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Design & Style

Working With Light

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 10:37 min

Annie discusses her philosophy around photography equipment, working with natural light, and the value of keeping your lighting kit small.

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.

About the Instructor

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.

Annie's class is how I learned of MasterClass. Loved it!

I have been taken pictures since I was a child, but with this course I have learned what matters and inspires to me, the way of looking the world and how to be creative taken pictures. Is just the beginning of my journey to be a photographer.

Ich habe viel über das Leben der Tutorin gelernt, aber wenig über Fotografie an sich.

Found the inspiration I didn't know I was looking for!


allan W.

I love how she responded to the gaze of rpw out his window. For me it is slow down and when life happens enjoy it, explore it, pursue it.

Gabriela H.

Thank you. I just started and will stop to practice these last assignment. What I´ve known since I started photography is that is the art of painting with light. This is so exciting to play with it and focus on learning from nature. Even how different it is season to season.

Ruth Y.

I loved this session, very informative. I highly regard Ms. Leibovitz, since the 70's really. looking forward to learning more insights from her into photography. I liked it when she said it is not about the brands of cameras, that at first work with one lense, and that the most important thing, or this is how i understood it, its the light. Photography was my hobby for many years and i am trying to expand my knowledge and improve my pix. thank you.

A fellow student

there is something strange in this sunset pic in 6:40 min , I feel there is more than a strobe

Elaiza P.

Thanks! I learned a lot. Compromise And involved with the subject and learn and study before the session its a clue. Also being flexible and curiose and alert to what impact you or discover in the subject sourounding as the poet photo example, was a new light for me to work in.

A fellow student

I, too, love ambient light. I choose this whenever I can. But, I was disappointed that she mentioned using a strobe over and over again but never once showed us what this equipment looked like or how she set it up. A few images showing her in the process of taking a picture (showing the setting, equipment and possible helpers) would have been extremely useful. If fill light from strobe is so important then I would like more information either in the lecture or in the workbook on its use.

Suzanne W.

Working with natural light is a great idea, it makes a photo real. Sunny days are indeed a photo killer!

John K.

I find her work fantastic because she takes something about each subject and sets them up in a narrative space. That story from the surroundings, the costume with her gift for light make her work inspirational. I would love to see her setup a shoot with a minimal amount of gear.

christine F.

Just jumping in the course which I should have done a long time ago. No specific credentials just a bit of training and practice and not specific technical skills but more or less 40 years of using a camera for the best or the worst but really feels close to the concept of story teller. Come to this class to listen to beautiful mind ofAnn but to find a way to get to have portraits of these silent souls that I encountered in my daily outings and travels. I always find difficult to just take the picture even if the shoot is there so clear and has Ann explained sometimes you need to go back or have eternal regrets not always to have the picture but not to have been brave enough to have interact and made the eternal connection with this individual as much as for you than for him/her.


Worked as a Photographer for 10 years, I should give them some money back. At 73 memory will take a break at times,Thanks for the work book