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I was trying to address their poetry in their portrait, and suddenly, it just clicked. That the set-up portrait could have a story to it," Leibovitz explained.Leibovitz showed a portrait she took of actor Steve Martin against a Franz Kline painting, which she hired a Disney scenic painter to paint on his rented tuxedo.' In those days, you pull a Polaroid and the three of us knew right away it was good," she said.
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Last night at NYC's 92Y, acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz reflected on some of the most important shoots of her life.
"I had this idealistic idea of what Susan could imagine her portrait to be, but I found her to have an attitude of wanting to look good.
That was heartbreaking to me, I thought she'd want to be strong [looking] but she didn't want to be that.
She said Sontag had extremely high expectations for the photos, which Leibovitz found frustrating.
After Sontag died of Myelodysplastic syndrome in 2004, Leibovitz looked back at photos and said she was proud.Dressed in a back suit, with her silver hair hanging loose, the 64-year-old legend discussed her beginnings with the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik, explaining how her inexperience during the early days of Rolling Stone helped her develop her photo style."When I started to sit people for portraits for cover of Rolling Stone, we began making appointments, instead of just hanging around [with the subjects]," Leibovtiz, whose intimate portraits of celebrities defined the magazine in the seventies, said. She's also behind many controversial shoots, including one featuring a then-15-year-old Miley Cyrus nude in 2008 for the front cover of Vanity Fair, a move that resulted in outrage from parents. Here are the nine assignments that were pivotal to her photography career. President Nixon's last day in office: Leibovitz was on the scene at the White House the day President Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974.I told them the story and so they put that photo on the cover." 4.Portraits of Susan Sontag: Leibovitz said some of her most important work was a series of photos she took of her partner, essayist Susan Sontag.But when I got there, John said he wanted Yoko on the cover...When he was killed, I went to Rolling Stone and they were mocking up the film.That happens when you know people very well, you know how they want to see themselves, and it can be very difficult." 5.Dancing Series: In 1990, Leibovitz spent three weeks in Florida shooting dancers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rob Besserer.You don't want to lose yourself." Leibovitz caught some of the most intimate moments of the band on camera, and while she doesn't regret those years, she said "there's a certain high price to pay in being that engaged." 3.Conceptual portraits of artists: After leaving the Rolling Stones, Leibovitz returned to shooting magazine covers, and began to develop her own sense of style.