Design, Photography, & Fashion

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.

its a whole different feeling to be a great photographer

The first impression is really good - high quality videos, pdfs, the hub, comments. The content - it will show later. Thank you for that rare opportunity guys!

I think it all came together for me on 12 to 15 - knowing something about the subject, the music, never taught about that and an assistant. Now I need to quickly review all the material and go shoot remembering all her tips Ann taught me.

I've learnt that I need to be more authentic with my work. Let go of the control a little with feeling the need to pose and create the whole image and let the person tell their own story.


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.


I address this comment to others in the group and also to Annie Leibovitz and hope she has a chance to read this: I was deeply moved by this lesson. Annie exposes herself here--and that is the key, for me anyway, to the lesson. We think of photography--or writing that is my primary art--as perhaps exposing others, but in reality the best art always exposes the self. That's what going "close to home" means to me. I found this to be one of the best opening lessons in the Master Class cadre.

Steve H.

I get that looking back at your work is important. That could be covered in two minutes

Matt G.

This lesson won't play on my computer. Anyone else having the same problem? Safari browser on Mac. Just watched a couple of other lessons on different courses with no problem. Also tried rebooting.

A fellow student

This lecture was not helpful. She didn't say anything about how to edit work or what to look for when you are looking back on it.


I think looking back on your work is very important, cuz you can see how far you have come.

Paul H.

Retrospectivity provided me with an understanding of where I was on my photographic and artistic journey and continues to inform me of that

Betsy M.

This is a photo of my other son. I took this 2 years ago. I always help take photos of the swim team.

Vincent M.

Looking back on your work is so very important. Its a way of staying focused and seeing how you get better at your craft as a photographer. I go back to my early work and I can remember the certain struggles of deciding an f/stop a certain angle of light or the composition of the final image. Annie is right about having good days and bad days and days where you don't even think you are connected with the shot. It all helps to keep ones self ground in a sea of pictures. I have taken editing classes and have brought in my early work to do the assignments on. Its very rewarding to find images you thought weren't any good were actually pretty darn good.