Design, Photography, & Fashion

The Evolution of a Photographer

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 11:29 min

Learn how Annie’s artistic journey impacted her evolution as a photographer—from the inspiration of family photos to the San Francisco Art Institute and Rolling Stone. *Lessons marked with an asterisk contain images with nudity.

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 has been an honor to learn of the instincts, impressions and talent of Annie. An absolute joy to take her class.

I love photography and found Annie perspective and process very interesting. I loved that she was telling her story and her life work, made think about how I photograph. Going to do her assignments, great class.

I liked seen that she doesn't wear any makeup, it seems to me that that fact alone brings the sensation of honesty

Great course! Not technical but very inspiring....


Louise Z.

Listening to Annie is a gift ... learning how she changed as a photographer. I am enjoying these classes very much.

A fellow student

I am going to admit to a bit of buyer's remorse. A friend wanted to the Master Class annual pass with the buy one get one free promotion. I thought the Annie Leibovitz would be worth the price of admission. She is obviously a great photographer, she is not a great communicator. Not sure what I really learned after watching all the lessons which actually got to be a bit of a chore. Oh well, live and learn.

Vitaliy M.

What I got for myself is a mirror reflection. To see the world around you from the roots of "who you are". Some thoughts to digest and find a new vision. Very powerful.

Tomas Thi T.

I feel that the two 'Behind the Scenes' work-samples were not as informative and intense as I would have hoped for - Having shadowed Annie during the Making of the Olympic Athlete book - where she navigated Sets of 50 + people - dealing with demanding clients and finicky athletes made her 'craftsman/woman - ship' come to light. It might be that Annie mellowed down over the years ...


Always a privilege to get a running monologue from someone so intense, detailed, and passionate about his or her work. Thank you Annie for giving so much from your mind and soul!

A fellow student

Photography is a personal journey. I am not a professional photographer, nor do I intend to be one, but I like the fact that someone who has dedicated her entire career to this art, has at some point questioned the same things I do when I take photos. The class absolutely inspired me to question things, to look for other angles and to realise that the most important thing is to "see" what motivates me in a picture/scene.

tatyana S.

It is a good masterclass - not for the beginner thought. The things Anne teaches are huge but subtle, those you need after you covered the basics, if I was a beginner - I wouldn't get half of it. I would call it a refining class and recommend it not only to a photographer but to any artist there

Tom B.

I really enjoyed this Masterclass... much like the Carlos Santana class on the "Art and Soul of the Guitar", it focused on the "soft" side of photography and didn't spend a lot of time on technical matters. I thought it was amazing that a photographer of Annie's stature achieved the level of success that she has without becoming a slave to the technical and equipment aspects of photography.

Master B.

Annie Leibovitz: Excellent Lessons on the Importance of "AuthenticPhotography".

Amelia Sarah H.

I loved Annie Leibovitz's course - it's why I signed up for Masterclass. Favorite line: "You have to be a bit obsessed to do this." (might be paraphrasing a smidge) It's true - there's always more to learn, more to see, more to photograph, more to edit, more to review. If you're not obsessed, you're sunk. "Photography gets you outside --- it gives you permission to go outside and LOOK." When I was a little girl I was always getting scolded for staring. My parents would say, "Don't stare! It's rude." And I'd say, "I'm not staring, I'm looking." Now that I always have a camera in my hands, I have permission to LOOK, to Stare, to carefully See. And that's pure joy. The attached photo is an image from spontaneous shoot on a beach in Costa Rica with a friend of mine who is a spanish-born african-trained musician and mystic. It just 'happened' and opened up a whole new phase of shooting for me. On the trip I was just taking some time off from the 'work' of photography and allowing myself time to just Play. That's often when the magic happens. Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration. Namaste, Amy Hart