Design, Photography, & Fashion

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.
Get All-Access

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 wanted to see more of your work (the extravaganza part) but i loved your class and loved you;;;THANKS FOR SHARING.....i'm 80 been in the music business all my life and just started to make pictures; I'm so sorry i didn't shoot al lot of people i've met...will do in my second life will start demain matin...a kiss from Paris

I love it! It is the first time I am taking an online class and I am simple satisfied with it. I can't waith for my next class!

I loved every minute. Such an inspiring woman even if you don’t do photography.

It is always a pleasure to hear the advices of such an experienced photographer. The most important thing for me was to reflect on the family photos: try to extract something from this environment, so full of love and trust. Another important reflection was to think of photography as a work. There is no mystery, so go out and take pictures.


Ioana S.

I loved this lesson it has inspired me to be more in the present. I want to capture the people in my life like my parent before they leave this earth to take their photography to celebrate and validate the people I have around me, and create more meaningful work for me. Great lesson - to stop and be in the present.

F P.

I’m not sure what I’m expecting, I just know I want more. Please delve more into the technical aspects of photography, otherwise these videos are a bragging session. You have so much more to give , please be mindful of that.

Esther E.

The most meaningful portraits tell a story; they not only memorialize a person at a specific time and place, they give us insight into that person as well. Really great portraits tell us as much about the photographer as the person they photographed.

Susanne R.

This Master Class i a lot different than i thought, but ment in a positive way. Its very nice that AL is down to earth with her photography, not to much technique only whats neded. attached a photo taken with only the natural light

Mark W.

As a somewhat a mature photographer some her small tips I find useful such as using only a small light on the subjects face, listening to the details I can pick out stuff. If I were a professional I agree on others comments

Erin B.

Annie uses a lot of her prior work as examples. The imagery helps to define her concepts.

Wil C.

I thought this was a master class! No I am not a narcissist, but I agree with some of the comments. This doesn't look prepared and wanders. Again name dropping, just show the images and let them speak to me alongside some tech notes. Our local camera club offers great light lessons. I only use natural light all the time to focus on those with mental illness and the banality of their lives.

Simon L.

P-l-e-a-s-e remove the annoying overlay from paused video when watching on a desktop / laptop! And let us just pause / play with the space bar. THAT would increase my enjoyment of these lessons 10 fold just by decreasing the annoyance factor!


I did not know who Annie Leibovitz was until I took this course. Now I do, and I am so sad I pissed away the last 40 years not getting paid for what I can do naturally. Thank you for confirming all the feelings I have had over the decades with every shot I take. When I retire, maybe I can slide back into this full time.

A fellow student

Doing some extra work on an outdoor film set in Sheffield (for 'extra' cash :P) and captured this lady walking back from the crew's tent during golden hour on a really hot day. Think I may have almost gotten sunstroke that day, but the images made it worthwhile ha. I'm learning to observe where the shadows are, where the sun is in the sky, the light is coming from and the most enjoyable times of the day to shoot in. I recently took up jogging early in the morning and the light through the trees onto the path in the park... Will try to snap it on my next run. I tried to photograph one location just after sunrise that I'd already photographed midday and learned an obvious, but valuable lesson about checking what time gated parks open... One thing I know to check thoroughly before choosing my next subject! Ha.