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.
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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.

This class inspired me. My work has gotten better because what this class gave me most was the reminder that I need to find what matters to me in any given situation, That's what I now capture. Not just pretty or dramatic, but what matters!

Before...I used to carry my camera everywhere and take pictures all the time. Although I always thought that it would be a nice job, I just had the chance to do it as part of one of my other passions (archaeology). Knowing how she started in the "industry" and seeing her first pictures I see I could have done more and may be is not late yet.

Brilliant! I could listen to Annie all day. I hoped to see her directing subjects on a shoot but apart from that, it's fantastic!

Brilliant.. I'd love to do WS with her. I mean, a live one....


Andrew H.

Is this whole lesson only 19 minutes long? i paid for the full subscription but I feel like I'm only seeing a trailer here that's 19 minutes long or something. Can anyone help?

Susanne R.

Susanne RingI got my first camera i 2009, Denmark Hallo Annie. First I must say i love your work. My name is Susanne i am from Denmark. I have started the master class and bought a newspaper. As you can see i found some photos. I would lik to explain my choises. I found a serie, I like them because I know the history behind them. Its a great danish band, who played their last concert - the serie is called The last song. The one with the red curtains i like best, it makes me curious. For a long time i have thought of making a serie, photos with people with tatoos, the reason why i chose that one. Then a portrait of a danish politician, an natural portrait. There is a smal photo of a hand behind a grid. It makes methink of a photo i once took in a concentrationcamp in Germany. At last I chose a photo of a girl in water, i really do not know if i like it, but it is wird. It would be nice to hear, what other students has chosen. I am looking forward to the next lesson. Kind Regards Susanne


I just want to cry. I feel like you knew the 12 year old me who used a disposable camera everywhere she went. I am very excited.

laura J.

Exciting to see her discuss photographs and how she began to record the history of humans

Soheila R.

Love it! I like taking photos. Need to refine what I am doing at the moment.

Jonathan O.

Wow! What a great perspective. I love how she said you can't capture a person in a single photograph. Here's a moment I captured of a dear friend of mine

Diane L.

This is a more recent photo, maybe 15 years ago, of my grandmother which I am so happy to have found for this exciting class. I hope to fine tune relationships into my photos. Sorry I was unable to turn this photo upright. Annie has helped me identify myself as a photographer not a photo technician. Thank you Annie.

Diane L.

I mostly enjoy observe and photograph portraiture. I call my photo's snap or click biographies when successful at showing what I see. Anne is a great teacher, this program is like being in her classroom. I have loved each minute as a single thought and now I know I would love to feel her teach in person.

John E.

For me, Annie speaks of what makes a great photograph, and , I think intuitively we ponder, then come to lo life and feel what we are looking for in the image, take the shot, and you become compelled to continue a creative process facilitated by your gut instincts, or intuitive way of expressing yours and the subjects feeling, or mood. I think you are trying to capture a mood generated by good reasoning skills, intuition, and feeling, and lots of it.

John E.

I love to hear Annie speak on the topic she has become so passionate for, photojournalism and portraits; where's the line? For me, taking her photojournalism into a kind of creative artistic venture and fine art as I see her work, demonstrates not professionalism, but profound passion for telling her story, and sort of crosses over into something different. And, for me, this is fine art.