Fine Art

Celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz talks about her work at UNLV


She’s one of the most famous photographers of all time, and on April 3, Annie Leibovitz spoke to a packed theater inside Artemus Ham Hall at UNLV. The talk was the final installment of the current season of the Barrick Lecture Series, which kicked off with Oscar-winning film director Guillermo del Toro last October.

That legendary portrait of nude John Lennon, embracing Yoko Ono? It was Leibovitz' first cover assignment for Rolling Stone. She went on tour with the Stones in 1972—the most infamous in the band's history—and she's photographed everyone from President Barack Obama to Lady Gaga.

While she talked about her body of work and career as a photo journalist, Las Vegas Weekly wrote down some of Leibovitz’ most memorable quotes.

On what advice she has for new photographers: “Start with your friends and family … people who will put up with you,” she joked. “Take pictures of something that means something to you.”

On why she chose a camera over a paintbrush: “Photography suited me. Painting was isolating. I wanted reality.”

On Hunter S. Thompson: “[He] showed up at Rolling Stone with a six pack … I was in love with him. Everyone was in love with him … He pushed me away, and by pushing me away he taught me to work by myself.”

On the intimacy in her photos: “A lot can be told in the moments between moments.”

On her capturing the Rolling Stones on their 1972 tour: “There’s actually very few photos of Keith standing.” “There’s the bigness of the performances … and the isolation. They were a group of lost boys. I probably spent more time with them than any other subject.”

On Mick Jagger: “He was the most beautiful object, like a butterfly. I was always aware of where Mick was."

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Leslie Ventura

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