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Design & Style

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.

I really enjoyed gaining some insight into the process and beliefs of one of my favorite photographers. This was an inspiring opportunity to practice my own work and get some feedback from the world community by sharing online. On the whole, I was pleased with my first masterclass experience!

I love Annie, but honestly I expected more from Masterclass.. More in a way of what you advertise. It felt more like a documentary than a course. So making it more focused on concepts and how to apply them (in action) rather than just loosely speaking about it. I missed that

It gave me really interesting perspective on photography and how to make it your own.

This was astounding. I learned so much about developing my own vision and visual language. Truly inspiring!



My main takeaway from Annie Leibovitz is you got to stop saying the words "you know..."

A fellow student

I loved the approach to this class, which is vastly different from what you can gain on You Tube. This is not about the technical aspects of photograph, it is about the art. It is amazing to be able to get in the head of one of the greatest portrait photographers.


Frankly, the title of this entire class is misleading. It should change to state that this is a discussion or documentary about the art of photography. There is scant detail here for a beginning photographer. If you are already well versed and want to learn Annie's thoughts about this wonderful art, this is a great documentary. If you want to learn new detailed techniques and procedures, this is not a good class.

Wade C.

Great class! Information on the technical aspects of photography is readily available from a wide range of sources but this was unique in that one gained insight into how an accomplished photographer thinks and approaches her art.


I am sorry for what I am about to say because I love her as a photographer but this is NOT a masterclass folks. It was a biography. It was her talking about her photographs. Rated 1. Sorry. I have seen amazing masterclasses in this website, this is not one of them.


It was very interesting to learn about a few of her photo techniques, and getting to see her on a few shoots was great! I also especially liked knowing about her family, what got her interested in photography, how she got to shoot for Rolling Stone, and attending S.F. Art Institute. It's really special to see that she continues to do what she loves!

Victoria A.

It was interesting to watch Annie's class. It doesn't teach you a photography. It mostly shows a part of Annie's journey and how she felt about some photos.

Antonia T.

Wonderful masterclass. I loved it. Thanks! But I'm still waiting for my email that indicates and proves that I have completed the masterclass (and I have completed 4 masterclasses: this one, Samuel L.Jackson, Scorsese, and Goodall). What about you? Did you get an email after completing the masterclass? Thanks, greetings from Spain & stay safe / Antonia

Michelle L.

Thank you for reminding me what I did not notice around me - I can simply take photographs of my family.

Tim F.

Ah yes, I recall a comment I saw near the beginning saying, "This is an interview not a lesson". But what is a lesson anyway? A process of learning? A period of learning? This class was exactly that! I enjoyed Annie's perspective on her craft, the snippets of history, the glimpses of her working, her views on others' work, how she deals with subjects - or doesn't. The examples of her work and the people she has photographed. The evolution of how a photo may feel or what it may mean to the photographer, from just after it was taken compared to years later. All wonderful stuff. What would you expect anyway, "F8 and be there!"? Dorothea Lange said, 'The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' Annie teaches you to learn without a calculator, textbook, multiple-choice ISO questionnaires, f-stop exams and focal-length lectures. I enjoyed it.