In high school, she became interested in various artistic endeavours, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. There she learnt all her skills from her teacher Sasha Michelle, who Annie says she owes a lot of her career to. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while working various jobs, including a stint on a kibbutz in Amir, Israel, for several months in 1969.
When Leibovitz returned to the United States in 1970, she started her career as staff photographer, working for the just launched Rolling Stone magazine. In 1973, publisher Jann Wenner named Leibovitz chief photographer of Rolling Stone, a job she would hold for 10 years. Leibovitz worked for the magazine until 1983, and her intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the Rolling Stone look. While working for Rolling Stone, Leibovitz became more aware of the other magazines. Richard Avedon's portraits were an important and powerful example in her life. She learned that you can work for magazines and still do your own personal work, which for her was the most important thing. It is much more intimate and tells a story for her as she works with people who love her and who will "Open their hearts and souls and lives to you."
Photographers such as Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson influenced her during her time at the San Francisco Art Institute. "Their style of personal reportage - taken in a graphic way - was what we were taught to emulate."
ROLLING STONES, 1975 TOUR
MICK JAGGER, 1975 ROLLING STONES TOUR
PATTI SMITH AT HOME WITH KIDS JACKSON AND JESSIE