Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz blasted over humiliating pics of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz has given us some of the most iconic shots of our generation, but when it comes to photographing black people, like Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, many accuse the shutterbug of having no idea what she is doing.

The 72-year-old photographer posted two shots she’d snapped of Jackson for an upcoming issue of Vogue magazine on Twitter, and the responses to her choice of lighting were less than favorable.

“Personally, I’d be humiliated if it took 5 minutes to improve my photos 300 fold with free software,” replied one user. “But I guess I’m not getting paid the big bucks for abject failure on a globally visible scale.”

“You’d think by now you’d figure out how to photograph black people,” another wrote. “You can’t even see her, she’s muted compared to her background she doesn’t look like she was your focus at all. C’mon now.”

According to some Twitter users, Leibovitz has a history of lighting black people badly.

“You just refuse to properly light dark skinned Black women, huh?” asked one angry user.

“I feel like she has to photograph Black people like this on purpose,” stated another. “There is no way a photographer as talented as Annie Leibovitz doesn’t know how to take photos of Black skin. She doesn’t WANT to do it right and it shows.”

“I used my iPhone to adjust the light and shadows, and made the photo look better,” offered a third.

It’s the same criticism Leibovitz got when she photographed gymnast Simone Biles in 2020.

“I thought we’d all agreed that Annie Leibovitz isn’t allowed to do photoshoots of Black people anymore after that Simone Biles photoshoot for Vogue, but I guess not!!” exclaimed one user.

Someone please take the god***n camera away from Annie Leibovitz…” demanded another. “Either learn how to properly shoot dark-skinned ppl or hire a black photographer to do what you cannot… This is absolutely ridiculous.. y’all did the same thing to Simone Biles we ain’t forget @voguemagazine.”

What I don’t understand is how Vogue still holds all the power,” stated a third. “Black women are aware that Leibovitz is not good at lighting/photographing Black people, yet even Michelle Obama, Viola Davis, a SCOTUS, and Simone Biles can’t say get a different photographer? #InstitutionalRacism”

And perhaps the problem is with Vogue.

As American Wire News reported in January, British Vogue was buried for its “momentous” cover featuring a group of African models for exactly the same reason.

But bad lighting wasn’t the only critique of Leibovitz’s photo shoot. Some objected to her composition of the photo of Jackson standing beneath the enormous statue of President Lincoln at sunset.

“I also happen to think she should not be photographed below Lincoln,” said one user. “I understand the intended message, but I think this send[s] a *Lincoln freed the slaves and look what they achieved* message. A little too white saviorish, especially with that lighting.”


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