Actually 1991, Vanity Fair shocked viewers with a cover with a naked and pregnant Demi Moore. New off her achievement in the film  Ghost with Patrick Swayze, the red hot performer wanted the picture, that represented her 7-months pregnant with kid Scout (the daughter of then-husband Bruce Willis), to show an “anti-Hollywood” attitude. The picture of Annie Leibovitz did that, demonstrating pregnancy’s form for a conversation piece which yielded a response that is polarizing. Some thought while some believed it sexualized pregnancy, the picture was lovely — and it had been contentious that supermarkets refused to take it.

In 2017, Leibovitz rebooted that the cover having tennis star Serena Williams — arguably the most GOAT (greatest of all time) athlete female or male —  at what will surely be recalled (or maybe not) as a not as contentious cover by virtue of its position in history. Let us have a look!

The Moore picture comes from the movie age and can be shot on large format.


Here is the unadorned image:-LRB-***)

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

Shot on gray seamless paper, Leibovitz utilized a very gentle light supply camera left which seems to be relatively small in comparison to a number of the huge octaboxes in use nowadays. The drop in light in the face to the legs of Moore is evident. The retouching appears minimal (maybe some in her legs at buttocks where we may expect to see stretch marks). Hair, her make-up and accessories have been glamorous, and I am enjoying her glance. The tonality of this picture is lovely.

The picture resulted in much parodying like this film poster for The Naked Gun 33 1/3 starring Leslie Nielsen. Oh, the humanity!


())It is difficult to shock using the naked kind any more. Martin Schoeller did it in 2012 together with his breastfeeding cover for TIME, however that has been about nudity and much more about the polarizing comments about breastfeeding (especially in public…along with your 3-year old). In that respect, Leibovitz’s 2017 picture with Serena Williams is simpler to dissect because we are less distracted from the nudity of it.

For this particular show, we obtain an update from smooth to this well-regarded and expensive Oliphant background. The monotony breaks up without being distracting. We are not at a studio, but instead at a backyard, as we could see from the image under. The lighting is quite diffuse and it is quite tough to say exactly what the illumination pattern is here. Leibovitz enjoys her strobes, and I guess that she used a few fill in the front (look at the feel detail of their hair. We may surmise that Leibovitz put a diffusion board overhead that is huge to dull the sun’s unpredictability.

The positioning of the hands on hip instead of above the belly together with the flowing hair is a lot more empowering present than Moore’s — it is Wonder Woman, except that is no performer. It a mixture of homage for her attitude. Unapologetic, athletic, and we must also point out that Williams is 35-years old — perhaps not the 29-year old which Moore had been.  

Back to this inset picture, I really like it. Some shadows are created by the texture of this material that is bright. This retouching on the material’s comparison is perfect.

Verdict: Now we need never to judge a historic picture with a modern lens, but I am planning to do it anyhow. In the context of photography’s history that the Moore picture will be more of a stake in the ground. However, I feel the Williams picture is the more powerful (literally) picture of the older, more accomplished person.