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Design & Style

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.
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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.

Thank you Annie for showing us your world ...

I have learned how little I know and that my way of taking photos is OK. I have been given direction and it is up to me to embrace it.

I have purchased numerous photography tutorials and somehow I received an Photography Masterclass notification. Imagine my surprise and delight that Annie Leibovitz was the instructor. Her intuitive and common sense approach has inspired me. I could not get enough of her lessons and wanted more... all classes held my attention and never were they boring. Excellent!!

Thank you for this inspiring and motivating Masterclass. I have had a life long passion for beautiful and truthful imagery but only now do I feel determined to make it a priority in my life. I am mesmerized by and in awe of the spectacular insight and talent of Annie Leibovitz...a truly spiritual encounter. Aside from being her actual apprentice - this was an unsurpassable experience.


Coryn V.

This really simple shot of my brother in a dim kitchen making noodles for himself on his 18th birthday just seems to capture the moment. Looking back at it, to me it's just quiet, intimate, and very real (with the remodel job in the background). I remember just wanting to take a shot of him then. He was pretty unfazed.

A fellow student

Yes, people who are close to you. Now and for the future. Especially as we get older. Looking forward to visiting my family again to do more of a study rather than the group shot. Each in his or her "studio" or just facing the camera.

A fellow student

I loved it! Very nice to hear how she takes about life and people. How she approaches people. I like the fact that it is more about art / approach / emotions rather than photo techniques - it was fun to hear her talk about focus and depth and then realizing that she does not worry about not knowing everything, she focus on what she is good at.

Banhid B.

So simple and so powerful the wordings here! As she says ..... a driven photographer has to take photos and an amazing world remains all around the photographer

Antonia T.

Thank you so much. I have an incredible urge to photograph my mom now, but I cannot travel due to the coronavirus. Argh! Here is a photo of my oldest daughter's ballet shoes:

A fellow student

I really like the classes. Is a very hard work to be a photographer, but I do my best and this classes open my eyes about doubts and answers, doubts and work and silence. I'm going to continue to work. Thanks

A fellow student

LOve this lesson. Its made me comfortable with shooting my friends and family.

A fellow student

This episode validated a feeling I have had for a long time about taking photos of those close to me. I wanted to share this photo of my father that I took on a family vacation to Scotland.

Amy L.

This lesson deeply touched me. In June I lost my beautiful mommy. My heart aches for her every single day. I've struggled since her passing in so many ways. I loved photographing her. I love photographing all of my family most of the time they resist my feelings. In grad school I struggled with being put into a box... picking a genre etc.... I never felt that I could pick a specific genre.. My moods changes from day to day. Sometimes I will be photographing a beautiful Owl and other times I am photographing my grandchildren. Thank you for this class and being a part of MasterClass my son and his girlfriend purchased this gift for my birthday ( which is today) Keep on Shining Annie! You truly are a gift to this world. I've attached a photo of my mom.

Andrea P.

Loved this lesson. I think that photographing family members and friends is a great way to practice and find your voice. I took this photo of my grandmother two months before she died. I went back home (Bolivia) to visit for a short time and took several photos of her as well as making a video. It's strange, but I felt that I needed to photograph her. She was an important person in my life, she gave me so much.