Design, Photography, & Fashion

Portrait Photography

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 19:49 min

Annie discusses portraiture and photojournalism, and what makes portrait photography so compelling for her as a medium. Learn why Annie loves the photo series and why a single image cannot truly "capture" a person.*

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.

I'm not a photographer, I don't plan to be one, but this course was pretty cool - like a long talk about the history of Annie's photographies. Amazing!

I'll call this, getting to know Annie as if she was your mentor. Get inspired! I did!

I loved getting to experience Annie's Masterclass! It was a lot of fun and very educational! A couple of suggestions that I have to improve are.... (1) Talk more about the technical aspect.... editing, lighting, shutter speed and aperture. (2) Make it more personal.... have Annie answer people's individual questions.

Loved how Annie teaches us how to see and that it's important to identify what matters to you as a photographer


A fellow student

Is there a printed syllabus for this class like other ones in the Master Class Series? I don't see a pop-up for it

A fellow student

"You can have what you think is the best equipment and it doesn't help if you can't see." Wow, so powerful and true. Being truly present and open to the evolution of the story takes so much practice and strengthened intuition/self-trust.

A fellow student

She is one of my favorites photographers and just listening how she thinks, or her opinion about how to learn inspires me and help me.


I like how the assignment puts the responsibility on the student to find meaning in the photograph that they have selected. No one is telling the students why a photograph works or doesn't work, or what the story is that it tells. It is completely left to the student as an exercise to make us stop, reflect, and think. It's a lesson to teach us how to see through the lens of the camera. Like a great photo, it's simple, but deeply meaningful.

Karla P.

Her point that its impossible to "Capture the Soul" of a person is one image interesting. The image is simply a point in time in that persons life, it just depends when you capture that person. I think that is why I found the Showgirls series so interesting..,

Kevin L.

I HATE that I can't stop to look at a photograph in this class without the stupid block popping up in the middle of the photo to ask if I want to go the the discussion group. What I'd like is to be able to stop and take in one of Annie's photos for a minute or two without the popup!!!!!

Lana G.

I thought it very interesting that Annie commented on how she doesn't love studio work as I worked with her as a makeup artist a couple of times and it felt that way. But loved her sense of command on set and her unbelievable assistants. It was a pleasure to watch her work.

Lyn M.

i don't really know Annie leivobitz.. im just a begginer.. i really want to learn about photography and this is a good start..

Sarah L.

I like the way that this masterclass begins. It has a psychological approach more than technical.

Eric S.

Storytelling. Capturing different emotions and glances into a person through portraits. I like the comment Annie rejects about "capturing the soul", but rather using another image showing a different persona. Seeing better.