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Design & Style

Creating Concepts

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 17:52 min

Annie breaks down her process for developing imaginative and creative concepts for her photo shoots, sharing examples from Tess Gallagher, Amy Schumer, Keith Haring, Whoopi Goldberg, and more.*

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 think that I shall enjoy all the lessons. I shall be 80years old next year and I am not a technical person. I enjoy my Sony A7 and just one lens.

I studied Art History, and studio Art at college, but for many years was in a business role outside of the arts. I have photographed on and off over the las 35-40 years and also collected some fine art prints. This class reignited my interest in my own work, and Annie was so approachable and open, a natural teacher. Wonderful class, thank you. Jon

Great insight and motivational. Did not get much out of the classroom setting lessons, but loved everything else.

an extraordinary way to teach by telling life strories


Kara R.

Very nice interview. I thought it was a class, I was excited to hear about technique but it's not there. Enjoyed looking at there work.

Suzanne W.

There are some good ideas in this video. We always need to look at our subjects differently.

A fellow student

I liked the assignment for the student to try something new. Gives me focus. Seeing how she could go off on a tangent spontaneously with some of her subjects is very daring and exciting. I am emboldened. Her stories revealed herself as well as giving me examples.

Leicka Teresa O.

I love how it gives us the idea and the importance of doing a search for the subject before starting to take photos of it. I think it would definitely help a lot to create inspiring things.


I have always enjoyed taking photos out of the ordinary, see the beauty or interesting parts of something that doesn't look that interesting as a whole. However, this is a whole new level. I can't find the words, but it's almost like having a third eye, to take the photos Annie takes. I will keep this in mind when photographing next time.

Padmaja P.

Very interesting! That a portrait is just one small facet of a person or personality is so telling. I love the simplicity of Annie's portraits that seem to pack a punch, nevertheless. Very impressed by the broad spectrum of her work. Will look up all her work now. Thank you.

Antonia T.

Wow. Such an inspiring lesson! I would love to grab my camera now and photograph old people that I love. I love the idea of doing research on the subjects (like Annie did when she read the poetry of the poets). And I also love the idea of seeing a photo of the person we are portraying when they where young. And the end, portrait as an art is finding the way of connecting the photo with the real person. Thank you so much for this lesson. I loved it!

Saima S.

I just love the fact that Annie, is not scared to be bold or ask her subject to be daring and be themselves. She makes them feel comfortable and is trusted. That is what I want to have, a total trust between the photographer and the subject. I feel it is necessary to get awesome shots. Enjoyed this class a lot.

Bridgid W.

This was a very powerful lesson for me - breaking ice! My neighbor who has just turned 70 and is really stunning and somebody that I have longed to photograph but did not know where to start - recently showed me a wardrobe that she had for the last 40 years and was about to “sell”... I asked first for her favorite photograph of herself and then we sat like two teenage girls and she told me the stories behind the outfits on the rack - even putting them on and modeling them for me while I clicked away happily. What an inspiration this lesson had proved to be - it has taken me two years to pluck up the courage just to ask my neighbor if I could take her photograph.....

A fellow student

I absolutely love the concept of raw photography and how to find new inspiration.