In 1970 Annie Leibovitz started working at Rolling Stone magazine, within three years she was named as the magazine's Chief Photographer; by 1983 she had moved to Vanity Fair. From these platforms Leibovitz had the opportunity to take photographs of copious celebrities and musicians. Many of these images have now become iconic in their own right, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the then-pregnant actress Demi Moore. The former became one of the most famous Rolling Stone covers, as only hours after Leibovitz photographed the couple, Lennon was killed.
Leibovitz continued her portraiture photography for editorial and advertising campaigns, in addition to her personal projects. Her work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, Hamiltons Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery in London, amongst others. The latter exhibited Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005 in 2008, a chronological exhibition narrating her commercial and personal work side-by-side.
As well as celebrities, Leibovitz had the chance to photograph British royalty in 2007. As the official portrait photographer for Queen Elizabeth II's first state visit to America in 16 years, Leibovitz wished to take a traditional "very simple portrait" of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. As the first American to be asked to make an official portrait of the royal, Leibovitz has spoken of the honour she felt.