Annie Leibovitz Compiles Her Life’s Work into a 476-Page, Limited Edition, $2,500 Book


When you’ve captured as many photographs as renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz has, it’s not exactly a simple task to pick and choose your best work. Shooting for over four decades for the likes of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, her collection of work is as vast as it is rich.

And so, when it came time to create her latest book, rather than selecting just a few dozen of her photographs, she decided to step it up… a lot. Her latest book is a $2,500, 476-page visual journey through every single step of Leibovitz career.

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Covering everything from politics to fashion, this behemoth of a book will feature her most iconic images, as well as some of her more rare photographs. It’s set to come in two variations, a $2,500 Collector’s Edition and the $5,000 Art Edition.

If the Collector’s Edition is the one piquing your interest, it’s limited to 10,000 signed and numbered copies. In addition, the Collector’s Edition will allow you to choose a dust-jacket for your new coffee table book, with the following images being your choices — Whoopi Goldberg (Berkeley, California, 1984), Keith Haring (New York City, 1986), David Byrne (Los Angeles, 1986), and Patti Smith (New Orleans, 1978).

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If the Art Edition (which is yet to be released) seems more up your alley, you’ll receive the entire collection of dust-jackets, as well as a signed archival print of Leibovitz’s photograph of Keith Haring. This one is limited to 1,000 copies.

Regardless of what edition you choose, you’ll receive a handy little tripod, designed by Marc Newson, that will cleverly hold your book. Rather appropriate considering this baby costs as much as a pro-level DSLR.

If you’re wallet is feeling heavy, you can head on over to the Taschen site and secure yourself a copy. And while the Art Edition is yet to be released, you can still pre-order it to ensure you aren’t left out of the 1,000-copy run.

(via JustLuxe)

  • Michael Comeau

    If you’re in NYC, you can see this book in person at the Taschen Store in Soho.

    It really is impressive.

  • Matthias Hombauer

    and impressive is it´s prize ;)

  • Mauricio Matos

    I always chuckle when I see limited editions in the thousands.

  • Banan Tarr

    Seems like she’s cashing in on her fame and I can’t say I blame her. 30 million dollars in books… not bad!

  • jay

    I’ll wait for the kindle.

  • RandomDesign

    Well she sure needs the money. She’s completely mismanaged her assets over the years, nearly went bankrupt and even just recently had to sell her enormous $28 million NY home just to help repay a $24 million loan she nearly defaulted on in 2009.

  • David Liang

    Whoa, now that’s really interesting…

  • Woody ONeal

    Sorta like going to see Elton John on tour.

    I’ll save the money for my kids education.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    I’m taking 2!!

  • Woody ONeal

    Meanwhile, another kids goes to sleep in the projects, hungry and scared. This whole project is completely distasteful and downright reprehensible.

  • mlianopr

    How much…!???

  • trusharp

    Does anyone know if its printed on photographic paper? Could be worth it if its of archival quality

  • Matthew Kozovski

    One of the most talked about subjects amongst photographers is making sure you charge what you’re worth. Those who are complaining about pricing of this book, yet complain about people under charging the market, is just ridiculous. Leibovitz is one of the biggest names in photography, and this is a pretty much an ultimate collection for fans. Pricing is more than fair.

  • David Liang

    So you feel bad for people who have a hard time getting out of hard financial/economical situations. Yet you think it’s distasteful that Annie is trying to get herself out of a hard financial situation, by marketing her life’s work, which by the way people do want. Her previous books are sold in the used market for far more than they’re bought for.

  • David Liang

    Absolutely agreed. The criticism comes from people with with no understanding or sense of context. Annie’s books sell for the hundreds in the used market if you can find them. How is this any different from a sports enthusiast spending thousands on a signed Jersey or Baseball? Apparently when people aren’t fans they lose the perspective that MAYBE people share different values for the same things.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    I have no problem with her pricing for the book–she should charge what the market bears, but that doesn’t mean I am going to buy it. There are previous Taschen books that came out as high priced limited editions, only to be followed a year or so later with a more affordable $100 or so version. I have a Dennis Hopper book that followed that trajectory. The paper may not be as good and I may not get a signed photo, but the images are the images.

    It all boils down to what you value. As I get older, I am less interested in limited editions. In terms of artist prints, record albums, and other stuff, my experience is when you try to sell this stuff, you rarely get your money out of it. As for those who do make money on books and other stuff, my experience is that you buy it because you love it when it first comes out and the world finally catches up to your taste. But those aren’t limited editions, they are just limited runs.

  • Stephen S.

    That’s definitely valid, Matthew. I agree. The complication is that our copyright scheme is under intense pressure to evolve, and most of that pressure is about pricing and scarcity. Releasing a limited edition “book” priced at the far end of the bell curve for books…well, it sort of unavoidably implicates both those issues. Granted, it doesn’t implicate them FAIRLY because what Liebovitz is doing has nothing to do with the copyright abuses that have put those concerns (pricing and scarcity) front and center. But it’s also not surprising when people knee-jerk that way.

