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Kanye West Blasts Annie Leibovitz for Backing Out A Day Before Kimye Wedding

By Hanssie on June 17th 2014

It was the kiss (photo) seen around the world and holds the distinction of being the most liked photo on Instagram. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s much publicized wedding photo has been liked by 2.29 million people. And according to Kanye (who never seems to have an issue of speaking his mind publicly), it was the result of 4 days of editing no thanks to famed celebrity photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

While speaking on the panel for Festival of Creativity’s “Technology, Culture and Consumer Adoption: Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape” at the Cannes Lions festival on Tuesday, Kanye revealed that Leibovitz pulled out of shooting the Kimye wedding the day before it took place. Kanye and Kim wed at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence in May and the wedding was shot by 22 year old British photographer, Conor McDonnell.


After the wedding, it took days to get the photo to the public via Kim’s Instagram because even though Leibovitz canceled, they still wanted their photos to look like the work of the iconic photographer and so the pair did their best to edit the photo in the Leibovitz style.

“I think she [Leibovitz] was scared of the idea of celebrity,” West said. “But because Annie pulled out, I was like, ‘I still want my wedding photos to look like Annie Leibovitz’s photos’ and we sat there and worked on that photo for four days — because the flowers were off-color and stuff like that.

Kanye also stated that Kim was exhausted and unhappy during the honeymoon having to work on the photo for so long. “Can you imagine telling someone who wants to just Instagram a photo, who’s the number one person on Instagram, ‘We need to work on the color of the flower wall,’ or the idea that it’s a Givenchy dress, and it’s not about the name Givenchy, it’s about the talent that is Riccardo Tisci – and how important Kim is to the internet,” he explained.

No word yet on why Ms. Leibovitz pulled out of the wedding last minute, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because she was “scared of the idea of celebrity.”

[via ABC News]


Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Asad Qayyum

    Kimye? *barrrffff*

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  2. Sarah Fredenburg

    The dress is blue and their feet are cut off. Two details I’m pretty sure Leibovitz wouldn’t miss.

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    • Steve Liguori

      Ahh, yes, “…his comments had been misinterpreted.” I guess reality is whatever he says it is.

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  3. Greg Faulkner

    Well, I’m not interested in them much but IF they did book Annie and she backed out thats bad. If she took a booking she decided that it WAS her bride. Backing out last minute is a terrible thing to do.

    Thats if they did actually make a booking that was confirmed etc etc.

    Anyway I’m off to google Conor McDonnell and look at his work

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  4. Kurk Rouse

    The usual spot light junkie

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  5. Scoot McPierson

    She was scheduled to shoot the wedding. Flat out. And pulled out the day before. Put your petty and trifling comments about them aside and recognize that despite her “reputation” for professionalism she is still expected to operate as a professional and should have practically been on her deathbed cancelling with that little notice. But most members of this conversation would rather focus on dragging down the name of a controversial music artist than considering the possibility that Annie is given to the same sense of celebrity entitlement that you so viciously point out about Kanye and may have called off with less than an acceptable reason. I’m disheartened by some of the verbally-violent sycophants in this group.

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    • Drew Pluta

      So you have access to her scheduling and know that she was confirmed to shoot? You seem absolutely sure that Kanye is speaking the truth when we all know that he very often doesn’t understand reality very well. The guy is either stupid or nuts, I’m not sure which.

      You may not be aware that she is the photography equivalent of someone like Prince to Kanye (maybe even more so) in the music world. Not only is she more of a star photographer than he is a music icon, but she’s been that for probably 10X as long as Kanye. On the level of superstar status, longevity, and respect, she far outclasses him in every way. She wouldn’t be who she is if she was inclined to do what Kanye claims.

      His statements ask us to believe things that are beyond incredible and he’s providing nothing but a tantrum to support his claims.

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  6. Hanssie

    I find it hard to believe that with the amount of money they have, they couldn’t pick up a phone and send the digital file over to a professional retoucher. Kanye just loves drama and throwing people under the bus.

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    • Greg Faulkner

      Exactly! This could have been sent off with notes done, redone then redone again and been perfect in 2 days. For 100 bucks lol

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  7. Jacob Jexmark

    I had great parents that told me to be nice so I won’t utter my opinions on mr Kanye “I am God” West.

