From Annie Leibovitz's MasterClass

Student Sessions

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.

Topics include: Photographing Family and Friends • Learning How to See • Being a Director • Storytelling in a Series • Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back • Connecting With the World Through Photography

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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.

Topics include: Photographing Family and Friends • Learning How to See • Being a Director • Storytelling in a Series • Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back • Connecting With the World Through Photography

Annie Leibovitz

Teaches Photography

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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.

Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Annie is thoughtful and so precise. Like her photographs

I took this class because I wanted to hear what Annie's understanding of photography was, to learn her approach and possibly something of her way of seeing. I feel she did a great job at explaining all that. This was a great class.

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.

Thank you for your insight into a very creative and exciting life as a photographer.

Comments

Paul C.

I liked this session and wished I was there. It is odd how a little softness to a shot used to be a good thing, but now the drive to technical superiority makes many people prefer photos that are artistically inferior. I caught this shot at a graduation, and although there is movement blur of the toy and her hand, I think it makes the shot more personal and "alive", if there is such a thing.

Steve H.

Time-wise, this was an extended lesson. In a Master Class, I think it is useful to have the Master offering remarks about the students' portfolio. I enjoyed the images that Mika presented and her extended educational background is evident in her photographs.

Chris P.

I like the sharing and experiences but found the students quite inarticulate. A real struggle when every second word is "like" followed by a pause and the sentence or thought remains unfinished.

Rob M.

I enjoyed hearing what Annie sees in their work. I think a recurring thought of hers is to strive to be as connected as possible to the subject so that you can explore as much as possible what might work. This picture was taken in London, through a bus window actually while stopped in traffic.

J'nee H.

I like that she has included students. In other MasterClasses the instructors don't do this. The reality is work today is in the digital format. This is a total kismet photo that I got on a trip to Burma. No studio, no special lighting- I just loved the subjects.

Graeme R.

Excited about the work of the German/Russian woman (Mika, I think) in taking portraits of Mennonites in Siberia. Beautiful indeed. Is the title of her book available?

Katherine H.

I enjoyed seeing the students' work and hearing them talk about it. The instructor's commentary bestows the benefit not only of her talent, but of her wisdom and experience, and she delivers grace and aplomb. She skillfully draws students out and engages them, choosing questions carefully to develop their thinking about their work.

Ralph F.

Taj Mahal, had to take the lamp shade off a table lamp, only light in the room

Ralph F.

Lightnin’ Hopkins with extremely close stage lighting, profile helped diffuse things I think

Jim C.

When did the 35mm lens become the standard lens for 35mm photography? I have been shooting for a long time and it's always been the 50mm. I mentioned this to a friend who teaches photography and a retired photojournalist for a local paper, and he says it is the 50mm lens. He thought perhaps 35mm was for cropped senor digital, but just looked at lesson again and the one girl is shooting film. I'm fortunate to have a number of photographer friends with who I meet regularly. We don't directly discuss our images though. We see them on our various social media platforms. I've always felt they know way more then me as they have made livings as photographers at various times. One even won a Pulitzer for an image years ago.