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Design & Style

Student Sessions

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 24:42 min

Annie sits down with students from her alma mater, the San Francisco Art Institute, to critique their work and share her own approach to core principles of photography.

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.

love it but I also would like to know more about the basic list to get to those images.

Great really interesting and got me thinking , thank you.

I've been inspired with Annie since I first discovered her as a leading, woman photographer more than two decades ago. Her existence gave me courage to continue my journey as a photographer and her style of work just wowed me with each shoot she did. For me, to hear her speak about her process, her emotional state, her approach while she works was extremely insightful and fulfilling.

The reason for taking the Master Class series is to learn more about different topics from experts in their field. I am 63, pending retirement, and hope to gain a much wider understanding of the world around me. Thank you so much for this, Annie was a great teacher who spoke from her heart, and then her head; a perfect delivery.


Carolyn B.

It was beautifully put together. I enjoyed the students' participation. Annie was very open and humble. I especially enjoyed the process of photographing Angels in America.

Suzanne W.

I found it interesting that now with the use of digital, we try to make things so focused. I actually enjoy having a sharp focus one small detail and blur the rest. That doesn't always work with a portrait, however.

Padmaja P.

I would like to share this portrait that I took last year. This is a Navy veteran, a distinguished Admiral with several passions including ecology and nature conservation. He was a highly inspirational figure, a mentor to everyone who crossed his path, even long after he retired. A sailor who had salt in his veins, as they say. Though this may seem like a 'posed' picture, it is actually a candid shot where he is longingly gazing at the ocean from his hospital room as he waited to be discharged. An active and peripatetic person he loathed being admitted to the hospital for investigations and treatment and was happy to receive visitors. I used to go often to chat him up, rather listen to him as he was a treasure trove of stories and historical anecdotes. This was a moment when he had gotten out of his hospital rig and dressed up smartly in his inimitable way - all with his 'patent' sailor's cap - waiting to go home. I realise that the eyes are not tack sharp as I would have liked (or like you mentioned this "obsession with sharpness" in modern times) but the mood packs in so much of this person who used to talk often of 'death', among other things. As it turned out this happened to be his last portrait. Subsequently, he passed away peacefully in sleep, at home. I am particularly fond of shooting up, close and personal with just a hint of a backdrop.

Sam L.

Annie doesn't mind cutting things off, there were a lot of pics where she cuts off feet and doesn't care.

A fellow student

I enjoyed listening to Annie's stories of her experience, but also how warm and positive she was with her students. Photos that I didn't like and wanted to criticize, Annie had a different eye and found something to praise. She encouraged everyone to use his/her own story.

A fellow student

Annie is not only an amazing photographer but a storyteller and a person who can read into the souls of people. Watching this Masterclass is not only for photographers but for anyone interested in people.

A fellow student

love the fact that Annie has communications with students makes a big difference to understand what and why she does things and she is very good at explaining, very inspiring.

A fellow student

it is not about the camera, or the sharpness, is is all about the picture itself.

A fellow student

Annie Leibovitz is very talented but is not a teacher. This wasn't technically informative but instead a rant it felt like. It was interesting to know her background and see the photos she has shot, but there is no information on what software she uses, how to edit, how to literally shoot a photograph.

Sven P.

I am getting more involved in this course and actually dreading that it will end soon.