When a book combines multiple things that I feel powerfully about, it’s hard for me to contain my excitement and Annie Liebovitz’s American Music, is one such example. There are few things that I love more than photography and music. Add in the fact that my favorite photographer has photographed my favorite musician and I’m sold. Leibovitz’s work with Rolling Stone is what inspired me to take up photography to begin with.
When I got behind my camera, all I could think about was how badly I wanted her job. And how I wished I could be as good at it as she was. There’s something inexplicable behind her ability to capture a portrait and, to me, that talent only increases when she’s capturing a musician. They say that to be a successful portrait photographer you need the ability to make your subject trust you so that they become completely comfortable with you. I don’t think there is another photographer out there with the ability to do that as she has.
I somewhat lost touch with the world of photography during my beginning years of college, there were a lot of distractions on my plate, but this book eventually drew me back in. I originally bought it, because she included photographs of Mike Ness, the lead singer of the punk/rockabilly band Social Distortion. Social D has been my favorite band for many years and missing out on this work was unthinkable.
Annie Leibovitz’s work is still leaving me spellbound decades later. I may no longer be a sixteen year old girl photographing local bands, but her work still touches on a powerful desire in me to reach back to my dream.