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?
The sultry look.
The expectant look.
The shocked look (could also be the stoned look).
The bored look.
The pensive look.
The bitchy look.
The mean look.