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.

I learned a lot about the way a photographer develops by watching Annie talk about her work now and over the years and how she was influenced. This was the most helpful part of the course to me.

I really enjoyed this class. I wish that you had more classes with visual artists. I would love to take a class by a painter, or sculptor, or installation artist

There are great photos that aren't sharp. It's fun and challenging to use only one lens, or shoot with a toy camera or antique cameras.

Inspiring! Gives me courage to look for deeper meaning and connect with my family, people, the world. How refreshing to know she is just a person like all of us.


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!

Ayodele O.

I like the way the lecturer takes me through her thought process. Very calm and choice of words are descriptive but full of her passion which. makes it easy for me to follow her creative side.

Nera K.

To be honest, this chapter was really slow and boring. It took me many tries for watching it full cause i would fall asleep everytime. It would have been nice to at least get some technical info, as which camera and lens she used or something about the strobe and difussion.

J'nee H.

She suggested to try a portrait with a stylist, etc. So I wanted to explore a faceless portrait. Probably outside the rules/description but I love the composition and color and facelessness of my dancer subject.