How Annie Leibovitz got shot

How Annie got shot

The Leibovitz story, however, is more than a tale of a photographer who got absorbed into the high-spending world of the people she portrays. It is a reflection of something unexpected – that, despite all her celebrity and talent, Leibovitz lacks earning power as an artist.

If she could sell her prints in galleries or at auction for as much as former fashion and society photographers such as Herb Ritts, Bettina Rheims and Richard Avedon – let alone contemporary artists who work in photography, such as Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Andreas Gursky and Gilbert & George – her financial worries would ease.

John Gapper at the Financial Times on how the prominent photographer Annie Leibovitz got into financial trouble and why she’s having such a hard time digging her way out.

This is an important piece for anyone to read and it has as much to do with the place of certain types of photography in the fine art world as it does with the perils of self-employment and managing money.

[via Dale Allyn]

4 comments

      1. I did not know of the terrible financial problems Annie was having. It kind of shocked me. I thought she had established an extremely successful career. But, I do not know anything about the business side of the art world.

  1. As someone who did a lot of business travel for close to 20 years I can attest to the fact that at times we can lose track of things and have a hard time with cash flow. Many times government groups I was working for didn’t pay for 90 days, too much time to keep up with exploding credit card bill from travel. This is very common in the world of freelance business travel and no doubt Leibovitz spent a lot of money on shoots to make money. If she got out of sync I could easily see going into debt. Then when her partner died she had to spend a lot of money to settle that estate. It was a big mess.

    Bottom line, not all artists know how to run the business sides of their lives.

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