It was a great thrill to have Annie Leibovitz stop by and chat with us about the diverse images in her very personal new book, Pilgrimage.
Some of the places she visited and photographed had been on a list of places she and her partner, Susan Sontag, had hoped to visit together. When Sontag died in 2005, Leibovitz assumed that project was gone as well. Then she stood beside Niagara Falls with her three children, and saw the falls through their wide eyes, and decided to revive and expand the idea of photographing places that mean something to her, and to attempt to see them with fresh eyes. The photograph on the book's jacket was taken that day with her children.
Leibovitz openly discussed the "rough couple of years" she recently went through--including the much-publicized financial woes that left her emotionally drained. She wasn't sure there was anything left, but was "pleasantly surprised that there was a deep well." Visiting the homes of Georgia O'Keefe, Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, Virginia Woolf and others turned the project into one of much-needed "renewal."
"It definitely restored me, tremendously," she said.