Annie Leibovitz ‘never confirmed’ to shoot Kanye West’s wedding

Was the whole Kanye West-Annie Leibovitz wedding-photo debacle just a misunderstanding? It seems so.

Though earlier in the week the rapper had appeared to diss the famed photographer for not shooting his wedding to Kim Kardashian, he and Leibovitz released a joint statement Thursday saying his comments had been misinterpreted.

Let’s recap: On Tuesday, the “I Am a God” rapper slammed the photographer for supposedly backing out of his over-the-top May 24 union with the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star, asserting that Leibovitz had been “afraid of the idea of celebrity.”

Incidentally, Leibovitz’s portfolio is chock-full of celebrity portraits that include the likes of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Queen Elizabeth II, Demi Moore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Susan Sarandon and Miley Cyrus, to name a few. The 64-year-old also photographed West and Kardashian in wedding regalia for the April issue of Vogue.


Speaking during a panel discussion at Cannes Lions, the self-proclaimed tastemaker said he’d spent four days retouching another photographer’s image of him kissing Kardashian in front of a wall of flowers because he wanted it to look as if Leibovitz shot it.

He said that the photo-editing process had angered and “exhausted” his new bride during their honeymoon. Once released, the image broke the Instagram record for most-liked photo.

Leibovitz and West’s joint statement to The Times explained the misfire, saying that the rapper’s remarks had been “taken out of context and sensationalized.”

“Although Kanye expressed frustration that he was not able to collaborate with Annie Leibovitz at his recent wedding, he is not assigning blame, and is not accusing Annie in any way,” the statement said. “Kanye and Annie’s representatives were in negotiations for weeks that were not completed by the time of the wedding.” “Annie would have been happy to do the portrait but she was never confirmed,” a rep for Leibovitz said, adding that her client “is not known to shoot weddings.”

Yeezus had aspired to converge a creative dream team for the event, the statement explained, with members including Riccardo Tisci, who designed Kardashian’s dress, artist Vanessa Beecroft on the experience (whatever that means), and Andrea Bocelli, who sang as Kardashian walked down the aisle.

Leibovitz had been his first choice for a photographer “to capture one of the most special days” in the couple’s lives, the statement said.

“But Kanye West dreams big. He loves and respects Annie as a true artist and wanted to bring her eye for beauty to the imagery of the event. In his Cannes Lions panel ... Kanye was referencing Annie as an example of how to merge culture and tech.”

“Picture this,” West said in the statement. “‘The most-liked Instagram photo of all time, shot by Annie Leibovitz.’ Oh, I’m sorry for dreaming out loud. Again.”

While Kanye’s list of celebrity feuds grows, follow me @NardineSaad.