-up portrait, the appartements in New York and Paris, Susans 60th birthday and Susan lying on a couch in the pond house, Susan holding baby Sarah Cameron and the empty office in the pond house after Susan ...more
Lisa Vegan
May 15, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates skillful art photography and has interest in others’ lives
I probably found this book especially interesting because I read it after attending an exhibit by the same name at one of our local art museums.

I’ve always admired Leibovitz’s photographs and I knew a little about her life, but I never realized how central family (both hers and others’) are for her.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the landscape photos. I particularly enjoyed the photos of her family, and the stories behind them. Perusing the text and viewing the photographs, it made me wish
Kristal Cooper
Jan 08, 2016 Kristal Cooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
As a wannabe photographer, it's always a pleasure to spend time studying a good retrospective from one of the greats. As expected, I liked the shots of our professional and Olympic athletes best, followed closely by those of distinctive pop culture artists. I was also struck by the intimate portraits of her life partner, Susan Sontag. I actually didn't know before reading the text that they were in a relationship, but it makes a lot of sense now. What a power couple they must have been!
Sarah Fonseca
Dec 17, 2014 Sarah Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently went through this book while at Strand Books in NY. As previous reviewers have mentioned, it is heavy. The title's sorta trite and misnomerical (this isn't a true retrospective, it's just an overview of the climax and Annie is is still fairly absent--aside from a few nude selfies and self-taken family photos--from that). This is all perfectly fine, as I didn't read the book for its author, but one of its subjects: Susan Sontag. The memento mori-style photos of her (which drew much scr ...more
I have spent a lot of time in many small moments looking through and at single images in this huge book. Originally 2 or three photograph's and a 'series' caught my eye and prompted it being added to my collection.

I've since found several more photos that elevate this to a favorite book and it doesn't sit on the coffee table.

The death photos of Susan Sontag are gripping and somber.

Political statements abound within this work but are mostly subtle and intense without being 'in your face'.

A.L. h
Jul 05, 2014 Jereme rated it it was ok
I read this immediately after reading her 1970-1990 collection and was disappointed. Her earlier celebrity portraits had more edge and heart than those in this latter collection. Obviously she is a master of technique, but much of the work collected here is without soul. The exception to this would be some of the photographs of her family---particularly those of her mother.
Jackie Donnelly (Baisa)
I wish I liked this book more, because I really like her work. But the photos she chose for this personal memoir of her life included a lot of photos that were undoubtedly special to her, but to which the reader is clueless. She doesn't explain much, which is fine (it's a photography "essay" of sorts, and so her art should speak for herself) but she traveled all over the world, and usually with Susan Sonntag (her partner) and rarely put really phenomenal shots of these places in the book (only s ...more
Kathleen Messmer
Aug 10, 2015 Kathleen Messmer rated it it was amazing
This was a book that lets you into the life of a well known photographer whose life has been iconic. Upon finishing it, I got the feeling that her life has the ups and downs, trials and tribulations of a regular person who does the job she loves and carries on the best she can. I love the sense of family she imparts.
Feb 16, 2008 Naomi rated it really liked it
An intimate portrait of the author's life, sprinkled bizarrely with celebrity photos. A friend of mine criticized Leibovitz' juxtaposition of the intimacy of her life with Susan Sontag, and Sontag's death, with her usual celebrity shots. However, Leibovitz explains in the introduction that this was how her life is. She moves constantly from intimate personal spaces into this other world that is her work. In that context, I was okay with the mixture of photos. The personal photos are VERY intimat ...more
Christy Woolum
Apr 19, 2014 Christy Woolum rated it it was amazing
Annie Leibovitz's work in this book is amazing. There are ideas about photography she shares that allow the process to be uncomplicated.
Sep 25, 2013 Jaimie rated it liked it
In comparison to the previous collection of Leibovitz's work that I read (On Work) this book has a much more personal touch. There are far fewer of her "professional" pieces (famoous portraits, Vogue editorials, etc) and instead we are given family photographs, travel montages, and candid shots which reveal the intimacy of her relationship with Susan Sontag. While many of these images are similar in subject and style to those seen in any family album (and are therefore not really a credit to Lei ...more
Jan 17, 2008 Shelbs rated it it was amazing
this was a book i picked up and flipped through one night at friend's house after drinking too much wine. i didn't expect annie l's book to be so personal. with an unflinching eye she captured the erosion of her lover's health to cancer. the photos of susan sontag's corpse were so incredibly painful to look at. i was expecting to see photographs of her celebrity subjects...and i got more than i bargained for. in particular the photos of susan sontag receive chemotherapy and shaving her head made ...more
Ellen Griffin
Jan 22, 2016 Ellen Griffin rated it really liked it
One of my favorite photographers. A lovely tribute to her own muse, Susan Sontag.
Oct 28, 2007 paige rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
while her celebrity portraits are well executed, always nailing the glam ones and intimate portraits alike it is her "private" photographs that give her the title as one of the best photographers of this century. her ability to private candide moments of her family show that she was always working, even subconsciously. one of my favorite photograph's of susan (susan at the house on hedges lane, wainscott, long island, 1988
Aug 21, 2008 Terry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you are interested in Photography, this is the Photographer to read about. Her passion continues to inspire me to this day. Everytime I look at her photographs, I remember why I became a photographer. It isn't just about making the stars look beautiful with her, its about documenting her life including her partner, Susan Sontag passing, her children, and her family. It's also about making a difference photographing people who matter to small groups of people.
Sep 13, 2007 Pam rated it it was amazing
WOW- this is my favorite photographer of all time! the one who has inspired me to be a portrait photographer. this book is Annie's picks on her favorite photographs that she has taken. largely based of her family and her uncertain relationship w/ Susan.

she's truly inspirational. she has a way in capturing a moment, the light, the feeling.