    There’s a retired Air Force pilot named Brian Shul who wrote a memoir titled “Sled Driver.” He released it in limited edition for something like $300. Based on what I know about him, Shul seems like a fascinating guy, and I’d love to read his book. But I’m not going to spend that kind of money on a book…so I haven’t read it, and I won’t get to. That kinda sucks, because I’ll bet it’s a great book. I don’t pirate things, but I understand the impulse.

    Part of being in business—which you are, publishing a book for sale—is understanding your customer base and their capacity. If you know there’s going to be large demand and you choose to create a limited edition for a high price, and the technology exists for customers to easily circumvent your purchase process…well, rightness or wrongness aside, you are taking some risks.

  • bob cooley

    I was thinking the same thing – she only needs to sell 10000 of this limited edition to finally be out of debt ;)

  • Ray

    Think I’ll wait for the regular dust jacket, minus the tripod version for $100.

  • Dylan Roberts

    Stand sold separately.

  • Louis

    And you are doing, what? Posting on the internet random nonsense? How is that good for the hungry and scared kids?

  • Louis

    It is surprising how many pp readers ignore publishing business. A fine art, signed edition is expensive, and no, Annie does not cash every penny of the 2500 dlls.

  • Louis

    Sure, Bob, since every penny goes to her. You completely ignore publishing business.

  • IL

    I’d argue that Leibovitz understands precisely who her target customers are for this book — and that’s not people like you and me. From the information about it out there, it is being marketed to her fellow high-value peers as well as aspirationals in the fashion/celebrity industries, based on its status as a limited art object.

    Certainly there is value in the contents, but a great deal of its value lies in the physical aspects of being an exclusive, artist-signed printed book with a high barrier to ownership (price and limited numbers), and probably other things like high print quality, quality print substrates, etc. This emphasis on physicality is something that print continues to leverage over digital publications — it’s simply a dimension that print has which digital does not.

    Even if someone was to pirate it (or circumvent the purchase process as you put it) all they’d have would be a collection of photos, or scans of the pages, or a lower quality print reproduction of the contents of the book. Certainly that’s worth something, but I’d argue that it kind of misses the point of the book and Leibovitz isn’t going to lose any sleep about it.

    Fact is, Leibovitz has already released books targeted to the mass market. A quick look through Amazon shows a number of these books priced between $20 to $150. I myself own “Annie Leibovitz at Work” released 2008.

  • Woody ONeal

    How the hell does someone of her situation get to the point that she can’t make ends meet? We should feel so sorry for her? Buy her book? Count me out.

    Sure, I’d be so lucky to have the career she’s had, but good grief, this just reeks of money grab.

  • Woody ONeal

    Nope, I willingly donate my time in highlighting the very problem though still and video work for local charities. Raised 20K plus a few months ago. I didn’t make a dime on my work.

    I don’t pretend to be the photographic giant that Annie is, but I also pay my taxes. And on time.

  • bob cooley

    I was being sarcastic – but you are absolutely right – she only has to sell about 25000 of them :)

  • Guest

    Its very noble your doing good work for the underprivileged, its very commendable, but being sanctimonious about someone going about their business is unnecessary. The fact is, she’s probably paid 100x more tax than you have, which is reallocated into the public purse.

  • NDT001

    I wish i was in NYC! If i come can i stay at your place? I’m a nice guy i promise….

  • Stephen S.

    All of that is fair. But someone like Leibovitz is high profile enough that the mass market (so to speak; she isn’t Britney Spears, obviously) is going to be attracted to anything she puts out. Pointing out that she has other products available for people who can’t afford $2,500 doesn’t really address the point, which is that X-number of people will simultaneously want this book and also not be able or willing to pay $2,500 for it.

    If that’s not a problem for Leibovitz and/or she won’t lose sleep over people finding ways around her price, then God bless and so be it. I hope that’s true. I don’t think she’s doing anything wrong or unwise. I just see it as something to be aware of, like any decision we make in business.

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  • Tiktian C

    If your in hong kong, there’s also a copy of the book in person at the 9th floor ‘page one’ book store in times square, causeway bay

  • Aezreth

    As expensive as this book is it’s still probably going to be worth double that as soon as it’s sold out. These kind of limited edition books by masters like Leibovitz usually only go up in price.

  • Maria Fernanda G

    Doesn’t she have to share the earnings with the people that appear on the images? I believe that with this type of work you need to either get permission of the subjects and / or share the earnings or a % of. Plus, her level as a photographer, plus the quality of the book itself. I don’t know, for sure 2k+ is a little too much but if you take all the variables into consideration I think a few hundreds are reasonable.

  • Genkakuzai

    I’m definitely a Leibovitz fan… but $5000 for a “limited” edition book which comes in _10000_ copies? That’s hardly very limited.

  • James

    Anyone else remember that Helmut Newton did the EXACT same BIG BOOK with the exact same publisher about 15 years ago?

  • ajfudge

    Ms. Leibovitz is a sought-after celebrity photographer. As it appears, celebrities like to be photographed by her. I think it’s safe to assume that the kinds of people who would want to purchase this book are those same celebrities she photographed.