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.

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.

open minded masterclass, slow and content based.... what else...

Very excited to get my creative juices flowing again after viewing this.

Excellent class. Annie is an amazing artist with great insight into photography. I highly recommend this course to all photographers.


Mike Y.

Excellent beginning and the word to look is the fundamental in photography for me. Being an observer, constantly observing, looking, detail, light shadows, peoples faces, their dress or landscapes how the the composition develops in front of you as you walk; stop take a pace back or sideways. I see people with a camera just walking head down following the crowd rather than standing back and making your own situation. Creating your own itinerary and not being a follower, be independent and an observer, look at detail, be interested in what's going on around you. Its also true your work becomes somewhat automatic, with experience you see a composition, your brain evaluates the scene and it sort of feels right or wrong, but also take a little time just to check the detail in the viewfinder, maybe take half a step to one side or back, and then fall into the practicalities of the camera, cropping, exposure etc but that really comes last but is more of a checklist

Daniel S.

To take good photographs is learning how to see, and thus grasping the significance of the photographs taken. Just as an geographical place may be of lite meaning for some people, and rich in meaning for others, portraiture photography is about the relationship to the photograph that may become clearer and/or changed in time. In some sense, human beings are infinite, in relation to that, a portrait of someone is an surface. To add minimal depth, photo story's can be helpful to highlight how appearances shifts. In this regard, before taking this class, I've taken interest in the process of “the days after” an event. The contrasts between the day-to-day appearances and performative appearances was in this regard inspiring. Telling stories through photographs is therefore in some sense learning how they changes how we think. The first assignment is therefore, to get an paper newspaper and pay attention to the photographs in them, picking out some that we particularly like and notice how they changes how we think. Learning that process, is, I guess part of the process of learning how to see. As is creating productive habits in taking photographs.

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.