I wanna be like Annie!

p.s. I'm not sure picture books clasify as "reading", but I love it still...
Aug 15, 2009 Mo rated it liked it
The good stuff in here is really good. The stuff I don't like as much I know was intended to make the book intimate and introspective -- one or two pictures of naked, pregnant Annie would have been more than enough to get that across. One or two pictures of Susan Sontag naked in the tub would have been more than sufficient. But there are lots. Almost as though Annie couldn't make up her mind which one to put in . . .
Feb 14, 2010 Cathrine rated it it was amazing
This book is a trip through Annie Leibovitz's life through her photographs, some personal and some commissioned. The first time I picked it up was in Barnes and Noble. I found a comfy and chair and just started flipping through. I sat there for over an hour looking at her images and was literally driven to tears in the middle of a bookstore. Truly amazing that photographs can have that sort of power.
Aug 07, 2009 Arian rated it it was amazing
This book, besides being absolutely massive in size is one of the most personal and beautiful collections I have ever seen. Annie Leibovitz has gone though some of the most personal and intimate times in her life and shared them with us, from the death of her partner and father, to the birth of her first child when she was 51. Deeply moving. As a photographer I am just in awe of her talent and bravery.
Apr 28, 2008 Myriam rated it really liked it
Overall, a wonderful retrospective; the non-celebrity photos are the most gripping, especially those that reveal the photographer (self-portraits; portraits of Susan Sontag and the author's daughters). Not a big fan of Leibovitz's pop-culture layout (the over-size book and photos...something she also does in shows where photos are printed like posters on boards, often, instead of as fine prints, framed).
Robert Wells
Nov 17, 2008 Robert Wells rated it really liked it
While Leibovitz's portrait and commercial work are well known, it her personal work that really stirs me in this book. She chronicles the death of her partner, Susan Sontag, and her father. Very emotional and quite the departure of her career work. The lack of 5 stars in only because I am not a huge fan of her commercial work and there is still too much of that here for me.
Dwayne Ackley
Jan 10, 2009 Dwayne Ackley rated it it was amazing
An absolutely Fantastic Book! Shows pictures from VAnity Fair as well as personal photos with Susan Sontag before her death (also has shots of the World Trade Center burning which she took from her own New York apartment when she was pregnant). I'm amazed by how personal this book is, and always amazed by how she chooses to frame her subject matter.
Jul 07, 2009 Delight rated it liked it
This was a look inside the mind of a great photographer. I have been intrigued by some of the covers and photos she has taken over the years and often wondered "where did she get that idea?!". This book attempts to share some of her thinking, although I found it a bit lacking. Still, it was fun to look at some of her favorite photos with her commentary.
Mar 28, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Fascinating and beautiful. A story told only in images. However, I'm only giving it a four because whoever thought it was ok to spread photographs across two pages so that the emotional/visual center of the image was lost deep down in the crease deserves a kick in the shin. Multiple beautiful (I assume) pictures were totally ruined that way.
Jan 15, 2013 Shana rated it really liked it
Revealing look at the personal life of Annie Leibovitz - one could sense the tenderness and commitment to her long time partner, Susan Sontag....had no idea about Sontag before reading this book...and what a pair the two of them were - their mutual love of photography and it's history really made each other even better artists - fascinating images
Annie Leibovitz has a very interesting story to tell. Her idea of not distinguishing between personal and professional photographs in order to create a single history of her and Susan Sontag's life is very intriguing. Some of the pictures I was blown away by; some did not impress me much, but as a collection, I found it be captivating.
Jun 28, 2007 Lindsey rated it liked it
Shelves: artbooks
This book is huge! I have seen many people stand in front of this book, losing themselves into the photos (of which I am guilty also). I didn't care for the art show version of the book, but the PBS special/biography of Leibowitz and this book make up for it. It's a beautiful book and one that I love look at to inspired.
Jan 06, 2009 Christina rated it it was amazing
Annie Leibovitz has lived an incredibly interesting life. The people she's met, the things she's done, and the places she's gone are enough to fill three lifetimes, and she still has many more things to do. I find her life fascinating, and this book does a good job chronicling both her triumphs and her tragedies.
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Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer whose style is marked by a close collaboration between the photographer and the subject.

Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Leibovitz is the third of six children in a Jewish family. Her mother was a modern dance instructor, while her father was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force. The family moved frequently with her fath
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