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Design & Style

Looking Back at Your Work

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 7:23 min

Annie discusses the importance of self-reflection and explains why it's so important for every photographer to look back at their work.*

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.

This was a really good short course. I liked the fireside chat format which gave glimpses into the mind and thought process of the artist.

this class allowed me to start understanding how meaning is an integral part of photography

I have learned about lighting, how to approach portrait photography, being inspired by everything around me. Great class that really offered a lot of new methods to a beginner like myself that believes they have natural talent.

I have learned that I am on the right track and that I just need to keep going.


A fellow student

I sighed when annie spoke about how important editing is. In my experience, it takes a lot of time to edit, but the results are so rewarding. Seeing what one has captured and then enhancing it through the editing process...and it is a process.

Banhid B.

I was looking for the thought process behind initiating editing and she probably shared something even more powerful. The advice for pausing, looking back and reflecting on one’s own work is awesome. It encourages, it helps to evolve as a photographer...

Antonia T.

"Some days will be really hard and some days will feel like magic and some days will feel terrible. Like life. It is a life. And it is a relationship. And it needs to be nurtured and taken care of and fed. The rewards can be wonderful". Beautiful & very inspiring words. Thanks!


This master class inspired me tremendously. I totally agree with Annie, editing is a process of cherishing what you had done thus far. Because of it I decided to dig into the photographs I had taken before and feel them all over again. Thanks Annie.


How do you access the subchapters in the workbook? There's not a link... am I missing something??

Oliver A.

It's a brave new world out here. As we take the time to pause, I love the idea of looking back at our work to move forward, evolve and adapt. I just relaunched my photo blog, thanks to MasterClass and Annie for giving me that extra push!

Yatzek P.

This was the most interesting lesson. Why 4 stars, not 5 ? Annie had a teacher for editing pictures but she does not share with us this knowledge. The only advice is to look back, to use past experiences but she does not tell what does it mean "good picture", how to assess pictures, how this photo editing process (workflow) could be organized. She should be a teacher for us.

Andrea P.

Stop and look back. Editing REALLY is important, but it can be hard too. Some days I'm far more critical than others. Looking back though I can see that I've learned things along the way.

A fellow student

Yes, I like Annie and her work. Great personality, great tips. If you looking for improvements, online course would be it where a team of 8 photographers gather together via Skype and Annie gives a goal, subject, etc and everybody gives their open opinion for every picture. I would love that king of course. Please do that as soon as possible. And inform me when it begins. All the best and thank you Annie and the crew!

William P.

I'm not a professional photographer, so I don't have photos that were taken because I had a customer in mind. When I look back, I see photos that sort of document my life with others. They aren't dancing on a stage in front of 20,000 people, or in some hotel room after the show looking for a quiet moment. They are usually just living day-to-day. Many of my photos, when I look back, are attempts to capture a moment so that 10 years later when I'll be looking back at that moment (along with that person or not) it brings back a time we experienced in our lives. That might be after something momentous, but it could also be after something like a quiet time. Moments of being, so to speak.