Inspired by Annie Leibovitz: capturing moods and expressions

The first official photo of the Obamas at the White House, taken by Annie Leibovitz, was released recently and, in Facebook, at least two people mentioned Leibovitz’s recent financial problems. That got me reading. But the financial issues were soon forgotten as I started browsing through the tons of photos that Leibovitz has taken over the years.

It’s not the first time I’ve done that, mind you, as I have been an Annie Leibovitz fan for a long time. But her photos are the kind that I don’t mind looking at over and over again, and even staring at in silent awe. Much, I fancy, as an art lover would stand in front of a painting, inspecting and interpreting every nuance, and doing it all over again.

If you haven’t heard of Annie Leibovitz, she’s responsible for those gorgeous Vanity Fair spreads and, recently, the Disney Dream Series. And I just love her work. Never mind her sexual orientation (who cares?) and never mind her financial troubles (they don’t detract from her art anyway). Her photography, for me, surpasses the definition of creative art.

And I just wish I could do the kind of work she does. And the opportunity to work with all those beautiful people and have someone else pay for those expensive sets and costumes, and pay me to shoot and to tell everyone else what to do. Like, getting paid — and paid well — to transform dreams into visual art. But, aside from talent, Lebovitz has had a lifetime of training and experience and that’s why she’s as good as she is.

Unlike Annie Leibovitz, no stars and starlets line up to have their photos taken by me. Unlike other photographers who have no problem finding models to practice on (like Jim Paredes had his daughter Ala pose for him many times when he started getting serious with his photography), there aren’t many who are willing to patiently sit or stand still while I focus my camera, fiddle with the settings, shoot, and reshoot if I’m not yet satisfied, unless you count the flowers in the garden and the meals I have cooked.

So, on those rare occasions when I find a willing model, I make the most of the opportunity. I try to capture every gamut of emotion and every flicker of change in expression. And if the model is willing to pose in the nude, why not? The following photos were all taken on September 12.

I didn’t say the model was human, did I? capturing moods and expressions in photography

The sultry look. capturing moods and expressions in photography

The expectant look. capturing moods and expressions in photography

The shocked look (could also be the stoned look). capturing moods and expressions in photography

The bored look. capturing moods and expressions in photography

The pensive look. capturing moods and expressions in photography

The bitchy look. capturing moods and expressions in photography

The mean look.


  1. says

    ive missed her photo exhibition in london… imagine booked months ahead…
    i subscribe to vanity fair as well

    cute ng model.

    • says

      I’m not really into taking portraits but I have the greatest admiration for those who excel in this genre of photography.

      Btw, “the bored look” is sooo cute!

  2. ruth says

    you are already doing a great job with your photography. Actually, the are photographers here in the U.S that specializes on taking pictures (photos)of animals an make big money doing this. I really enjoy the one about the dragon in your tree-maybe one of the few readers that saw it too.

  3. Ludwig says

    I think your cat should join America’s Next Top Model. I’m pretty sure she can win a cover feature for Cosmpolitan magazine. hahahaha.

    While you can audition for Project Runway. hahahaha.

  4. says

    browneyedgirl, thank you! Although I’m too lazy to do the food styling stuff. Just angles, that’s all. :)

    Sha, wow sold out that early? She really has a lot of fans…

    Jhay, same here. LOL I don’t think I have the patience to arrange every fold of the dress or every strand of hair. I’m more of a fast and furious kind of photographer hehehe

    Rhodora, yes, it’s Pepper. :)

    Ruth, it is Sam who interested in that kind of thing. National Geographic stuff.

    Ludwig, ayokoooo… gusto ko Iron Chef hahahaha

  5. says

    I agree, Pepper is a superb model! I like the bored look and the expectant look—how did you get your cat to do all those grrrreat poses???

      • girlie sagadal says

        I showed Pepper’s pics to my daughter, Gillian ….gigil na gigil. seems Pepper wont
        have any trouble getting knocked up soon since she’s an attractive cat !

        • emyM says

          Just knew about Anne L. when Queen Elizabeth refused to have a photo taken by her…
          I forgot the reason…I think Anne does not want the Queen to wear her tiara.
          I love Richard Avedon better…I think that’s before your time. And Anne Geddes…wow.

          Your pix of Pepper are fabulous.Oh..those eyes. Why don’t you publish a calendar
          w/ photos of your pets?

          • d0d0ng says

            emyM – since you mentioned about Richard Avedon who died in 2004, it is really odd or rather very strange that his last work (portrait of power) at that year is the portrait of Obama who was then a senator.

      • emyM says

        Marvin,thanks..that’s interesting.So, it was her who took the memorable,controversial,
        very much pregnant Demi M. photo and graced the cover of Vanity Fair many years ago.

        In doing that,young expectant moms (including my daughter) followed suit and paid big
        bucks for a 3 hr photo shoot in the beach of Malibu showing their naked belly.

        Connie,uso ba ‘yon diyan?

          • Mel says

            I so love your model! What’s her name? Or is it a he? I do have my personal model too, you know. She’s Sabrina, a pure black local cat. She’s the most willing model I ever had, she doesn’t complain and she knows how to follow instructions. She sure is a good listener too :) I do have a few photos of my own capturing her in different emotions and actions. Cats are the easiest to work with :)

  6. says

    I just read more about Annie L., aroused by the post you made and learned that she almost went to college pala at UP… her family having made the move to the Philippines then, right after she graduated from HS…gusto raw pala sana ng dad niya na sa UP raw siya mag-aral…instead she went to San Francisco and took up Fine Arts…

  7. browneyedgirl says

    you take very good pics of your food at pinoy cook. very nice, as if the food was styled and all.