How Annie Leibovitz captured Kim and Kanye's selfie side

In Portraits 2005–2016, Annie Leibovitz offers us a clear look into the lives of two huge social media stars
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Kim Kardashian, North West, and Kanye West, Los Angeles, 2014. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. Picture credit: © Annie Leibovitz
Kim Kardashian, North West, and Kanye West, Los Angeles, 2014. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. Picture credit: © Annie Leibovitz

When Annie Leibovitz began shooting portraits professionally in 1970 there were no digital cameras, and the notion that you might take and share photos using a handheld telephone would have seemed like a sci-fi writer's fantasy, rather than a daily reality. 

Nevertheless, in our new book Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005–2016 the brilliant US photographer captures the spirit of our latter-day selfie culture.

This photograph, taken in 2014, pictures two of the world's most popular social media stars of that moment - Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – in the act of selfie-style portraiture. Leibovitiz's image, taken shortly after Kim and Kanye's wedding and the birth of their daughter North – also pictured – is a wonderful clear shot of what can be, at times, a hugely distortive image-making process.

 

Annie Leibovitz, 2012. Photograph © Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz, 2012. Photograph © Annie Leibovitz

Since that picture was taken, Kanye has chosen to delete his Instagram and Twitter accounts, while his wife continues to post on hers, and currently has a combined total of over 150 million followers. 

 

Our limited-edition of Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005–2016

 


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