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.

Annie is a master. Thanks for the inspiration

The 'softer' photography side of how to see, the attitude to have, and Annie's overall philosophy was wonderful and refreshing.

The most important lesson that I've taken away from this Masterclass is to be reminded to see as a photographer, to keep taking photographs, to print and look at them, as opposed to obsessing about the technicalities. My enjoyment of photography has been dampened by this lately, and Annie has inspired me to pick up my camera again and shoot.

I enjoyed the philosophical content as well as the high production budget information.


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.


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