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  8. Drew Pluta

    Every time he says some whack job shit like this I just wonder. Why doesn’t anybody in the media step up and put him in his place?

    Did he personally edit the photo for 4 days?
    Did he ever actually book Leibovitz to shoot the day?
    Why be so attached to the idea of “who” took the shot, instead of “the shot” itself?
    What the hell is wrong with a person that would “ruin” their honeymoon over something you could easily pay a professional to do in a day? Somehow people all over the world have figured this out but this self proclaimed genius is mucking around with a technical discipline he clearly knows little to nothing about.

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  9. Jared Stewart

    Hmm…I’m surprisingly unmoved by his issues. Should I be sad for him?

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  10. Jared Stewart

    Hmm…I’m surprisingly unmoved by his issues.

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  11. Kurk Rouse

    Once again it’s just another stunt from this guy to keep himself on the minds of people, this guy loves the spotlight and he knows how to fuel it .

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  12. Chris Kretz

    It took them four days to edit a photo that still looks bad. They should have paid someone to edit the photos.

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  13. Noel Chenier

    I feel bad for them their honeymoon was ruined….
    Let’s put our photoshop skills to good use and help them out!

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  14. Matt Walsh

    I agree. All that editing and the image is still pretty week. You could have slapped on some slr lounge effects in lightroom and made it look better in 4 minutes.

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  15. Erwin

    4 days of editing and the dress still looks blue :-)

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  16. Gus

    They must think the public is dumb. First, you could not hire some digital expert to edit the picture for you? Really? Second, you have enough skills to be able to photoshop that well? Third, I do not think you have the patience to sit for four days working on a picture….which leads back to question number 1.
    Sad when we have become a society that believes everything that comes out of the mouth of these two self-centered individuals.

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  17. Thomas

    why are we even talking about this? :D This guy has some serious issues. Can you imagine, hiring someone to take photos and then reediting his work to such an extend, that his work is not recognizable anymore? The poor photographer.. maybe he thought, he’d hit the big deal with it, and than this. Besides, the photo isnt even extraordinary at all. Its not even decent imho.

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  18. Billy

    Ms. Leibovits probably thought, “not my bride”

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  19. Kiril

    Flower wall? Oh, I’m sorry, I thought it was some kind of a limestone wall.
    I’m sure Ms. Leibovitz had something more important to attend, even if it was quiet day at home.

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  20. Al

    Who is he?

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  21. Jo-Ann Stokes

    Gosh they don’t even have two brain cells to rub together between them! Sad that people want to follow stupid people

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  22. Carol

    Annie Leibovitz is the photographer that took their photo for that magazine cover not that long ago, so she has worked with this couple before, and she is a famous photographer of the celebrities who are way more famous and important than these two twits. Ms. Leibovitz probably figured that there isn’t an amount of money, nor enough alcohol on the planet to have to work with these two ego maniacs again!

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  23. Bob

    “Infamous” does not mean what you think it means. You mean “famous”.

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  24. tyler green

    Damn his comments were hilarious; I needed a good laugh! “how important Kim is to the internet” if only kanye were a comedian, he really would be a god.

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  25. Pam

    “how important Kim is to the internet” Ugh! Maybe Ms. Leibovitz backed out because she didn’t want to deal with such inflated egos. I wish these two would just go away.

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  26. Will

    The fact that they apparently spent four days and ruined their honeymoon worrying about how an Instagram photo looked is probably reason enough for any photographer to not want to shoot their wedding. They are two of the most egotistical, image-obsessed people on the planet. And sadly, the Instagram community feeds them.

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    • Greg Faulkner

      That is a right load of BS. Anyone could send an image to a retoucher and for 100 bucks have it perfect in a couple days

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  27. Beth

    I’m sorry, but ‘Kimye’ is so ridiculous. I can only imagine Annie’s side of the story. She’s very professional and one of my faves.

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  28. Jim

    Such a non-story, but I have to ask one question. He is rich and a celebrity and he yet he couldn’t find another big name photographer, even on short notice?

    Something’s fishy.

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    • Pye

      Agreed, would be awesome to know why she backed out eh? =)

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    • Lanti

      Red flag client?

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    • Vladimir Ladev

      Or that “they” had to work on the photo for four days as if kanye and kim sat down on PS CC and worked that background color…

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    • Drew Pluta

      And it would seem that Terry Richardson was probably available.

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