Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last photo of John Lennon

You are surely familiar with this photograph, but you may not know that it was the last professional photo of John Lennon (1940-1980) - taken just 5 hours before he was fatally shot in front of his New York City apartment building. It was taken by portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, who promised that it would be on the cover of Rolling Stone, where she worked from 1970 to 1983. It was, 6 weeks after his death. It was not the first time he had been photographed by Leibovitz nor the first time he was on the cover of Rolling Stone, but Lennon remarked to her during that photo shoot with wife Yoko Ono on December 8, 1980, that "You've captured our relationship exactly." As soon as the initial Polaroid had been taken, all 3 of them knew the image was "profound," and everyone who has seen the finished portrait since has remembered it. There's a short video about Leibovitz photographing Lennon here.

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