Design, Photography, & Fashion

Photographing People Who Are Close to You

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 8:42 min

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.

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.
Get All-Access

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.

It was like a heart to heart from a warm, real instructor. I appreciated leaving out the usual, and diving confidently into the meaningful, the beyond

I think I learnt how to see people and places differently.

Listening to Annie share her background and philosophy gave me confidence that being true to my unique perspective was the most important thing going forward -- to not only becoming a good, skilled photographer but also to experiencing personal joy from the experience.

I've enjoyed very much the philosophical approach of this class - it is not about the technical aspects of photographing but about the psychological process.


Diane L.

One of those looking through and to you shots from my favorite subject, grandkids. Great late afternoon sun "Lets see" was all it took. Reflections: My father and his father enjoyed photography and many a night dad would pull out the 3D photographs of family and friends. We loved the home projector...………………….Now I take photos telling the off spring and friends, it's in case my memory starts to fail...….and my kids want to humor me with all the fun times we have had together. Awe, or Aww is heard often and I am sure we are closer because of these photographic memories.

A fellow student

This is Reyna, who started to play with her new toy in the cafe. And I just wanted to see what she saw when she plays.

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.