Annie Leibovitz’s iconic magazine covers
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
On Dec. 8, 1980, Annie Leibovitz met Lennon and Ono at their New York apartment building. There, she photographed the famous couple for the cover of Rolling Stone.
“John took his clothes off in a few seconds, but Yoko was very reluctant,” Leibovitz later told Rolling Stone. She said, ‘I’ll take my shirt off but not my pants.’ I was kinda disappointed, and I said, ‘Just leave everything on.’ We took one Polaroid, and the three of us knew it was profound right away.”
But the image took on another level of tragic profundity later that evening, when Lennon was murdered on his way home from the recording studio. (Annie Leibovitz / Associated Press)
Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James
Leibovitz made history when she shot Gisele Bündchen and LeBron James for the April 2008 cover of Vogue. The issue marked the first time a black man had graced the cover of the magazine.
In the photo, James wears athletic clothing and dribbles a basketball, his muscles and teeth on full display. Bündchen, by contrast, wears a silky gown and smiles gaily. The stark juxtaposition caused a stir, with one critic on espn.com concluding, “Vogue’s quest to highlight the differences between superstar athletes and supermodels only successfully reinforces the animalistic stereotypes frequently associated with black athletes.” (Annie Leibovitz / Associated Press)