Design, Photography, & Fashion

Case Study Part 1: Photographing Alice Waters

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 14:17 min

Annie brings you inside a photo shoot with the renowned chef Alice Waters. Learn how Annie built the concept for the photos, conducted research, and prepared for the shoot.

Annie Leibovitz
Teaches Photography
Annie brings you into her studio and onto her shoots to teach you everything she knows about portraiture and telling stories through images.
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The Art Of The Photo

Annie Leibovitz was the first woman to be named chief photographer at Rolling Stone and the last person to take a portrait of John Lennon. In her first online photography class, Annie shows us that what makes a picture stunning isn’t the gear or technology—it’s the story. Annie teaches you her philosophy: how to develop concepts, work with subjects, shoot with natural light, and bring images to life in post-production. See the world through her eyes.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

It gave me confidence that I'm doing the right things on my journey. It made me review things again that I needed to look back upon and it instated a new vigor into me to produce some new work and work on some old work.

My appreciation of this Master Class is endless. Thank you, Melissa C ( loved all your work since Rolling Stone & when I saw your first exhibition a the Phoenix Art Museum in 1987). Thank you " A Photographer's Life. What a beautiful book with a beautiful story. I will take this class and apply the input and knowledge to frame or un frame but look with the eye not the frame.

great classes, being able to get a piece of Annie´s spirit and such a power towards photography is really great

It provided no technical help, it was really more a personal perspective on why Annie Liebovitz does what she does. I think for a young photographer or artist this would prove extremely helpful on a conceptual and philosophical level of why people photograph.


Janalee G.

WIllie here is a close friend of mine who has gone blind. We both became disabled around the same time and were each other's support system. In 2014 I pulled out my camera and began to take pictures of individuals with disabilities to tell their stories. This is just one in a series of 15 images and is one of my favorites. I photographed him in the Ketchikan Tunnel. I shoot with natural light and seek out natural backgrounds when I shoot people


Amazing how Annie really looks at who the person is and represents and wont stop until she ensures that she portrayes the person inside and out .

A fellow student

Love the philosophy but would like more examples and critique to accompany the discussion. Listening to her ideas and thoughts are interesting but watching her speak is not the best use of time.

William P.

First, what I like about this lesson is that Annie shows the struggle she goes through to figure out the concept she’s trying to develop – a human subject within a context – that will give the photo a symbolic meaning; making it more than just a headshot above a cup of organically grown coffee. She really emphasizes the freedom to develop ideas on the run. She doesn’t like being caught inside a small box. Second, I don’t get the feeling that she thinks there’s magic in particular photographic gear. If she did, she would have gotten behind some brands and shown off her knowledge. Is the Canon 85mm L IS USM “portrait” lens as good as the 85mm Sigma “Art” lens? Someone else on the internet is writing about that, and using scientific charts.

Raul S.

The lack of photos shown in this photography masterclass is just unbelievable. Although it is a pleasure to listen to Annie Liebovitz, I am really disappointed with this masterclass because we almost never see the pictures she is talking about.


I did enjoy being introduced to Annie and most of her photography is stunning but this series seems more a documentary of her photographic career rather than instructional. Some parts inspired me with my own photography and gave me ideas but I can’t say I learned much.


Really interesting to see the research and planning going into the shoot. I loved seeing the process of setting up the shoot as well, fascinating. It’s a million miles from me and my camera, but I’m just retired from work, and just starting on the adventure of photography. It’s not just the young who are learning Annie, some of us are loving our new found freedom to explore a new creative life:)


I think the class falls a bit short on extracting some of the vast amount of knowledge Leibowitz must possess. It's a bit «soft». I do love the philosophical bits, but in the student feedback and in several of the lessons I would prefer if she were more agressive, less delicate. More to the point, I guess.

Sean F.

This was the best lesson of the class. Very good. Learned about the whole process.

John E.

I have enjoyed every lesson thus far. This lesson taught me directing, looking back, photo essays, and working with other people’s opinions, especially other photographers. I love this MasterClass with Annie because her point of view tells me to be different is okay. I am comfortable with that. Wonderful teaching! Thanks!