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Design & Style

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.
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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.

What a personal journey of photographing and reportage as Annie described her works. It's so insightful and personable that you definitely want to retake each of her classes again!! She is the best!

Enjoyed learning her creative process. I found the course inspiring.

This class brought me to tears on several occasions. Annie's style of photography, and her insights into light & shot composition were astounding.

I spent just about all of my career as a producer/director, dealing with multi-camera video shoots to tell stories. Annie’s class has re-energized me to go out with a single camera (I’m going to use my iPhoneX) and re-connect with the basics!


A fellow student

This is amazing as each photograph can tell a story unique to the individual; whether it be dark and sinister or a celebration of humanity. What Annie does is she delves into the psyche of her subject(s) and expresses what they feel. It is absolute genius!

Maureen A.

It reminded me of the line, 'we are consumed by the Gods we worship.' In this case Annie strikes me as fortunate to be consumed by something she loves.

Eric W.

I've been a model for 8 years, and have been shooting now for 1 year! I love her portraiture work with prominent individuals throughout history. I aim to become a photographer whose works tell stories, photos that matter.

Maria I.

I'm an amateur photographer and I'm currently taking a course on photography technique, so it is so much fun to complement it with Annie's class. Loving the notion of the "range of identities" of a person and how she knows it's impossible to capture everything about someone in just one shot.

A fellow student

just getting started. I am a big Annie fan. Have a photo degree and spent my career in lighting. I am not a pro and not technical, I look forward to learning from one of the greats.

Halley R.

After watching the discussion, I proceeded to view the New York Times paper of today's date, really examining each picture that I came across. Every time I paused to take a deeper look into a photograph, I found myself with a deeper appreciation for photojournalism.

Susan H.

I'm an amateur photographer and not keen on taking photos of people, much prefer wildlife. However, I love the stories that Annie's portraits tell and would love to capture some of that in my photos of the people whose pictures I do take.

Shelly S.

I love the idea of a series and not needing to feel I have to have just one image to capture a whole person. (Print vs digital) To be honest, I look at most photos on my computer. Even though my full-time gig is a digital graphic designer for print advertising. We don't even print the work out anymore for crit. I know it looks different. I just forgot that it does. I'm usually disappointed when it is on paper these days. Great suggestion as a practice!

A fellow student

My sense was this was an overture of Annie's philosophy about photography, especially for the direction that she chose and why.

Leicka Teresa O.

As a beginner in the world of photography, I loved how Annie describes what good photography means. It motivates me to keep taking pictures, trying again and again, until I grab the experience and connect differently with the photos and the process of creating them.