From Annie Leibovitz's MasterClass

Photographing People Who Are Close to You

Annie discusses why your family and loved ones may be your best photography subjects and what opportunities come from photographing subjects who are close to you.

Topics include: Photographing Family and Friends • A Photographer's Life


Annie discusses why your family and loved ones may be your best photography subjects and what opportunities come from photographing subjects who are close to you.

Topics include: Photographing Family and Friends • A Photographer's Life

Annie Leibovitz

Teaches Photography

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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 think it was Irvin Kershner who said, "Nothing is more interesting than the landscape of the human face". That quote came to mind many times while taking Annie's class. The way she has of photographing people not smiling really drew me in, and I think that's my biggest takeaway and something I will incorporate in my own work in the future.

Being an actress, this masterclass simply thought me about the other side of the camera. It was very inspirational creatively to see all those moving photographs et photographers from the past. I will for sure include the style of Annie Leibovitz in my collaboration with future photographers.

I have always admired Annie's work. Although she speaks of her self as a photographer, I consider her as an artist who uses a camera as her medium. As a serious novice, whose first love is photographing people, I found that the lectures certainly gave me insight and ideas as to how to go about improving what I love to do.

Annie's class is wonderful. She helped confirm that I'm on the right path with my own photographic pursuits. I loved her insights.


Steve H.

While I appreciate the simplicity of beginning portrait photography by working with those closest to you and who will put up with your art, this was a rather brief lesson. It is bothersome that if I freeze the lesson to study a photograph, print messages overlay the image.

Caetano L.

This lesson wasn't just useful but inspiring too. Photographing people close to you is a great advice to improve your skills and I intend to do it on a regular and disciplined basis. There are no lack of subjects among my family and friends. I'm halfway through Annie's Master Class and the more I watch it, the more I identify with her style. Don't get too hung up on equipment or lighting, just concentrate on seeing the person inside your subject. My granddaughter Jaime was just ten, but her intensity in contemplating the ruins of the Roman Forum for the first time, tells about her love for traveling, at a very young age.

Gina M.

Interesting. Too short. This is my dad sharing the milk from his cereal with my cat Jasper. It showed my dad's kindness...and humor.


Here is my wife and the mother of my three children. Bella, a painter, loves working with large abstract shapes. I placed her in front of one of her works and she posed for "like a minute". I liked the way the background painting shape created a mothers day bonnet for her.

Raul F.

It has been a while since I took the masterclass, and every time I come back (now with this new app) I learned more and more. I care about three people in my life, my daughter, my mother and my wife and wanted to start sharing with you some of the latest photos I took of them....if you bear with me I will be posting some photographs of them in different locations... activities... under natural and studio lights...


Inspiring topic, thanks Annie: I practiced on a recent trip to Kyoto during the Sakura


Very heartfelt and sincere. Thank you. Makes sense to start at the place which defines us.

Graeme R.

This was so beautiful. Annie Leibovitz became completely real and lovable to me in seeing the photographs of the people she loved, and hearing her talk about them. Sigh. It was also very moving to hear her students and to watch their faces. Sob.

Achille A.

How did you prepare for the shooting? Did you have drawings of the concept? You seemed to know what you wanted from the beginning.

Devan P.

I took this Polaroid of my roommate/best friend Camille holding my cat Safari. I love this pic because the cat looks massive when held by my tiny friend and she started squirming a second before the photo was taken so it came out just a little comical looking.